Walking along towards the Albert Halls in Stirling on Saturday to the latest event in the Bloody Scotland fest, the first thing to notice, and it was unavoidable, was the queue. Out the doors of the Albert Halls, round the paved area in front of the car park, and off down Dumbarton Road. I’m told that there has not been such a queue in Stirling, since Runrig’s farewell appearance. Not even the taxi queue in Barnton St on a Saturday night could rival it. To a person, everyone there was waiting to file in and see a rock star. But, hang on a mo, the demographic seemed a bit different to the usual rock concert queue. Jackets and Grecian 2000 were in evidence. And some pockets may well have held concessionary bus passes. (I know mine did).
So we were there to see a rock star but now he’s better known as Jo Nesbo, author of Nordic Noir crime fiction. As I took my seat in the balcony, it was already full downstairs, my over-riding question was – what next for his troubled gumshoe Harry Hole? Having just finished reading Phantom and leaving Harry in somewhat of a pickle to say the least i.e. it looked like it was curtains, would Nesbo now create a new character to go forward? The lights dimmed, the spots went up and there was Nesbo, dressed in black with very pointy shoes and a belt buckle that threatened to blind me when the lights caught it. Under questioning, he gave an account of his life so far: Footballer, Stockbroker, Rock star and then best selling Author. – Just another ordinary Jo(e) then. It seems that the character Harry Hole (or ‘Hyule’ as Nesbo says it) was originally a combination of an eccentric Norwegian football coach and Batman. The first Harry Hole book was published in 1997 and since then he’s been through some pretty tough moments. According to Nesbo, Harry is trying to be a better person than he really is, and when he is given a moral dilemma, it’s not always a given, what moral choice he will make. Nesbo sees the author’s role as providing about ten per cent of a book, with the reader supplying the rest and his books provide entertainment while using doses of politics and morality. There are also large chunks of blood, gore and violence. His book, the Snowman, is about to become a film, now to be produced it seems, by Martin Scorsese. However, Nesbo is adamant that a movie of a book, should not be a version of that book; it should be a good movie.
So what is the future for Harry Hole? Well, I know the answer to that question now. – But I’m not telling you. Go find out for yourself!