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Author Q&A: Jo Nesbo

Norwegian novelist Jo Nesbo is the author of the best-selling crime novels starring Oslo detective Harry Hole. Hole’s story continues in “Phantom” (Knopf, $25.95). Nesbo, 52, spoke to USA Today from his home in Oslo.

1. Why is Harry Hole such an appealing character?

I don’t really know and I’m not sure I want to know or that I should try to analyze that. I was surprised when I understood the main attraction in the novels was Harry himself, because I always saw Harry as a guy who is a bit hard to like.

2. How pleased are you that Martin Scorsese will direct “Snowman” (currently in pre-production), the first Harry Hole novel ever to be filmed?

I’m extremely happy. I’m a Scorsese fan. I turned down offers to have my books filmed for many years. When I was a student I went to see “Taxi Driver” and I had the guy who worked at the cinema give me the poster, and so later on as a student for so many years I would have the poster of “Taxi Driver” over my bed.

3. How do you think fans will react to “Phantom’s” ending?

With disbelief. I think it will be a shock for the readers who have followed the series.

4. Does it bother you that your English-speaking fans pronounce your name “Joe”?

No, not at all. My father grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., with my grandparents. In Norweigan my name is pronounced “Yoo,” but my father used to call me Joe.

5. What are you reading this fall?

I’m not a big crime reader, but I’m reading Michael Connelly’s “The Reversal.” I’m going back to his novels. I’m also reading Keith Richards’ “Life.” I’m always fascinated by the transition from the innocent late ’60s and early ’70s and the youth culture becoming an industry.

Gannett News Service

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