In this continuing
saga of police inspector super sleuth, Harry Hole, Norwegian novelist Jo Nesbø
has given readers another page-turner.
The novel begins with a quote from Isaiah
63:1, which refers to a foreigner from Edom, wearing garments stained crimson. This
provides the reader with a wee clue concerning one of the main protagonists—or
is he an antagonist?—in the novel.
Redeemer, like many, if not all of Nesbø’s novels, contains a rather
complex plot, or series of plots, with numerous characters—elevating the drama,
and keeping readers on the edge of their seats, wondering how the unraveling
story will reach each conclusion.
As usual, Harry Hole, the hero is portrayed
as the maverick, unpredictable inspector who breaks most, if not all of the
standard rules and regulations to solve the case. His colleagues and superiors
are constantly, sometimes simultaneously offended and amazed by Hole. Hole has
deep insights into human nature, figuring out motives and predicting behaviours
when others are stumped. Yet he is also portrayed as a rather troubled soul,
plagued by broken relationships and personal demons.
The story ebbs and flows around three major
protagonists, or are they antogonists?—two of them are brothers and members of
the Salvation Army, Jon and Robert Karlsen. The third one is a professional
killer from Croatia. The action begins when Robert Karlsen is killed by
Nesbø keeps readers guessing about who the
redeemer is and who are numbered among the redeemed by his concept of the
book’s title. If you enjoy murder mysteries, I recommend that you read the
novel to find out what happens next.
Here is my article
published in the May 4, 2017 Camrose Canadian Clergy Comment column.
Last Sunday was the third Sunday of Easter.
The gospel reading was Luke 24:13-35, the story of two followers of Jesus,
Cleopas and an unnamed one. They are journeying from Jerusalem to a village
named Emmaus, walking and talking about the passion and death of Jesus, looking
sad and trying to process their grief.
Suddenly the risen Jesus appears and engages
them in a conversation. Yet, ironically, they don’t realize it’s Jesus. In
their conversation with Jesus there are words of sorrow, disappointment, and
uncertainty. Jesus then provides them with a brilliant interpretation of the
scriptures, fulfilled prophecies concerning himself and the recent events. They
arrive at Emmaus and invite Jesus in to eat with them. As they share a meal together,
Luke tells us that “their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.”
Afterwards they reflect on their encounter with Jesus, recalling how their
hearts were burning within them as Jesus opened up the scriptures to them.
Each one of us is also on an Emmaus road
journey. We, like those two followers of Jesus, travel through all of the
different stages of the journey. As life events unfold, we move from adventure,
joy and contentment through to sorrow, grief, doubt, despair and
disappointment. Our eyes are kept from recognizing Jesus—even though he walks
with us on our Emmaus road.
We, like the two followers of Jesus, miss
him as we journey through the daily events of our lives. Yet he is there with
us, speaking through the people we encounter and the activities of each day.
Sometimes our fears, doubts and disappointments prevent us from understanding
the scriptures. Even then, Christ is with us and leads us through every stage
of our Emmaus road journey.
No matter how hopeless, hurt and uncertain
we may feel, Jesus refuses to give up on us. His love is always there for us.
We, like those two followers of Jesus on the road to Emmaus have much to learn
as we journey on. We, like they, need his word and his meal, the Lord’s Supper,
to open our hearts, minds and lives so that we see him with us in our life and
As the events of the world and the church
continue to unfold, our calling as followers of Jesus is clear. We, like
Christians throughout the centuries are called to proclaim and live the words:
“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!” For we are a resurrection
people, even in the most hopeless situations individually, as well as in the
church and the world can become hopeful—thanks to the risen Christ!
God: Long ago you breathed life and hope into your chosen people, and delivered them out of exile. You also show compassion to those who grieve the loss of loved
ones, and promise them new life with a hopeful future. Help us to show
compassion for those who are grieving in our midst, and to be bearers of your
grace; through Jesus Christ, our cross-bearing Messiah, who lives and reigns
with you and the life-breathing Spirit, one God, now and forever.