Labyrinth. Tracing Harry Hole

Join Jo Nesbø’s alcohol-prone, authority hating and intelligent detective into an exhibition labyrinth exploring one of the most popular and best-selling crime series of our contemporary cultural history.

Opening hours

From June 20th to November 5th
Monday–Friday 9am–9pm. Saturday: 10am–6pm. Sunday: Closed.

About the exhibition

The Italian author Umberto Eco saw the labyrinth as the perfect model for the crime novel. Both lead us in various directions until we finally face the monster – and the solution to the riddle. In this exhibition at the National Library of Norway, a red thread guides visitors down dead ends and through hidden spaces where you can discover Harry Hole’s unique investigative techniques. Along the way, you can explore big issues such as crime and punishment, evil and guilt, against the backdrop of Norwegian society and the big city.

The exhibits range from a reader’s report on the manuscript of the very first book in the series to an as yet unpublished Harry Hole novel. The publisher’s initial assessment of Jo Nesbø’s potential as an author is also on display. Visitors can get to know Harry Hole himself through facial composite drawings by courtroom artist Harald Nygård, playlists of Harry’s favourite songs, “fan art”, and a CV of the detective produced by Harvill Secker, Nesbø’s UK publisher.

Alongside the world of Harry Hole, the exhibition features criminal records and portraits from the 19th century and police crime scene photographs, providing historical context for Nesbø’s fictional depictions of criminal investigation work.

The first Harry Hole novel appeared 25 years ago this year, and the 13th instalment in the series will be published this autumn. The books rank among the most popular crime fiction series in recent history, both in Norway and worldwide, and have done much to establish Nordic Noir as its own subgenre. The series has been translated into more than 50 languages and sold in 180 countries around the world.

Curator: Janne Stigen Drangsholt
Exhibition manager: Marte-Kine Sandengen
Design: Nissen Richards Studio

Languages: Norwegian (bokmål) and English
Information in Norwegian

Explore the exhibition