Thursday, December 30, 2010
When Two Brothers Love the Same Woman
By: Jo Nesbo
Harry Hole is not an unfamiliar detective inspector to many Scandinavian mystery readers in Santa Cruz. The redbreast (2006) begins with Harry and his partner Ellen on surveillance detail. Oslo happens to be the scene of an international summit meeting. The devil's star (2005) finds Harry taking on a murder case of a woman found dead in her flat. One finger has been cut off, and beneath her eyelid is a tiny red diamond in the shape of the devil’s star.
In Nemesis (2008), however, there is a haunting theme echoing throughout the book that two brothers loving the same woman was a recipe for tragedy. It is a story as old as human existence. Stefan and Raskol are two gypsy brothers who ran away to Norway and grew up together in a caravan. Tragedies have followed ever since they fell in love with the same woman, Maria. Lev and Trond Grette are two brothers who came from a middle class neighborhood in Disengrenda. In spite of the fact that they are from different racial groups and social strata, the latter pair did not escape the same tragedy either when Lev fell in love with Stine, his brother’s wife. Their fate was sealed the moment he declared to Trond his future plan with Stine.
By sorting through a labyrinth of superficial evidence, Harry manages to solve a series of suicide-revenge, and bank robbery-murder cases through the theme of two brothers loving the same woman. However, a cliff hanger is created after Harry lets go his nemesis during the police investigation and a new lead to the mystery of his partner’s death surfaces.