Guest Post: THE SNOWMAN – Jo Nesbo

Today, a guest post by Maine Colonial – a terrific writer and recovering lawyer who enjoys reading traditional mysteries, police procedurals, espionage thrillers and Eurocrime.

This is Nesbø’s seventh Harry Hole novel, but the fifth to be published in English.  While this is a serial killer novel, which I normally don’t care for, I did enjoy this book.  Nesbø is a fluid, lyrical writer, Don Bartlett a talented translator, and Harry Hole a compelling character.
It’s the first snowfall of the season and a snowman appears outside young Jonas’s house.  Strangely, the snowman is facing the house, rather than the street.  In the middle of the night, Jonas awakes and finds his mother is missing, but her scarf is now around the snowman’s neck.
As Harry’s team works this missing-persons case, Harry fears that they are actually dealing with a serial killer who has left a note for Harry, taunting him.  His fear heightens as other crimes are discovered that seem to him to be related.
As in previous books in this series, there are certain themes that connect the crimes being investigated and Harry’s life.  The complexity of the various plots means that the book begins slowly and deliberately to get the stories in motion.  Then, about halfway through, things take off and become breathtakingly tense and exciting.
Several times you may think you have the whodunnit figured out, but there are more twists and turns to come.  You learn new clues along with Harry, so there is no feel of trickery in the plot’s movement.  This is typical of a Harry Hole mystery, though in this case, probably because of the nature of the crime, the red-herring suspects were less believable than usual.  There were a couple of other plotting problems that seemed sloppy to me, but they didn’t prevent me from enjoying the story overall.  I won’t discuss them here because they would be spoilers.
Harry’s relationships with his team, his superiors and his former lover Rakel and her son Oleg continue to be an important part of the books.  And as always, Oslo itself is almost another character.
Harry’s self-loathing and titanic struggles with drink continue in THE SNOWMAN.  His addiction to his job helps combat his addiction to alcohol, but in moments of despair he falls into the pit again.  Another character tells Harry that all of the best stories are about losers.  Readers of the Harry Hole series should agree.
Ideally, the Harry Hole series should be read in order, though that is not absolutely critical with THE SNOWMAN or its predecessor, THE REDEEMER.  It would be unfortunate, however, to read THE REDBREAST, NEMESIS and THE DEVIL’S STAR out of that order, because they function as a trilogy in one important thread of the story.
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1 Response to Guest Post: THE SNOWMAN – Jo Nesbo

  1. Pingback: AUTHORS N – R | MURDER by TYPE

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