Harry Hole is the protagonist in a series of crime thrillers by Norwegian Jo Nesbø. A detective in the Oslo Police Department, Harry is usually tolerated by his superiors and colleagues despite his [[TheAlcoholic habitual alcoholism]] and [[CowboyCop unorthodox methods]] because he is a brilliant detective. The first two novels in the series are set in respectively Australia and Thailand, while all the subsequent ones largely take place in and around Oslo. The series has been translated into several languages, reaching bestseller status in Britain and Germany, and contains ten novels so far:

* 1997 – ''Flaggermusmannen''; English translation: ''The Bat'' (2012)
* 1998 – ''Kakerlakkene''; English translation: ''Cockroaches'' (2013)
* 2000 – ''Rødstrupe''; English translation: ''The Redbreast'' (2006)
* 2002 – ''Sorgenfri''; English translation: ''Nemesis'' (2008)
* 2003 – ''Marekors''; English translation: ''The Devil's Star'' (2005)
* 2005 – ''Frelseren''; English translation: ''The Redeemer'' (2009)
* 2007 – ''Snømannen''; English translation: ''The Snowman'' (2010)
* 2009 – ''Panserhjerte''; English translation: ''The Leopard'' (2011)
* 2011 – ''Gjenferd''; English translation: ''Phantom'' (2012)
* 2013 - ''Politi''; English translation: ''Police'' (2013)

Don Bartlett did the translations, which did not appear in chronological order. The first novel in the series, ''The Bat'', finally appeared in English in late 2012, while ''Cockroaches'' showed up in late 2013 (making it the last of the first ten novels to be published in English). Additionally, for some reason, ''The Redeemer'' was not released in the United States until long after ''The Snowman'' and ''The Leopard'' were available.

Nesbø's strong anti-authoritarian streak and concern for [[DistressedDamsel women in peril]] have earned him comparisons to the [[Literature/TheMillenniumTrilogy Millenium Trilogy]] by the late Stieg Larsson, although Nesbø's work tends to be less overtly {{Anvilicious}} than Larsson's. His plotting has also been highly praised. ''The Redbreast'' was voted the best Norwegian crime novel of all time by a poll of Norwegian readers, and ''The Bat'' won the Glass Key award for Best Nordic Crime Novel.

!!Provides Examples Of:

* AbhorrentAdmirer / StalkerWithACrush: Truls Berntsen, to Bellmann's wife Ulla.
* AnyoneCanDie
* CorruptCop: There are quite a few. Harry is an aversion, however.
* CowboyCop: Harry himself.
* CrapsackWorld: Very much so, particularly when it comes to Harry's private life, and [[FromBadToWorse it gets worse]] as the series goes on.
* DefectiveDetective: Harry, of course.
* {{Determinator}}: Aside from the obvious example of Harry himself, there's his archenemy [[spoiler: Tom Waaler]]. In ''The Devil's Star'', [[spoiler: Harry escapes from him in an elevator, tearing his arm off with it in the process. Fifteen minutes later, Harry emerges from the basement of the building to find Waaler dead, leaning towards the window of the locked basement door. He descended four floors while bleeding horribly, expiring only when the locked door prevented him from reaching Harry.]]
* DrugsAreBad: It is highly unlikely that anyone who reads ''Phantom'' will have any desire to try opiates afterwards.
* FreudianExcuse: The killers in ''The Snowman'' and ''The Leopard'' both have them, but Nesbø makes it plain that this does not in any way absolve them of responsibility for their actions.
* MyGreatestFailure: Harry crashed a police car on a chase while intoxicated and got his partner killed, while he himself survived.
* KickedUpstairs: What kicks off the plot in ''The Redbreast.'' Harry commits a mistake during a critical state visit by the US President when he shot a Secret Agent; however the higher-ups do acknowledge that there was a problem with communications between the parties involved so they couldn't just kick him out.
* MoralityPet: His protege Ellen. So, [[spoiler: it comes as no surprise that Harry takes it hard after her death.]] [[spoiler: Her murder drives the underlying conflict in the Oslo Sequence and ultimately comes to a head in The Devil's Star.]]
* NeverSuicide: ''Nemesis'' [[spoiler: both subverts this and plays it straight: Anna Bethsen really did kill herself in a way she specifically designed to place as much suspicion on Harry and two of her other exes as possible. However, the murdered bank teller's brother-in-law, whom she was planning to run off with, was in fact murdered by a hit man hired by his brother. The inescapable conclusion is that all the crimes were committed as the result of love gone sour.]]
* NorseByNorsewest: Averted in the novels that are set in Oslo, which is portrayed as full of druggies, neo-Nazis, prostitutes, corrupt policemen and [[CorruptCorporateExecutive businessmen]], and the occasional SerialKiller.
* OffTheWagon: Harry's a recovering alcoholic, but falls off frequently, especially whenever he goes through something traumatic.
* RapeAndRevenge: Turns out to be a driving force of the plot of ''Phantom'', along with a liberal amount of DrugsAreBad. Results in a major DownerEnding. [[spoiler:Gusto sold his adoptive sister Irene as a SexSlave in exchange for drugs. When Oleg finds out about this, he kills him.]]
* RapeAsDrama: Happens at least three times, due in no small part to the CrapsackWorld setting.
* TheStoic: A rather large number of the sympathetic characters. Averted by [[TheAlcoholic Hole himself]], though, who is frequently driven to [[DrowningMySorrows drown his sorrows]].
* SerialKiller: A recurring trope, as Harry is one the very few people in Norway who has direct experience with serial killers. Played straight in ''The Bat'' and ''The Snowman'', but subverted in [[spoiler: ''The Devil's Star'']] (and, to a lesser extent, [[spoiler: ''The Leopard'']]), where the killer turns out to have a rational motive.
* [[spoiler: ThanatosGambit: Harry pulls one]] at the end of ''Gjenferd''. [[spoiler:Subverted, obviously, by there being another novel after it, [[SpoiledByTheFormat implying that he survives]]. Nesbø also revealed in interviews around this time that Harry was not dead, and a careful reading of the passage of the book from the mother rat's perspective reveals that Harry's heart is still beating]].
* ShoutOut: The literal translations of ''Flaggermusmannen'' and ''Rødstrupe'' are ''Bat Man'' and ''Robin''. ''Snømannen'' translates to ''Snow Man'' (Mr. Freeze?)
* YourCheatingHeart: The murderer of ''The Snowman'' [[spoiler:targets unfaithful women. His FreudianExcuse is discovering his own mother cheating as a teenager]].