Maxine at Petrona has a list of crime fiction cliches to avoid here. I agree many of these have had their day but I do love the clash of an insubordinate detective dealing with a slow witted superior when it is done well. Andrea Camilleri, Donna Leon and now Jo Nesbo have mastered the skill of producing dialogue for the detective that teeters on the brink of rudeness.
In The Redeemer Jo Nesbo's latest novel to be translated into English Harry Hole has lost his protector Bjarne Moller and his replacement Gunnar Hagen is clearly not Harry's sort of policeman.
"But there is a third quality I prize even higher, Hole. Can you guess what it is?"
"No," Harry said in an even monotone.
Hagen goes on to lecture Harry about the Japanese conquest of Burma in 1942 based on their superior discipline, and mentions the Japanese shot soldiers who drank water outside drinking times.
"Not out of sadism, but because discipline is about excising the tumours at the outset. Am I making myself clear, Hole?"
Harry is dismissed but remains seated and Hagen asks.
"Anything else, Hole?"
"Mm, I was wondering. Didn't the Japanese lose the war?"