This book's jacket says that author Nesbo is a Norwegian musician and composer. This helps explain why this book reads like listening to a great piece of Classical music. The plot is multi-layered, as if recorded on a sound stage using talented musicians interpreting the score.
Nesbo is a grand conductor. A multitude of characters is no deterrent. Each uniquely adds to the coloring of this story. In some series, reading in chronological order is paramount. Not with Nesbo. Back-story be damned. He has so much to say and say well, that each book stands on its own. If anything, each book leaves the reader wanting more - the ultimate compliment for anyone that creates art.
The hero is Harry Hole. He's an Oslo Police Inspector with more baggage than a train porter with six arms. He is a recovering alcoholic who falls on and off the wagon more times than a toddler trying to hold onto a Radio Flyer racing on a rock pile. He is tragic and sympathetic. He's a person that is in need of being smacked upside the head at times, just to get his attention. He is unlucky with women to a fault. The fault is that women close to him all seem to die.
In this book, Harry is juggling several investigations; some assigned, some assumed. It doesn't help his peace of mind that he is trying to prevent becoming the prime suspect in one of these investigations.
Harry Hole is a trapeze artist who is presently plodding through life without a safety net. Readers should plan on getting to the circus tent early and bring plenty of popcorn.
The act at center stage is remarkable, if not death-defying.