74. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo. Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett (Canada)
Harry Hole Mystery, #7

Pages: 454 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: Apr. 27, 2010
First Published: 2007 (English translation Mar. 2010 (UK/Can))
Publisher: Random House Canada
Genre: Thriller, mystery
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

It was the day the snow came.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next published in the series (in English).

A woman disappears and a few months earlier Inspector Harry Hole had received a threatening note. He is convinced that their is a connection. Then a second woman disappears. Harry and his detectives soon discover a disturbing tale of women, married with children, who have gone missing without a trace over a chillingly large number of years. The clues will take him down so many false roads that his job is on the line not once, but twice.

This is a thriller that takes off on new twists with the speediness of a whip crack. What's up for one chapter is down the next with reveal after reveal sending the police on the chase of a clever, determined serial killer who is skillfully directing the police to play into the unsub's own mad theatre of his mind.

I've read three of the books in this series so far and this is the most excellent. The red herrings, the false roads which all do connect, in a way, just not the way the police want them to, are an amazing road to follow. Twist after turn will have you gasping as they go after who they think is the killer only to find they have suspicions of someone else ... more than once. I really can't convey how amazingly clever this plot was woven together, with a myriad of clues, characters and evidence Nesbo doesn't miss a step in seamlessly creating an airtight thriller.

Funny thing for me is that I guessed who the killer was as soon as the character was introduced, for no particular reason than I thought it would make perfect sense in the end. (Perhaps I read so many thrillers I'm beginning to think like a thriller writer, either that or a serial killer, AAH!). Anyway, it gave me a unique perspective reading this book as I watched my chosen killer and applied all evidence and clues to them and convinced myself I'd picked correctly not that far into the book; that I was actually rather stunned, even though I'd been right, when the narrator out-of-the-blue starts writing from the killer's point of view letting the reader know who is the killer.

An extremely intelligent, clever, roller-coaster of a thriller. Jo Nesbo is up there at the top with the best thriller writers of today.


  1. Nicola, I'm hearing such good things about this author. Must put him on my list. The Scandinavian author group is definitely moving into crime fiction circles elsewhere in the world. I love it.

  2. i just got Readbreast and Nemesis in the mail this week, so i'm excited, as these will be my intro to Nesbo.

    thanks for the excellent review!


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