Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Topical Term: Drug traffic
Nineteen seventies
Suspense fiction
Publisher: New York : Hogarth, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, [2018]
Edition: First United States edition
ISBN: 9781781090268
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 446 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Shakespeare, William 1564-1616 Macbeth


Featured Blogs and Events

The Books My Friends Have Urged Me to Read

Navigating you through the best of our library collection. Via the recommendations of one very opinionated librarian. By Rebecca Colbert Head of Collection and Bibliographic Services at the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District A Note from the Editor: Welcome to our newest column, Literally, penned by the wise and witty Keeper of the Library Catalog, Rebecca Colbert.  As Head of… (more)

From Library Staff

The Norwegian crime writer emphasizes the noir aspects of Shakespeare’s tragedy by turning it into a fast-paced thriller about murder and corruption in 1970s Glasgow. The result has a sharp social edge as well as a timely political resonance.

bibliotom Oct 10, 2018

MacBeth is probably the most "cinematic" of Shakespeare's tragedies, with many short scenes and lots of dramatic motion. It's the perfect vehicle for Nesbø's adaptation, which is convincing and for most part faithful to the original. Instead of battling armies we have cops versus gang m... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 29, 2019

My highest compliment possible: reading Nesbo's rendition of "Macbeth" brought an even deeper appreciation for the original impact of Shakespeare. Nesbo's setting is perfect, a grotty 1970s industrial slum, rife with gangs and narcotics; his plot is faithful to the Scottish tragedy in very witty little ways, from the witches' prophecies to Lady's sleepwalking. It is a tale full of sound and fury, and might serve to remind us how brutal and blood-soaked a tale it is.

Jun 28, 2019

As others have said, an almost unreadable disappointment. To read or not to read - the latter forsooth.

Feb 12, 2019

Oh God....I was so disappointed in this silly book. Eye-rolling throughout. Couldn't get past the third-way mark. Cardboard characters, none of whom I cared about. Plot so predictable. I am a huge Nesbo fan so I really tried. Bring back Harry!

Feb 06, 2019

Plot. A police-detective retelling of the Scottish play.

Jan 05, 2019

I found it just a too cliche'd and stereotypical crime novel to appreciate any parallels to MacBeth. The villians just too obviously wicked, the "un-named" town just too post industrial decrepit and MacBeth too much of a he-man hero/anit-hero type. Painful. First three paragraphs were an example of spectacular writing though.

bibliotom Oct 10, 2018

MacBeth is probably the most "cinematic" of Shakespeare's tragedies, with many short scenes and lots of dramatic motion. It's the perfect vehicle for Nesbø's adaptation, which is convincing and for most part faithful to the original. Instead of battling armies we have cops versus gang members, and instead of ambiguous evil we have a nasty and addictive drug called "brew." It reads almost like a graphic novel, and more than once I thought I could see the Frank Miller production streaming from the pages.

Is it Nesbø's best? Well, no. But he obviously had a hell of a time writing it, and his glee shines through.

Aug 29, 2018

Set in an early 70’s, fictional city like a Gotham of the north, Macbeth is a well-imagined reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s tragedy about corruption and power in the city’s police force. We know what’s going to happen yet there is some tension in the story, because we don’t know how it will play out in Nesbo’s bizarre version. Nesbo is a very good writer and I admire this dark construction, but it’s emotionally flat. The characters range from unlikeable to repellant - even the wretched city is unlikeable - so we don’t empathize with any of them. We don’t care who gets killed or takes drugs or bribes. This is in stark contrast to his Harry Hole novels. Because we care about Harry and his struggles with his demons we’re invested in his survival and happiness and turn the pages with adrenaline pumping hoping he’ll be OK. In comparison, Macbeth is an intellectually satisfying read, but don’t expect to be moved by it.

Aug 26, 2018

A re-telling of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" as is so common now adays. The character names are the same, some of the famous lines from Shakespeare's Macbeth are included, and some character development is the same. However, there are differences - like the setting. Nesbo has set his novel in a small town plagued with pollution, closed factories, high unemployment, drug addicts as citizens, rival drug gangs, and a corrupt police force. Macbeth, Banquo, Duncan, Malcolm, and Lennox have responsible positions in the town's police force and each in their own way want to rid the town of the 2 drug gangs. Macbeth is involved with the owner of the town's casino - Lady. Nesbo's story follows the saying that power corrupts. Some of the characters are seekers of power and control while other characters are their followers - the doers. I think this novel based on Shakespeare's play is very clever. Nesbo, from his Harry Hole novels, incorporates in this story elements that he is very familiar with. This novel makes me want to re-see a production of Macbeth for a comparison of the ending. I noticed from the flyleaf that several other authors have used Shakespeare's plays as a basis for their own story. These too have been published by Hogarth Press. I would like to read these novels too.

Jul 01, 2018

A major disappointment. The Harry Hole series is outstanding - this is rubbish!

MegH_OshLib May 25, 2018

This book is by no means a light read, Macbeth is dense but in the best way. I was captivated from the get-go and loved every moment of my time reading it, every moment I spent among the walls of HQ and the Inverness. There are layers upon layers of character development throughout, many strings interwoven and working together to tie up the end we all know is coming. So of course, while I knew the story of Macbeth Jo Nesboø was still able to wow me at every turn of the page with his new telling.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LVCCLD

To Top