The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

9572203Fiction — eBook. Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett. Knopf Doubleday, 2011. Originally published 2007. 390 pgs. Borrowed from a family member.

The first snow of the season has fallen in Oslo. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf. Harry Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother — and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in an increasingly terrifying game whose rules are devised—and constantly revised—by the killer.

I usually try not to start in the middle of the series; I realized that mistake when I started the book immediately following this one which had about thirty-two references to the “snowman” introduced in this book. Unfortunately, my uncle’s Kindle account does not have the entire series available so I was forced to start with book seven in the Henry Hole series.

This book did not start out nearly as compelling as the next book in the series did. I did, however, like the assertion that Norway does not have serial killers and that Hole was looking for something that isn’t there are spending time studying serial killers with the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the United States. Norway has had two, including one last year, but turn on any cop drama in the United States and you’re bound to be overwhelmed with our fascination with serial killers.

Overall, though, this book became rather annoying. I’ve developed an appreciation of mystery novels as of late but have yet to read another detective novel where the detective off in the wrong direction without taking the reader along. I knew all along that Hole was wrong in this suppositions, which left me frustrated and wondering how intelligent this man actually could be.


  1. Jo Nesbo is constantly on Bookdepository’s bestsellers list and I always file it under my “some day” category. I also find it really annoying when the reader can see that a detective is wrong miles away and it takes him half the book to figure it out…


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