by Jo Nesbø
374 pgs (Harry Hole series #2)
The Bat, and has since written several more in the series (which I'm looking forward to reading).
This time Harry is sent to Bangkok to investigate the murder of the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand. The ambassador had been found stabbed to death in a seedy motel by a prostitute who was planning to meet him there. Harry was sent from Norway to try to quietly investigate the ambassador's death while avoiding any scandalous news coverage. As Harry begins his investigation, he quickly learns that he's been sent there to simply whitewash over the crime, and that no one is interested in uncovering why the ambassador was killed, and by whom.
Bangkok has a pretty well-known reputation for catering to criminal activity; child prostitution, opium dens, and organized crime just to name a few. Which makes it a great location for Nesbø to send Harry. Harry has his vices, and while he periodically seems to get his act together long enough to complete an investigation, Nesbø makes it clear that he's always on the edge of a relapse.
But what makes Harry such a fantastic character, is the fact that it's clear that at his core he's a good person, and will go to great lengths, even sacrificing himself if needed, to protect the innocent and uncover the truth.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆