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The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

The Snowman (2007)

by Jo Nesbø

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Harry Hole (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,3431731,626 (3.88)187
  1. 50
    Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason (infosleuth, Disco_grinch)
    infosleuth: Besides both being northern European crime fiction titles, but without wanting to spoil the stories, these 2 novels share similar plot elements.
  2. 40
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (voracious)
    voracious: Similar in the extended effort in the storytelling and set in Norway, this novel evokes similar feelings in the reader.

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» See also 187 mentions

English (151)  Dutch (5)  German (3)  Norwegian (3)  Danish (3)  Finnish (3)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  All (172)
Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
Just discovered this series (because of the movie about to release), and really enjoyed The Snowman. I felt it started off very exciting (couldn't put it down!), slowed down a little in the middle, but then ended strong!

I plan to read the other Harry Hole books in this series. ( )
  RebeccaGrose | Oct 21, 2017 |
As the film of Jo Nesbø’s quintessential police procedural The Snowman (2007) comes to the big screen, listening to the audio version is perhaps a dramatized alternative between reading this terrifying bestseller and seeing the film, which, if the critics are to be believed, is pretty much a bust.
The book begins in 1980 on “the day the snow came.” A clingy married woman and her lover have a final midday assignation while her young son waits outside in the car. A hint of menace, a sense of being watched, hangs over the scene. The watcher turns out to be nothing more than a snowman, but the boy says the snowman gave him a message: “We’re going to die.”
The book then jumps to 2004, again November, again a first snowfall, and a missing woman, Birte Becker. She and her husband Filip also have a son. A snowman mysteriously appears on the Becker’s lawn.
The Snowman was the seventh outing for Nesbø’s prickly alcoholic detective, Harry Hole. Harry’s notoriety from capturing an Australian serial killer in book one (The Bat) haunts him in the Oslo department, making his superiors and colleagues reluctant to believe Harry’s contention that a serial killer is at work in Norway. The psychology of these interactions is strong. There’s a lapskaus (Norwegian stew) of grudging respect and desire to downplay another’s success—in short, all the petty office jealousies that interfere with getting work done.
A bright new transfer from the Bergen PD, Katrine Bratt, is assigned to work with Harry on the Birte Becker case. While he at first doubts her usefulness, her experience on the Bergen sex squad gives her good insight. They investigate cases of missing women going back a number of years, and Bratt discovers they all coincided with winter’s first snowfall. Another previously unrecognized common denominator is that a snowman stood near where each woman disappeared, an innocent symbol transformed into a diabolical observer.
The trope of settling first on one suspect, then having that theory demolished and settling on another, and so on, has become a bit hackneyed, though this is an excellent example of where it works well. When you are only 50 pages (or an hour) into a book and the police start saying they have their man, you know they’re wrong. Twists and turns inevitably lie ahead, with the real culprit laying down a succession of misleading clues. Nesbø is so clever with his logical traps that, even though you are sure they lie in wait, they’re still a surprise.
The Scandinavian setting is, basically Nordic noir. Snowy. Wet. Dark. And the story moves through the slush in a doggedly determined fashion, like Harry himself, without any of the literary attributes that help crime fiction rise above the genre.
Well-developed secondary characters—a slimy plastic surgeon, the strangely distant father Filip Becker, a chauvinist playboy media mogul, and a now-dead policeman involved in an earlier Snowman case—are all attractive suspects whom Nesbø dangles in front of you.
The narration by the late English actor Robin Sachs is solid. Sachs has a good feel for the characters, having narrated several Harry Hole books, even though he makes Harry sound older and more dissolute than I picture him. A bit of a problem for audio that wouldn’t arise in reading this story is that the characters’ names are hard to remember, especially those of the victims. Regular readers of Harry Hole novels would have an advantage here, because they’d be already familiar with the Oslo PD personnel. It’s a minor quibble and requires only a little extra attention. ( )
  Vicki_Weisfeld | Oct 18, 2017 |
It’s November in Oslo and the first snow has just fallen. Young Jonas wakes in the middle of the night and discovers his mother is missing. Desperate to find her he searches the entire house, but the only thing he finds is a snowman outside in his yard that unexplainably appeared earlier in the day. The snowman is now dressed in his mother’s favorite scarf.

Meanwhile, police inspector Harry Hole has received a menacing letter from someone claiming that once the first snow has fallen, the snowman will appear and claim his next victim. Could the writer of this letter be behind the disappearance of Jonas’ mother? Has this snowman taken countless women over the years? As Harry comes closer to the truth he finds himself a pawn in the snowman’s end game and will have to risk everything in order to bring him to justice.

Nesbø truly out-does himself in THE SNOWMAN. I was captivated from the first creepy opening scene until the very moment Harry realizes what must be done to stop the killer. The book flows at the pace of a heart-racing movie, no coincidence that this soon will become a major motion picture (in theaters October 20th). Hole is kept on his toes throughout the novel, moving from suspect to suspect and victim to victim. Nesbø’s writing style is intense, but at the same time allows for the reader to bond with the characters in the novel, including the background ones.

THE SNOWMAN is book number seven in Nesbø’s Harry Hole series. Despite this being my first read with the series, I experienced no issues understanding the relationships between characters and pieces of their backgrounds. The only item I was missing on backstory was references to one of Hole’s previous cases. I have loved Nesbø’s other works BLOOD IN SNOW and MIDNIGHT SUN. I find THE SNOWMAN to deliver the same level of intensity, character development, and be an overall delightful read. I highly recommend picking up this novel and then going to see the movie in a few days! Stay tuned for future Nesbø reviews, as I go back and start the Hole series from book one, THE BAT. ( )
  jess_reads_books | Oct 10, 2017 |
"What is worse? Taking the life of a person who wants to live or taking death from a person who wants to die?"

I don’t know what’s scarier in this book, the Snowman or reading about George W Bush getting re-elected! But, this is a damn good book! Harry Hole believes that he is on the trail of a serial killer, but who is the Snowman? Jo Nesbo takes us on quite a journey to that end, with enough twists and turns to have kept me guessing, and being wrong, multiple times! It's my first book by him, but will not be my last! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Oct 6, 2017 |
This book was beyond amazing.

I literally couldn't put it down. Finished more than 500 pages in less than 48 hrs.

The book starts in 1980 where a woman leaves her son in the car just to go inside a strange house to do something. The son is unaware of what his mother is doing inside the house ... and then she comes back after...

Then, the story comes back to our current time where we find the famous detective Harry Hole investigating missing women, and then finds out that he's looking for a serial killer calls himself The Snowman. Katrine Braft helps him in this investigation, but what they will both find will shock you and will keep you agitated.

I stayed up all night because I came close to the end and couldn't put the book down. I wanted to know who is the killer and what's going to happen at the end.

The characters, the events, the links between the characters and incidents was just mind-blowing! I mean who would think of so many details like that in a clever way?

This was my first Jo Nesvo read and it won't be the last.

This book is highly recommended and i can't wait to see the movie. ( )
  books.paper.mania | Sep 30, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
Harry is pleasingly human, with a capacity for hard, grueling work being one of his best features, and the rest of the characters say and do believable things, the murderous snowman notwithstanding. The Norwegian settings are sometimes exotic, sometimes just grimy—who knew that Oslo had a high-crime area?—but always appropriate to the story, which unfolds at just the right pace.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (May 1, 2011)

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nesbø, Joprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersen, Allan HiltonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bartlett, DonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berntsen, AdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edit, PetrikovicsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
노진선Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fouillet, AlexTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frauenlob, GüntherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gretić, Iva UšumlićTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gudovoĭ, E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krištůfková, KateřinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menna, OutiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montes Cano, CarmenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olaisen, PerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puleo. GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toda, HiroyukiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vroom, Annelies deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimnicka, IwonaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
林立仁Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was the day the snow came.
Det var den dagen då snön kom.
She looked at him. God, how he had grown in this last year; he would soon be taller than her. And in those dark eyes of his the childishness was giving way to what for the moment was youthful defiance, but would, she could already see, in time become adult determination.
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Book description
The night the first snow falls a young boy wakes to find his mother gone. He walks through the silent house, but finds only wet footprints on the stairs. In the garden looms a solitary figure: a snowman bathed in cold moonlight, its black eyes glaring up at the bedroom windows. Round its neck is his mother’s pink scarf.

Inspector Harry Hole is convinced there is a link between the disappearance and a menacing letter he received some months earlier. As Harry and his team delve into unsolved case files, they discover that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years. When a second woman disappears Harry’s suspicions are confirmed: he is a pawn in a deadly game. For the first time in his career Harry finds himself confronted with a serial killer operating on his turf, a killer who will drive him to the brink of insanity.
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"In Oslo, after the first snow of the season has fallen, a woman disappears, and a sinister snowman is left in her wake. As irascible detective Harry Hole realizes that this is only one of multiple disappearances, he begins to think a serial killer may be at work--and may be drawing in Hole personally and intentionally"--… (more)

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