Headhunters

Headhunters

Book rating: 04 Paperback Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

By (author) Jo Nesbo, Translated by Don Bartlett

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 265 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 201mm x 18mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 6 September 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0307948684
  • ISBN 13: 9780307948687
  • Edition statement: Translation
  • Sales rank: 25,138

Product description

With "Headhunters," Jo Nesbo has crafted a funny, dark, and twisted caper story worthy of Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers. FIRST TIME PUBLISHED IN THE U.S. NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM MAGNOLIA PICTURES. Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he's a master of his profession. But one career simply can't support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife's fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that's been lost since World War II--and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft. But when he breaks into Greve's apartment, he finds more than just the painting. And Clas Greve may turn out to be the worst thing that's ever happened to Roger Brown.

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Author information

Jo Nesbo is a musician, songwriter, economist, and author. The first crime novel in his Inspector Harry Hole series was published in Norway in 1997, an instant hit, winning the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel (an accolade shared with Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell). He also established the Harry Hole Foundation, a charity to reduce illiteracy among children in the third world. He lives in Oslo.

Customer reviews

By Nicola Mansfield 19 Apr 2012 4

Reason for Reading: I read every new book by this author!

This is Jo Nesbo's first standalone thriller and I have to say the publisher's summary does not do it justice. Headhunters in the title refers to Roger Brown's job as a corporate headhunter; someone who finds the perfect candidate for high position corporate jobs, such as CEO. Going into this book, knowing I loved Jo Nesbo as an author, I didn't really know what to expect about a story that the publisher's back summary told me was about art theft and the corporate business world. Two things not exactly up my alley. As I read, the opening hook caught me and I knew I'd have to finish the book just find out what that was all about! But as I read on the character of Roger Brown intrigued me and Nesbo had me, even though art theft was not my thing. I was missing the serial killer aspect of his Harry Hole books.

However, at a certain point in this extremely short (for Jo Nesbo) book the plot takes a certain twist and art theft almost is forgotten, as the theme becomes one of a man hunted, running for his life, finding he has no allays, and turning his intelligence to new matters as he tries to outwit a master. This part of the book is fantastic! It should make an incredibly suspenseful movie. Twist after twist keeps the reader on their toes and you never know how things will turn out in the end as both men must change their plans repeatedly. The book is dark and violent, yet humorous with it's black comedy and some of the grossest moments have a certain comedic air to them. A quote on the back of my book mentions "worthy of Quentin Torentino" and that is just exactly how I see this as well.

One thing I did not like was the ending, there is, of course, a final twist, which left me a little cold. I thought it was better if things had been left the way they were before this twist and would have preferred a different ending. But overall, an exhilarating novel which lets me know Nesbo can write anything. I've read his Harry Hole series, his children's Dr. Proctor trilogy and now this standalone thriller and will continue to read any book emblazoned with the words "by Jo Nesbo". A little research shows he has an anthology of short stories which has not been translated into English yet. This reader would look forward to the publication of that volume in the near future!

Review quote

"This stand-alone gives us a brilliant array of variously flawed human beings involved in a tale of intricate plotting, excellent characterization, made-for-the-movies effects and images, and a multifaceted surprise ending. . . . A true thriller from start to finish." --"Library Journal" " " "A twisty, plot-driven Hitchcockian thriller. . . . Nesbo delivers one shock after the other, culminating with a doozy of a switcheroo at the finish. It's gripping reading." --"Booklist" " " "Nesbo takes a break from his Harry Hole detective series . . . with this stellar stand-alone caper.. . . . The dizzying reversals of fortune and situations that would be over-the-top in lesser hands make for a delightful roller-coaster ride. Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard fans will be delighted."--"Publishers Weekly "(starred review) "If you don't know Nesbo, it's time to get with it." --"USA Today" "Like [Stieg] Larsson, Nesbo explores the darkest criminal minds with grim delight and puts his killers where you least expect to find them. . . . [and] his novels are maddeningly addictive." --"Vanity Fair ""Chances are you'll be hooked . . . as Nesbo lays down a trail rich in Nordic atmosphere and in character-driven development . . . Ultimately, though, what sets Nesbo apart is his ability to keep the pages turning with such intellectual dexterity." "--Newsday ""Nesbo has a horrormeister's flair for transforming natural scenes into ominous situations." --"The New York Times" Book Review "Irresistibly addictive. . . . This is reading as you experienced it in childhood, without any gap between eye and mind, but with the added pleasures that adult plots and adult characters can bring. . . . Brilliantly conceived, carefully worked out, and complicatedly satisfying." --"Slate" "Nesbo's books have a serious, socially significant heft, as well as a confident (even cocky) narrative stride that is unmatched." --"Richmond Times-Dispatch " "Nesbo's pace is unerring, and the way he builds up suspense will incite Pavlovian page-turning." --"Time Out New York " "With Henning Mankell having written his last Wallander novel and Stieg Larsson no longer with us, I have had to make the decision on whom to confer the title of best current Nordic writer of crime fiction. . . . I hesitate no longer. [Nesbo] wins. . . . This is crime writing of the highest order." --"The Times" (London) "A mind-blowing story that captivates the reader from the very first page. ... [Nesbo] has found a delightfully laconic, hard-boiled tone in Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett's tracks, which triumphs exactly where it should: when circumstances are the worst, the bullets zing by and the corpses pile up. . . . Entertaining, sharp and suspenseful." --"Dagens Nyheter" (Sweden) "This book is one you absolutely have to read. . . . The outrageous storytelling is so stimulating, it makes James Ellroy look like a Boy Scout and Bret Easton Ellis like a Sunday-school boy." --"Helsingin Sanomat" (Finland) "A highly entertaining, first-rate crime novel, where Nesbo uses his entire register of narrative techniques and tricks to tell a story that is wilder and more zany than anything he has ever written before." --"Dagbladet" (Norway) "Nesbo can out-write most of his Scandinavian colleagues. . . . Cleverly written and effectively composed, and you can easily devour it in one ravishing read." --"Nordjyske Stiftstidende" (Denmark) ""Headhunters" has everything that makes a good crime novel: Strange murders, inventive disappearing acts and above all brilliant fraud for all you're worth." --"Bogrummet" (Denmark) "The reader is glued to the pages like gum to the street. . . . With "Headhunters," Nesbo has accomplished [a] . . . brilliant and elegant thriller." --"Dagsavisen" (Norway)