“Knife” is book twelve in the Harry Hole Series. New readers only need to know that Harry Hole, of the Oslo Police, abuses alcohol, abuses the system, and abuses himself. Hole is suffering from guilt, and paranoia. He also might be suffering from PTSD resulting from what killings have done to him, even the “necessary” killing in law enforcement. The opening is abstract and unsettling; it entices readers and hints at dramatic events to come.

“Knife” is a personal story, one of revenge, one of death. Hole finds himself in midst of a murder, but this time the victim is his wife, Rakel, and he suspects the murderer is old enemy Svein Finne. Hole is at his lowest point; he is unraveling, spinning out of control, drowning in emotion and guilt. In this nightmarish situation, Hole cannot conduct the official police investigation but he is compelled to right the wrong done to his wife.

The plot is rich in complexity, moral challenges, puzzles, and conspiracies. Events are recounted through Hole’s personal experiences and interpretations. It is always a battle between good and evil, but in this case, readers wonder if the evil might be Hole himself. He has always helped others; unfortunately, now he is the one who is in trouble. The plot is disturbing, dark, weighty, and bizarre. The clues are abundant, but none fit where they should.

“Knife” is a little long, but very compelling to read. Hole grows as a person and takes a new path. In the end, there are secrets, traumas, and startling revelations that no one anticipated. Even when the pursuit seems to be over, it really is not. The murder is shocking, but it is even more shocking when the murderer is revealed.

Anyone who drives a Ford Escort is OK by me