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Cockroaches

Cover of Cockroaches

Cockroaches

Harry Hole Series, Book 2
by Jo Nesbo
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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  • From the book

    1

    Tuesday, January 7

    The traffic lights changed to green, and the roar from lorries, cars, motorbikes and tuk-tuks rose higher and higher until Dim could see the glass in Robinson's department store vibrating. Then the queues starte moving and the shop window displaying the long, red silk dress was lost behind them in the darkness.

    She took a taxi. Not a packed bus or a tuk-tuk riddled with rust but a taxi with air conditioning and a driver who kept his mouth shut. She leaned back against the headrest and tried to enjoy the ride. No problem. A moped shot past and a girl on the pillion clinging to a red T-shirt with a visor helmet gave them a vacant look. Hold on tight, Dim thought.

    On Rama IV Road the driver pulled in behind a lorry spewing exhaust fumes so thick and black she couldn't see the number plate. After passing through the air-conditioning system the exhaust was chilled and almost odorless.

    Almost. She wafted her hand discreetly to show her reaction, and the driver glanced in his mirror and moved into the outside lane. No problem.

    This was how her life had always been. On the farm where she had grown up she had been one of six girls. Six too many, according to her father. She had been seven years old when they stood coughing in the yellow dust and waving as the cart carrying her eldest sister trundled down the country road alongside the brown canal water. Her sister had been given clean clothes, a train ticket to Bangkok and an address in Patpong written on the back of a business card, and she had cried like a waterfall, even though Dim had waved so hard it felt as if her hand would fall off. Her mother had patted her on the head and said it wasn't easy, but it wasn't that bad, either. At least her sister wouldn't have to wander from farm to farm as a kwai, as her mother had done before she got married. Besides, Miss Wong had promised she would take good care of her. Her father had nodded, spat betel juice from between black teeth and added that the farangs in the bars would pay well for fresh girls.

    Dim hadn't understood what her mother meant by kwai, but she wasn't going to ask. She knew, of course, that a kwai was a bull. Like most people on the farms around them, they couldn't afford a bull, so they hired one of the ones that circulated the district when the rice paddy had to be ploughed. It was only later she found out that the girl who accompanied the bull was also called a kwai as her services formed part of the deal. That was the tradition. She hoped she would meet a farmer who would have her before she got too old.

    When Dim was fifteen her father had called her name as he waded across the paddy field with the sun behind him and his hat in hand. She hadn't answered at once; she had straightened up and looked hard at the green ridges around the small farm, closed her eyes and listened to the sound of the trumpeter bird in the leaves and inhaled the smell of eucalyptus and rubber trees. She had realized it was her turn.

    For the first year they had lived four girls to a room and shared everything: bed, food and clothes. The last of these was especially important, for without nice clothes you wouldn't get the best customers. She had taught herself to dance, taught herself to smile, taught herself to see which men only wanted to buy drinks and which wanted to buy sex. Her father had already agreed with Miss Wong that the money was to be sent home, so she didn't see much of it during the first few years, but Miss Wong was content and as time went by she kept more back for Dim.

    Miss Wong had reason to be content. Dim worked hard, and the...

About the Author-
  • Jo Nesbø's books have been translated into forty-seven languages. He is the author of the Harry Hole series, the latest of which is Police, as well as Headhunters and several children's books. He has received the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel. He is also a musician, songwriter, and economist and lives in Oslo.

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Cockroaches
Cockroaches
Harry Hole Series, Book 2
Jo Nesbo
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