Phantom (Nesbø novel)
|2 October 2012|
|Preceded by||The Leopard|
Phantom is a crime novel by Norwegian novelist Jo Nesbø, published jn 2012. Its Norwegian title is Gjenferd, which does not directly translate to "Phantom"; rather it translates to a word similar to "ghosts". Phantom is the ninth novel featuring crime detective Inspector Harry Hole.
Inspector Harry Hole is returned from his self-imposed exile in Hong Kong when he is told that Oleg, the son of his on-off girlfriend Rakel Fauke, has been arrested for the murder of his flatmate, Gusto. Since Harry has become a father figure to Oleg, he comes to Norway to determine the truth about the murder. Meanwhile, an airline pilot is arrested for smuggling heroin, but—thanks to a mole within the Oslo police, he is released and is pressured into working for the drug dealing gang. Hole meets an elderly priest who, throughout the novel, gives Harry seemingly random information that ultimately aids him in solving Gusto's murder.
Hole discovers that the drug scene in Oslo no longer revolves around heroin, but around a highly-addictive morphine-based drug called Violin. He discovers that drug-pushers who deal in Violin wear Arsenal football shirts and, using this clue, manages to obtain a sample. Pretending to be Oleg's lawyer, Hole manages to sneak into his cell and get his side of the story. Hole becomes convinced that the police have the wrong suspect and that Oleg has been arrested to take the heat off the real Violin dealers. This theory is confirmed when Oleg is attacked in his cell moments after Hole leaves. Flashbacks reveal how Oleg, Gusto and Gusto's foster-sister Irene got involved in the Violin trade, and how Irene has been kidnapped by the man who developed Violin to use as a sex slave.
Hole manages to track down and free Irene, then heads to a house where he has found out that the mysterious drug lord is residing. He kills two bodyguards, but is trapped in the cellar of the house, which is flooded with water. Using an empty whisky bottle as an air pocket, Hole is able to escape drowning. An object in the drug lord's house gives Hole a hint about his identity, and he realizes that he has unknowingly met him already. He confronts the man in a life-and-death struggle which involves a paradoxical grudging respect and mutual attraction. The encounter also enables Harry to discover who had killed Gusto, and how he was related to the drug lord. Harry then confronts Gusto's killer. But before he can be taken in, he shoots and apparently kills Hole.
- Johnstone, Doug (18 March 2012). "Phantom, By Jo Nesbo The detective hero of 'The Snowman' faces another insubstantial adversary". The Independent. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
- Caffrey, Andrew (9 October 2012). "'Phantom' by Jo Nesbo". Boston Globe. Retrieved 4 May 2017.