An Excellent Read!Red Cap Project Rating 30/35There seems a fashion now to look to Scandinavia for interesting new writing and TV and Film. The popularity of Henning Mankell’s Swedish detective Kurt Wallander has made him a best-seller around the World with both books and TV series. Wallander even survives it seems a change of actor. There has been three to my knowledge, all who brought their own special talents to the role. I enjoy Mankell’s writing (whether Wallander related or not) and when people recommended another Swedish writer, also a mass seller, Steig Larsson I took him up with alacrity – only to be very disappointed. It seems you either love or hate Larsson – I read all three books, searching for some reason why I should care for a moment what happened to the Sociopathic ‘heroine’. Frankly, the endless rounds of discussion about which particular model Apple Mac each character had, what particular make off IKEA furniture the girl with the tattoo cared to deck out her home with and the endless eating of pizza and drinking of coffee had me praying for the bad guys to finally catch up with the bloody woman and put her (and me) out of my misery! But then came a move to Denmark and a remarkable TV series called ‘The Killing’ which restored my faith in the Scandinavians.Now comes Jo Nobo, a Norwegian who writes thrillers based around his particular detective who revels in the name of Harry Hole.In The Redbreast, Nobo weaves a quite complex narrative that tends to leap around from the 1940s and the 2000s as seeds of the plot are planted on the Eastern Front where a group of Norwegian soldiers are fighting for Hitler’s Germany against Stalin’s troops.Hole is an interesting character, a somewhat inconsistently recovering alcoholic who has created a reputation for himself by some incident in Australia resulting in a death, we never really find out what that is about; presumably it is in another book in the series.As with Larsson and Wallander, the Scandinavian obsession with extreme right-wing politics is a crucial element and this book has the usual assortment of fascists, skinheads and right-wing thugs as Hole investigates an apparent plot to assassinate somebody during a high level political visit to Norway, which includes the Israeli Prime Minister, the Palestinian leader and the US President. The characters are well drawn and, unlike Larsson’s Sallander, you do care what happens to them.An excellent book with an ending that reminded me a little of the conclusion of ‘Day of the Jackal’ and that is high praise indeed.I will certainly be reading more of Jo Nobo.