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Review: The Snowman

The Snowman

The Snowman
Book #7 (Harry Hole Series)
By Jo Nesbø; Don Bartlett (Translator)
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307595867, 400pp, May 2011)

*No Spoilers*

The Short of It:

The Snowman is full of twists and turns. It’s the type of book that you cook with, sleep with and eat with. I could not turn the pages fast enough. It was that good.

The Rest of It:

A funny thing happened while reading this book. Jill and I were gushing over The Devil’s Star, which is also part of the Harry Hole series so when an opportunity came up for us to read The Snowman, we jumped at the chance. We jumped so fast that we didn’t realize that we missed the book in between (#6, The Redeemer). Jill informed me of this when I was about three chapters in, but you know what? It didn’t matter! Yes, there were some personal tidbits regarding Harry himself that would have been nice to know, but it didn’t affect the story at all. I  mean, I started the series with book #5 anyway so it really didn’t matter.

This book was fantastic! I am loving Scandinavian crime fiction and Nesbø is a master storyteller. There’s just something about the texture and mood of his writing that appeals to me. The story begins in Oslo with a young boy waking up to the first snow of the season. His mother is missing, and in her place is a snowman, wearing her scarf. As Harry is called in to investigate, another woman is reported missing and the pattern is repeated. Each time, the snowman becoming more gruesome than the last.

Harry is an interesting character and constantly evolving. His personal life is always stressed in some way and he’s always teetering on the edge of destruction. Sometimes he’s on the wagon (recovering alcoholic) and other times he caves to his weaknesses, but this is what I love about Harry. Professionally, there is never anyone else more suited to the job, yet you wonder if he will ever pull it together and as a reader, you cheer him on and hope for the best. I can’t think of any other time when I’ve cheered a detective on.

I got my coworker to read it and he’s come in here three times to tell me who the killer is, and each time he’s been wrong! Nesbø is so good at what he does.

If you’ve never read Scandinavian crime fiction, give this series a try. The only challenge is that some of the books are not currently available in the US. That’s why Jill and I had to read them out-of-order, but The Book Depository has a few of them (they ship for free) and you might be able to get some of them from other sources. I am hoping that once the entire series has been released someone will publish them as a complete set. It sounds like a hassle to seek these books out but you won’t be sorry if you do.

Jill is also reviewing it today, so stop by and see what she has to say about it!

Source: Sent to me by the publisher.

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Mr. Nesbø doesn’t know it but I am completely obsessed with him his writing. So much so, that I have a small poster of him hanging in my office. If you’d like to know more about Mr. Nesbø, visit his website.

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