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Download Reading MacbethAuthor Jo Nesbø –

He S The Best Cop They Ve GotWhen A Drug Bust Turns Into A Bloodbath It S Up To Inspector Macbeth And His Team To Clean Up The Mess He S Also An Ex Drug Addict With A Troubled PastHe S Rewarded For His Success Power Money Respect They Re All Within ReachBut A Man Like Him Won T Get To The TopPlagued By Hallucinations And Paranoia, Macbeth Starts To Unravel He S Convinced He Won T Get What Is Rightfully His Unless He Kills For It

10 thoughts on “Macbeth

  1. says:

    There is only so much a man can take before he gives in, before he breaks every tattooed oath and does everything absolutely everything he thought he would never do For eternal loyalty is inhuman and betrayal is human The Sam Worthington and Victoria Hill Scottish Gangster version of Macbeth 2006 is my favorite Macbeth and probably the closest cinematic version to this novel.Inverness.1970s.Setting Run down industrial town with toxic air and poisoned earth Crime is high as and of the population becomes addicted to an illicit drug called Brew, made in a witch s caldron I know, heavy, right Hecate is the drug lord who, behind the scenes, manipulates everything Duncan is the police commissioner All Hail Duncan.He is honest, and if given a chance, he will lead Inverness back to a happy better life So it all begins with a promotion that is given to a man named Macbeth He is the head of SWAT, but they want to move him up to head of Organized Crime It is a job that Mac Duff, his longest friend, has coveted The decision is based off the fact that everyone in positions of power have come from the well educated, upper classes Macbeth comes from the lower classes and was once completely strung out on Brew Hecate, always one to sense opportunity, dispatches the witch Strega to Macbeth to share a prophecy with him Hecate knows that Macbeth is the very guy he has been looking for to derail Duncan The only person predictable than a junkie or a moralist is a love smitten junkie and moralist Macbeth is love smitten, indeed, with the lovely woman who calls herself Lady Macbeth She has fiery red hair, elegance, and flair that makes men go weak in the knees She owns the casino in town, but her ambitions go way beyond controlling gambling She thinks Macbeth should listen to the prophecy and become police commissioner, but why stop there Why not mayor, as well All Hail Macbeth Double, double toil and trouble Fire burn, and cauldron bubble Macbeth must become someone else, someone he fought, conquered, and left bleeding in the gutter of his past He had to become that other Macbeth, the one he had buried so deep, that crazy flesh eating corpse he had sworn he would never be again To be that man, he needs brew He needs brew, sliding like silver snakes through his bloodstream, to give him the courage cowardice to kill Duncan Is this a dagger which I see before me Ambition achieved and yet unearned creates anxiety Who can rest easy on the bones of their enemies when they weren t truly their enemies, but good men deserving As Macbeth does and to friends who know too much and to those who simply stand in his way, Red feathers were stuck to the walls around them paranoia becomes his constant companion, and his weaknesses become evidence He is on a collision course with Duff, who becomes the only man who has a chance to stop him All Hail Duff Out of all the plays that I ve read by William Shakespeare, Macbeth is my favorite I haven t read them all so I do reserve the right to change my Shakespeare affiliation as I work my way through the Bard s amazing contribution to English Literature It turns out to be a terrible alliance, due to the fact that Lady and Macbeth spur each other s ambitions which, once achieved, turn out to be hollow and too highly priced The greed for power is strong, and like a drug, people can start to want , always chasing the feeling of that high when they first triumphed Inexplicably, I ve always liked Macbeth I find myself, whether it is a play, a movie, or this novel, rooting for him even though he isn t really that likeable I see the promise in him that is overcome by the evil in him I m always hopeful that some writer or movie producer will pull him back from the brink and set him down on a path to be the man I know he could be Of course, redemption is not the theme of the play, nor of any movie or book starring Macbeth He must be consumed by his own guilt and insecurities He must ultimately be destroyed by the weight of his misdeeds There are ghosts, witches, and playful uses of characters Seyton is transformed into some creature beyond the pale of human understanding Everything I ve read says that Shakespeare never intended the name Seyton to infer that he was Satan, but where the Bard may have let the opportunity flitter away in rewrites, Jo Nesbo did not Nesbo certainly has fun with the characters Caithness, a Scottish nobleman in the play, is cast as a woman in this novel, the lover of Duff Hecate is a witch in the play, but becomes a male drug lord in this novel Nesbo stays reasonably close to the original plot I loved the 2015 version of Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender.I m really impressed with the first volume I ve read in the Hogarth Shakespeare series Hogarth was the original press owned by Leonard and Virginia Woolf Next on my list will be Margaret Atwood s retelling of The Tempest The others in the series are Tracy Chevalier retelling Othello, Gillian FLynn retelling Hamlet, Howard Jacobson retelling The Merchant of Venice, Edward St Aubyn retelling King Lear, Anne Tyler retelling The Taming of the Shrew, and Jeanette Winterson retelling The Winter s Tale If they have not commissioned your favorite play yet, stay tuned This novel was a bloody blast I set aside all other books to focus on reading it over the weekend and found it, frankly, invigorating Shakespeare made into a page turner If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  2. says:

    A seagull swept in over Fife through the silence and moonlight under a cloud free night sky Below, the river shone like silver On the west of the river like an immense fortress wall a steep black mountain rose to the sky Without any prologue and lengthy introductions, I must tell you that this book is a masterpiece It has the status of a classic, the making of a novel that will defy time Nesb took the masterpiece by William Shakespeare and elevated it to new heights If you follow my reviews, you know that I have two obsessions Wuthering Heights and Macbeth I never thought I d say that another writer would come to rival the greatness of the Scottish Play but there you have it Sacrilege verified.Nesb sets the action in Scotland, during the 70 s and we are transported into the fickle, cruel world of casinos, the drug market and the universe of high crime Everything is masterfully crafted to reflect Shakespeare s world Macbeth is the head of the SWAT unit, Lady is the owner of a quality casino, Banquo is Macbeth s mentor The Norse Riders gang is the main rival and Hecate is the mob boss who appears to move the strings and direct the characters fate See what Nesb did there I think you do and I tell you it is a marvelous stance He shows how Fate arms Macbeth s hand and the sequence of events is immediate The consequences unavoidable and irreversible The king of hearts and the queen of spades That evening they met under an evil moon As in the original material, the finest scenes are the ones between Macbeth and Lady Dare I say that their relationship in Nesb s retelling is even fleshed out and poignant Well, I do because it s the truth If you love this frighteningly alluring couple in the Bard s play, you will fall head over heels for them in this novel Macbeth is perfectly drawn He s slightly malicious and ruthless than his Shakespearean counterpart but this is to be expected given the setting and the direction of the story Because of Hecate s brew, Macbeth s visions start early and they are striking The depiction of his guilt and the emotional toil of his actions, his steady descent into despair, his surrendering to his fate is a devastating process to read and knowing the outcome makes it even worse, it makes it even powerful I sleepwalk in the darkest night without hurting myself Lovely LadyShe is brilliant, as fascinating and dangerous as the Queen of Scotland And do you know what I enjoyed the most The fact that in Nesb s version, Lady is a powerful woman who has come into her own without taking orders and shfrom men She is experienced, intelligent than Macbeth Their relationship is balanced and loving yet, she doesn t need him to define her as a person She is not his queen, she is a woman who has forged herself through fire and steel and takes responsibility of her own choices And in this version, she is granted a number of redeeming qualities that are absolutely absent in the original play Sleep no Macbeth is murdering sleep I cannot say much because spoilers are lurking Even though we all know the original story, Nesb has created quite a few twists and turns that forbid me to say much It s a joy to be able to recognise the exact scenes from the Bard s play, the monologues and the famous quotes within the context of Nesb s story, to pinpoint the parallel lines between the two works The bleak atmosphere of Scotland, the fact that most of the action takes place during the night, the frenetic 70 s vibe mirror the spirit of Macbeth to perfection I didn t expect such a successful adaptation of Shakespeare s quotes into contemporary language without sacrificing their beauty, their impact, their significance So major congratulations to Don Bartlett for the translation from the original Norwegian The interactions are as solemn and as natural as they can be and the prose is rich in a distinct, dark Nordic beauty.Naturally, I knew of Nesb but I ve never read any of his novels I didn t let my expectations rise too much prior to reading this but to say that I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement Nesb took the Nordic heritage and the dark Scottish setting and remained faithful to the original source Without presuming to be equal to the Bard, full of respect and obviously aware of the tremendous responsibility, he created a work that would make William Shakespeare proud So, read it, dearest friends This is the best retelling of Shakespeare s work that we will ever come to know in our time I owe it hell on earth Many thanks to Penguin Random House, Hogarth UK and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange of an honest review,My reviews can also be found on

  3. says:

    You re a better man than me, Macbeth Jo Nesbo s Macbeth is his contribution to the Hogarth Shakespeare Project This book started slowly for me Which is funny because the book opens to action but nevertheless it was S L O W There is a lot going on all at once and there are a lot of characters with their own agendas I found I put this book down a lot in the beginning and turned to other books but kept coming back to this one As I said I struggled in the beginning of this book as it was slow, but it didn t stay that way This Mash up of Nesbo and Shakespeare was quite entertaining After the first couple of chapters I was hooked This book kind of snuck up on me If you struggle in the beginning of this book as I did, stay with it, it s worth it as Nesbo unleashes his re telling of Macbeth as only he can It s gritty, dark and addictive once you get past the beginning It s never what you want to do, but what you have to do Set in the 1970 s, this book focuses on a police force attempting to shed its drug problem A dangerous drug lord named Hecate has high connections in the city and will use them to get what he wants absolute power He is manipulative and clever Macbeth is a man with demons He has addiction issues and is prone to violence and paranoia He also just so happens to be the head of the SWAT team Hecate s plan involves manipulating Macbeth while putting him in a position of power Hecate also owns one of the two casinos in the rainy industrial town which serves as the setting for this book The other casino is owned by Macbeth s girlfriend, Lady A last desperate act which, seen from the outside, is a sacrifice, but which deep down you hope will be rewarded with the forgiveness of your sins and opening of heaven s gates A drug bust goes wrong at the beginning of the book and Macbeth and Duff, his childhood friend need to clean up the mess It s not long after that drug bust when power, greed and guilt come into play Ambitions can and do get the worst of people in this book In one way or another various characters owe others debts and call them in Soon greed, ambition, corruption, backstabbing, lies, murder, love, guilt and the need to be the top dog in the city get the best of many characters.Nesbo puts his personal touches on Macbeth focusing on political ambition, greed, murder, and police procedures and corruption I thought Nesbo s re telling was clever, entertaining and intelligent Nesbo s Macbeth was well written and well thought out I can t imagine how much work it took to write such a re telling I think he pulled off the re telling brilliantly I believe fans of Shakespeare s Macbeth will appreciate this book and also people who have not read Shakespeare s Macbeth will enjoy Nesbo s re telling In other words, I do not believe you need to be familiar with the original work to enjoy this version.Thank you to Crown Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review See More of my reviews at

  4. says:

    Jo Nesbo, with his Scandi Noir credentials, reinterprets Shakespeare s Macbeth within the provinces of a police force in the 1970s in a bleak declining town riven with gang warfare, drug addiction, corruption and all other manner of darkest deeds and where little differentiates the cops from the criminals This novel mostly follows the trajectory of the original play, albeit in a suitably blood drenched and twisted fashion Nesbo gives us a tale of ruthless political ambition, betrayal, treachery and murder, with a mesmerising and compelling antihero in the ex drug addict, Macbeth, as the head of the heavily armoured SWAT team with a troubled past from which he was rescued by Banquo The Police Commissioner is none other than Duncan, with Malcolm as his deputy and Duff heads the Narcotics unit Recently promoted after a policing debacle, Macbeth has a skill and penchant for daggers despite the armoury of weapons at his disposal There is an intense, heavily atmospheric, menacing setting of a rain sodden anarchic town, infested with a dense, poisonous, and ominous mist providing the perfect background to the rivers of blood that are unleashed in Macbeth s path to power.The manipulative Hecate is a drug lord serving up the addictive and lethal crack like brew that so many need and cannot exist without His witches seduce the insecure power hungry Macbeth with the prophetic promise of the highest office of Police Commissioner, providing he leaves the drug business alone Macbeth is egged on by the casino owner and his love, Lady, but needs to partake of the brew to access the murkier qualities of his younger self to find the courage required to stab Duncan in his sleep, whilst laying the blame elsewhere Macbeth succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, but all is not well The delusional Macbeth s life begins to unravel at a startling rate with the rising tide of the dead as he descends into a drug fuelled psychotic haze of paranoia and hallucinations where everyone is suspect and a threat that has to be eradicated If you are familiar with the play, then you will be aware of where all this is heading, although not quite perhaps in the way you might expect Nesbo succeeds in providing us with a thrilling version of a contemporary reworking of Macbeth, which is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, having first studied it at school However, if you are in search of a tale that is anchored in reality, then you are doomed to be sorely disappointed To get the most out of this retelling, you will need to suspend your disbelief on a number of occasions I have seen many versions of Macbeth in a variety of settings through the years, Nesbo s Macbeth stacks up well with the best of them It had me reading as fast as I could, desperate to find out how it all ends Highly entertaining and providing you are not a purist, highly recommended Many thanks to Random House Vintage for an ARC.

  5. says:

    King of Norwegian crime fiction soaked in blood, Jo Nesb is the perfect choice for a retelling of Shakespeare s Macbeth.I say this having listened to Jo s adrenaline pumping The Snowman, The Leopard, Phantom, Police and The Son.I m in good company James Shapiro has been teaching Shakespeare at Columbia University for nearly 40 years and his New York Times review of the novel is glowing One of the pleasures of reading this book is watching Nesb meet the formidable challenge of assimilating elements of the play unsuited to realistic crime fiction, especially the supernatural the witches, prophecies, visions, and the mysterious figure of Hecate As the 11th century of Shakespeare s Scotland contained those hair raising supernatural elements so in the 1970s of Jo Nesb s unnamed Scottish city resembling Glasgow we have that all too familiar part of our modern world hard drugs And Jo adds to the list yet another eerie, freaky, mind bender Brew, complements of Hecate and his three sinister assistants I can see why some readers, even Jo Nesb fans, might give up on the novel they simply have not read far enough The action is always brisk but it really kicks into signature spellbinding Jo Nesb gear AFTER the murder of Duncan Holy Hogarth Shimmering Shakespeare What a difference Jo does it again this time a page turner fueled by murder after murder after murder By remaining faithful to the broad outline of the Bard s tragic play, Jo s Macbeth just might tally murder victims than a fistful of his Harry Hole novels combined.I trust everyone knows the story from high school English class so I ll make a quick shift to a number of Jo s creative highlights that make this novel one fabulous adaptation HECATEPowerful drug lord, the Invisible Hand who rules the city As diabolical old man Hecate reflects You have to make sure you becomes a god yourself It is easier than you might think The obstacle to most people achieving god like status is that they are afraid and superstitious, and in their anxiety ridden submission they believe there is a morality, a set of heaven sent rules that apply to all people No doubt about it, Jo Nesb s focus is on human psychology and morality, the conflict between a thirst for power versus conscience and a sense of humanity and decency One example of Hecate in action he demands a young boy addict cut out his own eye in exchange for a bag of Brew THREE WITCHES Double, double toil and trouble Hecate has Strega, a creepy fortunetelling man woman and two sisters with disease ravaged faces he found in an opium den in Bangkok A la Shakespeare s play, the sisters add toads glands, bumblebee wings and juice from rats to come up with their instantly addictive, super high, hallucination producing cocaine concoction of Brew bubbling in a huge caldron in Hecate s secret laboratory NORSE RIDERSArmed to the teeth drug dealing motorcycle gang wearing their leather jackets and displaying their tattoos Sweno, head of the Norse Riders, is a born killer who sets the tone for the gang raising hell and committing murder as the ultimate high POLICE AND MORE POLICEThe city s factories, warehouses and offices are nearly all shut down and boarded up The unemployment rate soars Meanwhile, in addition to the regular police, there s the Forensic Unit, Narco Unit, Homicide Unit, Gang Unit, Organized Crime Unit and SWAT Atop this massive structure is Chief Commissioner Duncan, a good man whose primary aim is to clean up the city and bring back jobs along with a sense of civic pride But, but but treachery, treason, corruption, double dealing and power games within the force abound MACBETHUnlike Shakespeare s play, the shortest of his tragedies, Jo Nesb s 500 page novel provides ample opportunity to delve into the backstory of his characters, including Macbeth Macbeth had a terrible childhood raised in an orphanage, he was repeatedly sexually abused by the warden Jo also adds many strokes of color a one time circus performer, Macbeth is an expert with a dagger as a youth prior to joining the police, Macbeth was a drug addict Macbeth was in love with Meredith, a young beauty who later left him to marry his dearest friend Duff Macduff in Shakespeare.As Chief Commissioner, urged on by Lady, Macbeth increasingly feels all the pressure He must steel his nerves and resolve since his old insecurity in being raised as an orphan returns Macbeth needs help, chemical help, that it Macbeth turns to Hecate to fulfill his need Brew Ah, Macbeth has the perfect balance of medication and feels the power surging through his heart and brain Now nothing can stop Macbeth He can even deal with the ghosts he starts seeing both during the day and in his dreams at night.Alas, there s another consequence of snorting Brew it makes the user paranoid Here s Macbeth telling Lady about Banquo, the man who brought him into the police force in the first place He loved me like a father loves a son, but that love turned to hatred when he drank the poison of envy I passed him on the way up, and instead of him being my boss I became his And as well as obeying my orders he has had to tolerate the unspoken contempt of his very own blood Fleance, who has seen his father bow his head to the cuckoo in the nest, Macbeth Double toil and trouble if paranoia goes too far, everybody you come in contact with becomes a threat, an enemy And if the paranoid individual has unlimited power, watch out The ultimate solution murder.LADYIn the novel, Lady Macbeth is always Lady Lady isn t so much a wife for Macbeth as she is the ravishing beauty with her long flowing red hair nice touch, Jo Lady as the ultimate Femme Fatale Similar to Macbeth, Lady s backstory isn t pretty she was also brutalized and abused as a child But what Lady lacks in background, she makes up in intelligence, cunning and ambition Lady is the owner of a large, luxurious casino hotel, The Inverness, in the heart of the city Unlike the Bard s play, Macbeth and Lady only go back a few years Their love still burns bright, an intoxicating flame.For fans of Shakespeare and or fans of Jo Nesb , Macbeth is a must read It is a long novel but well worth the investment of time and energy And if you enjoy audio books, there s good news Euan Morton provides an excellent narration of the book using a Scottish accent Again, I can t stress enough don t give up on the novel too soon as the action truly revs up beginning one hundred pages in, in Chapter 10, with the murder of Duncan.Jo Nesb , born 1960Macbeth speaking to Seyton You re not born of woman, you were made Made of bad dreams, evil and whatever it is that wants to break and destroy Jo Nesb , Macbeth

  6. says:

    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Jo Nesb , Hogarth, and Crown Publishing for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.Contributing to the Hogarth Shakespeare collection, Jo Nesb has created a modern retelling of the Bard s Macbeth Set around 1970, the story opens with a police raid on a local gang running narcotics When the authorities bungle things exquisitely, leaving blood and bodies scattered around the clubhouse, heads must roll within the police force During the shake up, Macbeth is brought on as the new head of Organised Crime, set to turn his men into a respectable arm of the force Learning of her husband s new position, Lady Macbeth encourages her husband to continue his climb, which is further supported by a high level crime boss, Hecate During one of Macbeth s visits to Hecate, three substance altered prostitutes foresee Macbeth s rise to the position of Chief Commissioner, at the top of the entire police force With a number of officials ahead of him, Macbeth is unsure how he will accomplish this, happy to run Organised Crime for the time being Lady Macbeth can see a clear path to the top and knows her husband has it in him, if only he will bend the rules to better his chances She convinces her husband to murder the current Chief Commissioner and frame another official, which he agrees to do while under the influence of narcotics From there, one murder begets others to cover up the trail being left Even when the sought after position is achieved, neither Macbeth or his wife are satisfied However, their paranoia force cover ups and the need to constantly look over their shoulders It would seem that power is the most addictive drug of all, one that cannot be sated by a simple snort or needle Might the rise to power lead to a devastating crash into oblivion Nesb weaves quite the tale, using the framework Shakespeare made famous, providing his fans and those who enjoy the Bard s work quite a great story Hogarth did well picking Nesb to explore this dark tale Nesb has quite a dark side when writing for his adult audience, though is also well versed in creating police thrillers that keep the reader engaged Some love his writing as well as the darker side of crime that emerges from the narrative while others find his work too dense to enjoy, as it is not easily digested I found myself straddling both camps here, though was able to forge ahead when I gained enough momentum and time to read Macbeth is, of course a central character in the piece and Nesb does a wonderful job portraying this man as someone who is in touch with his passions, but soon becomes swept up by all the power that is laid at his feet One can only presume that it is the influence of his power hungry wife and the influence of narcotics that led him down such a difficult path, one that would be paved in gold, only to reveal tarnished brass by the end of the book Other characters emerge to support and block Macbeth s climb to power, adding depth and flavour to the narrative, including those who see Macbeth for the corrupt leader he becomes The story is strong and ties nicely into the original narrative laid out over four centuries ago Using the same characters and most of their fates, Nesb stays true while also modernising the story in an effective manner Fans of Shakespeare will surely find their own weaknesses, but in an effort to entertain effectively, Nesb is spot on with his storytelling Mixing short and longer chapters, the reader is able to develop a connection to the story and its characters, as long as a steady momentum is kept As with all Nesb pieces, the translation does not take away from the power of the message found within and, if anything, provides an even stronger piece.Kudos, Mr Nesb , for another excellent piece of writing While your style is an acquired taste, those with the patience for it are surely in for a wonderful adventure Like hate the review An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge

  7. says:

    What a cast of ruthless psychotic killers

    Is anyone NOT a cold blooded assassin in Jo Nesbo s reimagined take of Shakespeare s MACBETH Is there even a hero to root for Well, you ll have to read it to find out Having not experienced the classic myself, I have nothing to compare to, but will surely be reading it sooner than later My interest is now peaked

    DARK and DEADLY from start to finish, I could not believe the betrayals.the backstabbing.the threats.the blackmail.the corruption, or the NUMEROUS egotistical power hungry political types No human, regardless of age, is exempt from murderous beware, some parts are pretty tough to take.

    I did have my ups and downs with this novel At times, it felt a bit long and wordy, but then Nesbo would throw in another bizarre character type or development and I was hooked again.

    As the story begins, it s s ALWAYS overcast and rainy in the small polluted town of 6,000 There s a wasteland of industrial factory closings and no jobs.except in the two rivalry casinos or law enforcement.or unless, of course, you re a drug lord or dealing junkie.

    AND NOW, after 25 years, corrupt Police Commissioner Kenneth is finally dead, and it seems everyone is vying for his job or others that will become available bc of anticipated change.thus the battle for power begins Who can clean up the town Is there a savior

    Just remember, no one can be trusted in Nesbo s MACBETH and there s much going on here.lots of strange characters to follow I have not even made mention of the Norse Riders, the mysterious Lady Macbeth, other worldly beings that took me by surprise .or the ending, hehehe, but enough said already If Nesbo is your man, you have a little patience, and you re in the mood for a treacherously creative tale, you ll like this one.

    Many thanks to NetGalley and CROWN PUBLISHING for the ARC COMING APRIL 10, 2018 in exchange for my review.

  8. says:

    2.5 hazy, lazy, Tarantino stars Second Most Disappointing Read of 2018 Award Like a Tarantino film this has blood, gore, lots and lots of action, hot babes, strong dudes and kept you entertained from beginning to end I am not sure that this is what I wanted from a re telling of Macbeth I found this book lazy and hazy Characters that had no depth, cheap psycho babble explanations and tons of conveniences that would just pop up to carry the quick plot along.On a beach this might be great fun but as a modern adaptation of a masterwork I found it severely lacking Yes I liked it, yes I really did but I cannot in good conscience give it than 2.5 stars I will give Nesbo another go at some point but I wished he had worked much harder on this one.

  9. says:

    3.5 starsThe Hogarth Shakespeare project invites current writers to update Shakespeare s plays, setting them in modern times with modern characters Macbeth by Jo Nesb is a retelling of Shakespeare s play Macbeth , which was set in the Middle Ages The original story centers around a high ranking Scottish military leader named Macbeth who urged on by his ambitious wife Lady Macbeth secretly murders the King so he can take the throne Afterwards, the usurper becomes a murderous tyrant who orders the death of anyone who opposes him or threatens his power I ll admit that to refresh my memory before reading Nesb s book I watched the 2010 movie Macbeth starring Sir Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood Nesb s retelling of Macbeth, set in the early 1970 s, substitutes the police department of a downtrodden European city for the Scottish royal court In Nesb s story, Macbeth is the head of a SWAT team who persuaded by his girlfriend Lady murders the police department s Chief Commissioner to take over his position Macbeth then engineers the death of anyone who suspects him of murder or endangers his position Macbeth, in a magnificent feat of self delusion, asserts that his ultimate goal is to clean up the city, wipe out corruption, and help the people many of whom are addicted to a cocaine like drug called Brew Unknown to Macbeth, however, his ascension to Chief Commissioner as well as his ongoing ambitions are being covertly manipulated by a major drug lord drug manufacturer called Hecate..who wants Macbeth in his pocket In fact Macbeth himself soon becomes addicted to Brew..and later to an even stronger drug called Power LOL Macbeth has no loyalty and no conscience Early in the story Macbeth orders the death of Banquo, a father figure who took Macbeth in when he was a homeless teenage addict..and cleaned him up Later on, Macbeth sends his henchmen to wipe out Duff, a steadfast friend from childhood who saved Macbeth from a child predator in their orphanage No evil is too base for Macbeth, who s ultimately responsible for the murders of numerous men, women, children..and a baby Though Macbeth s depravity is off the charts, he stoically claims that in the long run it s for the public good All manner of things are seen in this book, including ghost appearances witches spying double dealing gambling drug snorting a motorcycle gang gatling gun massacres sleepwalking adultery a demon and There s a wide variety of action and intrigue.and even a bit of seduction and romance Overall, Nesb s book or less faithfully follows the trajectory of the original play, so if you re familiar with that you ll have an idea of what happens Jo Nesb is the best selling author of the Harry Hole detective series about a troubled, alcoholic Norwegian cop whose cases always involve gruesome murders Thus, it s natural for Nesb who seems very familiar with the politics of law enforcement to set his updated Macbeth in the environs of a police force.Nesb s tale is well written, compelling, and held my attention throughout That said, the book feels overlong with so many murders and battles that they feel repetitive Moreover, the continuous treachery and barbarity becomes hard to stomach for me.Nevertheless, I d recommend Nesb s Macbeth to readers who enjoy Shakespeare the Hogarth series and or thrillers It s well worth reading Thanks to Netgalley, the author Jo Nesb , and the publisher Knopf Canada for a copy of the book You can follow my reviews at

  10. says:

    I always think Macbeth is one of the most memorable of William Shakespeare s plays It has some of the most quotable quotes and outstanding characters Who can forget Lady Macbeth washing her hands over and over, and that great scene on the moor with the three witches and the cauldron Well Jo Nesb takes all that and the rest and makes it into the best book However it is not a light read There are many long, descriptive passages and the characters frequently dwell at length on their own particular ambitions or failures To counteract this there is a heap of action, murders than you can count, and the constant references to the original play which are just so well done.I loved the setting of a dark, depressing northern industrial town I admired the way Jo Nesb managed to weave things like the witch s prophecies into his tale, especially the one about Birnham Wood That was amusingly clever I liked the way he kept each character so close to the way Shakespeare wrote them in mannerisms and ambitions even when he changed their gender I liked it all very much In fact I am enjoying this whole Hogarth series very much Looking forward to King Lear next