BOOK: The Snowman by Jo Nesbø (2011 US)

I recently walked by a local theater and saw a poster for a film called Headhunters that said it was based on a novel by Jo Nesbø.  That reminded me that I had a copy of another book by that author sitting in my to-read pile at home — this one, The Snowman.  As it turns out, the latter is part of a series featuring a gruff Norwegian detective named Harry Hole.  Having now read The Snowman, I’m happy to say I’m looking forward to reading all the others in the series too, plus Headhunters, which is a caper story stand-alone.  It’s always nice to come across a new author, especially one who has a bunch of books I can catch up on while waiting for new ones to come down the pipe.

This one, which is the eighth in the Harry Hole series but the first, I think, that was published in the US (yes?), finds Hole called into investigate a missing woman.  She just disappeared one night and her family hasn’t seen her since.  Strangely, in the front yard of their house, a snowman appeared out of nowhere around the same time as the disappearance.  It’s odd it’s wearing the woman’s favorite pink scarf, but entirely possible the neighbor kids built it and the woman dressed it up herself to join in the fun.  Everybody essentially ignores it . . . until another woman goes missing and another snowman is found, this time wearing the decapitated head of the latest victim.

Hole is soon teamed up with rookie detective Katrine Bratt, for whom the phrase “emotional issues” is revealed to be the understatement of the year (chicks, amiright?) (sigh).  Katrine becomes so determined to solve the case and stop the killings that she begins to go off the rails, first by strong-arming suspects into confessions before finally committing a heinous act of violence and becoming a suspect in the murders herself.

This is a well-written and entertaining thriller, and I greatly enjoyed the Norwegian setting too.  But don’t get me wrong — though I liked it and I want to read the others, this book is nothing spectacular.  Detectives like Harry Hole are a dime a dozen in mystery novels, and having the female lead be “attractive without trying,” yet an emotional disaster, is something that kind of makes me bananas in these sorts of stories as well.

But if you’re looking for a good “beach book,” you could do a lot worse than diving into this one.  Plus, the snowy setting will help keep you cool.  Enjoy your vacation!  Wish I were there!


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2 Responses to “BOOK: The Snowman by Jo Nesbø (2011 US)”

  1. RogerBW Says:

    Headhunters (the film) is pretty nifty. Recommended.

  2. Jennifer Rose Says:

    This book bored me to tears, I only finished it as so many people told me they loved it :/

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