The Norwegian ambassador in Thailand is found murdered in a Bangkok brothel. He had close ties to the Prime Minister, and in Oslo – to avoid a scandal – hasty plans are drawn up at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A drunken Harry Hole, reeking of alcohol and stuffed full with B12 vitamins, is put on a plane to Bangkok with clear instructions: Help to hush up the case, otherwise do as little as possible. However, on arriving in Bangkok, Harry discovers that the case is about more than one random murder. There is something else, something more pervasive, scrabbling around behind the scenes. Or, put another way, for every cockroach you see in your hotel room, there are hundreds behind the walls, as he finds out.
Working with Liz Crumley, a detective inspector sporting a bald head and a pair of Nike trainers, Harry meets a selection of colourful characters among the Norwegian ex-pats in Thailand: a one-armed female diver, a nomadic soldier, a lovesick chargé d’affaires, a Jimi Hendrix clone and a prostitute in a figure skating costume. Surrounded by round-the-clock traffic noise, Harry wanders the Bangkok streets of go-go bars, temples, opium dens, tourist publicity and child prostitution on a search no-one asked for and no-one wants. Not even Harry. Once again he is a victim of his own instincts.
“The Bangkok novel. I don’t remember the plot so well, just the characters. I set up camp in Bangkok, sweated for weeks while I wrote and wrote, using the people and geography around me. Fled to Vietnam, found a family-owned hotel in which they put out a desk for the “writer” and lent me a bike. I cycled and wrote, ate my way through the menu of the only good restaurant in town. And sweated.”
Jo speaks about The Cockroaches
“In this game Nesbø has a hand that cleans the whole table. Regardless of who in the whole world of crime writing sits on the other side of that table.”
Savon Sanomat (Finland)
“The Cockroaches offers excitement to the very last revelation, but this is not the only reason it is a pleasure to read: Jo Nesbø is a master of language, he writes vivid descriptions and he has done thorough research.”
“Last year”s debut novel The Bat Man was not a one-off. Nesbø continues with The Cockroaches, a true ambassador mix of the creepy and gruesome kind. /…/ Look forward to great moments with Nesbø’s The Cockroaches .”
“There’s a sense of grandiosity, almost extravagance, in Nesbø’s novel.”
“Norwegian crime novels have for the past ten to fifteen years hold high quality. Also Jo Nesbø’s latest novel lives up to this high national level.”
“As in the best international writing, Nesbø’s plot is so complicated that you have no chance to find out who the murderer is until the last page. Just hang on tight – you will, to your delight – because Jo Nesbø writes so well, with such imagery, of the crowded streets in polluted Bangkok.”
Alt for damerna (Denmark)