Plot[ edit ] In , at a youth camp run by the Norwegian Salvation Army , the year-old daughter of a senior Salvationist official is raped in a public toilet. The name of the assailant is not given. That same year, during the breakup of Yugoslavia , a young Vukovar Croat fighter witnesses atrocities committed by the victorious Serb militias in the aftermath of the Battle of Vukovar. The fighter, who receives the nickname "Little Redeemer", later becomes a professional assassin, who carries out contract killings in various European cities.
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Shelves: fiction , mystery , religion , police-procedural , norway This is a great step up from a mystery serving just as entertainment. Though some might quibble over whether Nesbo should be shelved with literature, I felt like I was treated to a serious tour of complex social issues. As pointed out so well by Harry Roolaart here on Goodreads, the new genre of Nordic Noir can often tagged as natural realism with its coverage of the failing side of the progressive dream of these counties to become an egalitarian paradise.
Here the topics include the problems This is a great step up from a mystery serving just as entertainment. Here the topics include the problems of drug addiction and prostitution and the more hidden crimes among certain leading members of the society, in this case the vaunted Salvation Army. As usual with crime fiction, we become invested with the mission of the detective to serve as a proxy physician to address the ills of society.
Not grossly wrought, just a mysterious background to the events in the story 12 years later. We are put into the mind of an assassin who executes a member of the Salvation Army on a public street in Oslo. Harry Hole is working on the death of a heroin addict when the case comes up, which involves him already familiarizing himself with the wonderful work of the Salvation Army in serving these folks.
Much of the novel covers his slow and brilliant efforts to solving both the whodunit, that the reader already knows, and the whydunnit, which is a deep mystery. As it soon becomes clear that the hitman is not done and has another target, the pressures mount, terrible mistakes are made, and the stress and guilt Harry feels leads him to struggle with staying on the wagon with respect to his drinking problem.
The Christian concept of redemption under Protestant schemes is a relatively passive affair of accepting Christ as the son of God who experienced human death to atone for our sins. Who is this, in glorious apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? This book is no indictment of the mission of the Salvation Army, which does great humanitarian work in countries Wikipedia tells me that in the U.
I am at some disadvantage reading this out of series order, but it is clear that Hole is more isolated than usual due to his role in a violent solution of a case of pervasive police corruption in the prior book. Yet at one point as he is getting close a woman in the Salvation Army community, she gets him to admit that he has always been lonely and a loner. I like being alone. Perhaps I have grown to like my self-image of being a loner, too.
Many sad stories you can recognize in yourself. However, as you say, one has to live. So we start lying. To those around us and to ourselves.