The killer of Stacey Burns always is lurking just beneath the surface of my mind. Almost every book I read has something that makes me think of that case and the person who took Stacey’s life.

Jo Nesbo has created a superb character in his Inspector Harry Hole series. Harry is a homicide detective with a deeply philosophical outlook, an attitude he expresses with humor, pathos, and compassion. As I read The Bat, the first in the series, I thought of the murderer yet again when Harry talks about murderers in general.

“At first, I saw myself as a kind of knight dispensing justice,” Harry says, “but at times I feel more like a refuse collector. Murderers are generally pitiful sorts and its seldom difficult to point to at least ten good reasons why they turned out as they did. Usually what you feel most is frustration, frustration that they can’t be happy destroying their own lives instead of dragging other down with them.”

Who would not agree that the murderer of Stacey Burns is indeed a pitiful sort? He or she couldn’t be happy with destroying his or her own life but had to take Stacey  as well. What a pathetic excuse for a human being!

By the way, I recommend Jo Nesbo’s book highly. He is truly gifted.