cover image The Thirst

The Thirst

Jo Nesbø, trans. from the Norwegian by Neil Smith, read by John Lee. Random House Audio, unabridged, 14 CDs, 17 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-1-5247-3512-8

Actor Lee delivers an excellent, nuanced performance in this audio edition of the latest installment of Nesbø’s Harry Hole series. As the book opens, former detective Hole is an instructor at a police college in Oslo, but he’s quickly drawn in to the hunt for a serial killer who may be a figure from his past. In this, Hole’s 11th outing, Nesbø again keeps the prose lean and the pace taut. Lee gives a distinctive voice and accent to each of the novel’s many characters, yet even while successfully differentiating this large ensemble, he manages to conceal the identity of a villain whose voice is heard midway through the novel. And when that same villain’s nose is broken later in the book, he skillfully adds a subtle but discernible nasal twinge. As Hole and his ragtag team of investigators close in on their target, the veteran voice actor ratchets up the tension. Lee’s suave English brogue is a perfect match for the gritty material and the many Briticisms of the translation. A Knopf hardcover. (May)