The publication of Jo Nesbo’s sixth Harry Hole novel in English has been much anticipated. The Leopard was finally published in the UK a couple of weeks ago and to diehard fans of Oslo’s most dysfunctional and self-abusing fictional detective, this will be no disappointment. This is a big book, not only in the sense of its 600+ pages but also in its scope and the complexity of the twists and turns of the plot. This is Nesbo taking his writing to another level and, whilst the nerve-jangling ride is a joyful and more intense one, it is perhaps at the expense of the down-to-earth mundane bleakness of the earlier novels. The front cover of the book proclaims Nesbo as the new Stieg Larsson, which is a little odd, given that Nesbo has been writing crime fiction for 14 years and his novels have been available in English for longer than Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. However, riding on the back of the success Larsson, Scandanavian crime fiction is reaching new heights of popularity and you can hardly blame Nesbo’s publishers for cashing in. There are obvious differences between Nesbo and Larsson (and I think Nesbo is a much better writer), where there is a similarity, especially in terms of The Leopard is where the authors take the reader right to the edge of believability. The Leopard shows Nesbo at his most comfortable yet with the genre – here he is having great fun and it is almost tangible in the writing. It’s a great achievement, but I wonder if it has lost just a little of the edginess, of the emotional turmoil that existed in the earlier books.