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The Snowman (2007)

by Jo Nesbø

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Harry Hole (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,3352281,939 (3.85)230
"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)
  1. 60
    Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason (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. 50
    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 230 mentions

English (203)  Dutch (5)  Finnish (3)  German (3)  Danish (3)  Norwegian (3)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Swedish (2)  Greek (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (228)
Showing 1-5 of 203 (next | show all)
(2007) Another very good story about the dysfunctional detective Harry Hole. He is tracking down ?The Snowman? who is killing women he deems to be whores because they have had children by fathers not her husband. This turns out to be because he was one such child. Harry has on his team a very competent detective, Katrine Bratt, who it is mistakenly determined to be the murderer. The real killer is a doctor who can earn the trust of patients but has the ability to order DNA tests to see if the children of parents, the father of which is not the familial one.Wikipedia: PlotIn 1980, a married woman has illicit sex with a lover while her adolescent son waits in a car outside; their lovemaking is disturbed when they think somebody is looking at them from outside the window, which turns out to have been only a tall snowman. Twenty-four years later, Norwegian detective Harry Hole investigates a string of murders of women around Oslo. His FBI training leads him to search for links between the cases, and he finds two of themeach victim is a married mother and a snowman appears at every murder scene.Looking through cold cases, Hole realises that he is tracking Norway's first known serial killer. Most of the victims vanished after the first snowfall of winter, and snowmen were found near each scene. Further digging leads Hole and his team, including newcomer Katrine Bratt, to suspect that paternity issues with the children of the victims may be a motive for the murders. They discover that all of the victims' children have different fathers from the men they believe to be their father. Following DNA testing, results lead the investigation down a few wrong turns and several suspects are eliminated from the inquiry.Within a short time, Hole and Bratt are romantically drawn together, although Hole doesn't pursue her overture. Hole sees her as a kindred spirit and a brilliant, dedicated detective in her own right. However, suspicion falls on Bratt herself being the "Snowman", after she attempts to frame one of the prime suspects. Hole chases her across Norway and catches up with her at a previously discovered murder site. She is apprehended and committed to a psychiatric unit. Hole's superiors, concerned that Bratt's arrest for the murders she reportedly committed will damage their reputation, suggest putting Hole forward as a scapegoat for the press. Harry's superior Gunnar Hagen, unhappy with the decision to punish Hole unjustly, intervenes and offers himself as scapegoat in Harry's stead.When another victim is discovered, Hole realises that the Snowman is still at large. Due to a random thought triggered by a chance comment, he makes a vital connection that ultimately leads him to the identity of the true perpetrator. His success in finally apprehending the killer obviates any need for a scapegoat, and Bratt, following further mental stability checks, returns to her post in Bergen.ReceptionThomas Kaufmann wrote that "The Snowman gives us suspense and a veritable gallery of memorable suspects makes it a great read. Once Alfred Hitchcock talked about people taking a roller-coaster ride ? how they would scream going down the hill, and laugh when they were finished. Some people like to be entertained in this way, Hitch said, and he was just a fellow who built roller coasters. The Snowman is a first-class roller-coaster ride."[1]
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
I liked it quite a bit. My reservation, as it always is with creepy murder books, is that I have mixed feelings about reading such awful things for fun -- and I have questions about the type of person who WRITES such awful things. Hence my three star rating instead of four.

The story has twist upon twist upon twist and while I saw some coming but a few totally blindsided me.

Harry Hole in an interesting character and I'm kind of interested in reading more in the series to get a fuller picture of him but I'm not so sure I'm interested in the dark subject matter.

Bottom line: worth reading if crime/murder is your genre. If it's not, the story is a little grim but not as grim/twisted as the Dragon Tattoo stuff.
( )
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
I just finished this book and am seriously hooked!I had heard about the author from a friend and am so glad I was directed to The Snowman.The only thing I regret is that I couldn't have started from the first Harry Hole book which has yet to be translated.(Now I am committed to going back to the first books available in English.)It is always a good thing to discover an author you enjoy who has several books published and you know exactly what to expect. I know I enjoy the author but I have to say you really cannot predict anything.The twists and turns leave you reeling with anticipation as you turn the pages-or click your kindle! Loved it! ( )
  b00kdarling87 | Jan 7, 2024 |
I enjoyed it much more than I expected. I think people shouldn't be scared of "Noir" here because I felt that it was a very well-written police detective. I didn't find it particularly dark. There was this weird detachment as almost in a cozy murder mystery. It was my first Harry Hole book and it read well as a stand-alone. The character development is great, the Norwegian setting was homey for me as a Latvian who has lived in Sweden for a while. We had a very warm November this year in Georgia (except for the last few days when it suddenly got cold), so it was nice to live through that dark month at least in a book.

Objectively, I don't really have anything bad to say about this book, but subjectively it was not an "I love" book, rather an "I really liked" book, hence 4 stars. ( )
  dacejav | Nov 28, 2023 |
Ok I'm all caught up. Now we can look forward to the film! ( )
  Kiramke | Jun 27, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 203 (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 (73 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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For Kirsten Hammervol Nesbø
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It was the day the snow came.
Det var den dagen då snön kom.
Quotations
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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Wikipedia in English (1)

"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"--

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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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