"Cockroaches", by Jo Nesbo

The Cockroaches: The Second Inspector Harry Hole Novel (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original) - Jo Nesbø

Book 2, in the Harry Hole series

“Cockroaches” is, in fact, the second outing for the detective, making a belated appearance in translation in Canada. It employs similar shock tactics found in the first book “The Bat” sending the Norwegian sleuth out of his comfort zone smack into unknown territory. This time we find Harry in the picturesque seediness of Bangkok....

Sent to Thailand by his boss to investigate the death of the Norwegian ambassador in a seedy motel room Harry soon discovers that he will need to unravel layers of deception before he could get to the bottom of his investigation and solve the case.

While deep into his hunt for the whodunit we have a glimpse into the excesses of expat life, travel the seedy underbelly of a vibrant city and plunged into the corruption of those wanting to protect their positions. The setting makes for the perfect backdrop for this novel where Harry out of his natural element excels in what he is doing. His character is handled with authority and so is the large cast of colourful and dynamic supporting players. In this early installment we get to know the background about Harry’s family life and romantic history and that helps making sense of his self-destructive streak and battles with addiction that continue throughout the series. The plot is a real guessing game complete package when it comes to suspense and mystery but the drama gets overly done, loosed a bit of tempo as it stirs up a few nerves and cracks its solid punch at the end. 

I like this series for its entertainment and its exotic local .