Book review: Cockroaches, by Jo Nesbo, #2 Harry Hole Series

Norwegian title: Kakerlakkene

Publication date: 1998

English translation: 2013

Pages: 368


When the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand is found dead in a Bangkok brothel, Inspector Harry Hole is dispatched from Oslo to help hush up the case.

But once he arrives Harry discovers that this case is about much 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. Surrounded by round-the-clock traffic noise, Harry wanders the streets of Bangkok lined with go-go bars, temples, opium dens, and tourist traps, trying to piece together the story of the ambassador’s death even though no one asked him to, and no one wants him to—not even Harry himself.


I’d start to read this book last year and I stopped after just 20 pages. I couldn’t find it interesting enough so I said that I’ll take a break and I’ll come back to it in a few weeks. So, the weeks has past and I wasn’t interested in it at all.

A few weeks ago, I was on YouTube and I saw that someone was listening to an audio recording for Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo. I thought that this must be a sign so I start to listen to it, as well. One of the best choices I’ve ever made.

At that time I was quite busy and I didn’t have time to read, so the audio recording has proved to be so handy. I would havs listen to it while cooking, cleaning, on the street or driving. And in just two days I finished the book.

So, for everyone out there who have too many things to do and so time left for reading, try an audio-book. It’s a life changing. Haha. Seriously, I never thought that I will enjoy it so much, but I did.

And it gave me a different perspective for the book. I mean, when I start to read the book, I found it borring( yeah, that’s the word) but once I’ve heard it narrated by someone else, it became more interesting.

Now back to the book itself. I couldn’t find it so good. The story is good, the idea is good, but somewhere along the book I had this feeling that something is missing, or that it could have been better.

I was so nervous about the fact that Harry alone is sent to Bangkok to solve a crime. I thought that he would turn out to do what he was expect to: getting so drunk that he wouldn’t be able to solve the crime. But instead, he kept himself sober and, in the end, he solved the crime.

I was also surprised of how well the characters were drawn. I guess that Jo Nesbo knows how to write a character or how to discribe a place.

But even so, I felt that something wasn’t so appealing, that’s why I gave this rate. Though, I must say, that Cockroaches is better than The Bat.

Rate: 5/10

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3 thoughts on “Book review: Cockroaches, by Jo Nesbo, #2 Harry Hole Series

  1. I’ve only read two of the Harry Hole novels, and I had a similar reaction to yours, which is why I haven’t read more! I like them, but I kind of hate them, too. I think I struggle with protagonists who don’t take care of themselves. But the plot and pacing and writing are all good… Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, exactly that’s what I felt. But i must say that i loved the third book. I will write the review for it soon. It’s a different Harry, or at least, he’s trying to do better


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