Having now read through the next book in the series, The Leopard, which actually references some of the more bizarre psychological insights of this book, I am thinking that perhaps four book was enough.
Incidentally, does anyone else out there wonder what Jo Nesbo's is really saying about his attitude to women, well, actually toward me too...exactly why are women always getting mutilated, men with power doing the mutilation, and Harry Hole so self destructive that he even winds up with his body being eroded from one book to the next?
Several nice twists in the plot, although some of them almost predictable. Narratotion is good, but there are some parts of the recording that are very low (meaning the pitch), so when I listened to it in the car, it was difficult to understand.
This is a first rate thriller. The characters are all well defined and the antagonist suitably evil. I know there will be comparisons to the Millenium series, which is a bit unfortunate because the only comparisons are the geography and genre. Just plain excellent. I had to ding it a "star" only because of the narration. The narrator has a great voice but sometimes speaks far too fast and I miss several words and his patrician accent is difficult for a born and raised Californian.
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
Full disclosure: I LOVE detective stories. I read a lot of them. And this is one of the best I've ever read. It was shockingly good. Now I'm going back and reading EVERYTHING I can find by Jo Nesbo. It's taken over my wish list. Other books are getting pushed aside just so I can read more about Detective Harry Hole. Other detective stories aren't as interesting anymore, other characters not as vivid and real and other killers not as inventive or enthralling. Really, these books will ruin other books for you. So, fair warning.
I didn't know until half way through the book that it's part of a series. So you do not need to read any of the others first. It picks up with Harry Hole, a depressed, middle aged detective who is trying to kick a drinking habit. Then he picks up something weird, Norway has more missing mothers, per capita, than it should. He does more examining and finds only one of two things can be true: either he's completely off his rocker or Norway has one of the most successful serial killers in modern history, has for years, and hasn't even known it. Well, obviously, it's the second. So he's on the case.
Here's the secret of Jo Nesbo's success: he decided that there is nothing new under the sun. Cliches are there for a reason and he can't find a new killer, a totally new story (no one can, it's a fact of literature) so instead of being clever for clever's sake he decided to take typical characters and do them BETTER than they've ever been done before, make them more real than they ever have been before. And he succeeds. This book, these people, none of of it should be as good as it is. Yet somehow, it feels completely fresh, completely new and wonderful.
On top of that, this book is one of the slickest I've ever read. He genuinely fakes you out multiple times with fake killers, twists you actually didn't expect and an ending that will knock you off your feet. Just when you think you know what's going on, you realize you don't. Just when the characters make sense to you, they do something so startling that you'll audibly gasp. This book gets into your mind and doesn't let go.
Or maybe it's the narrator. Robin Sachs was born do to these books. He understands Nesbo's dark, noire, deliberate pace so well it's like he wrote the thing. His tone matches the subject matter perfectly and you'll love the sadness and terror he brings to the material.
This is better than a whole new story that no one has ever told; it's the type of story you've loved for YEARS finally told as well as it ever can be.
After an hour of trying to hear what was being read and trying to keep up with a story line that seemed all over the place, I gave up. I checked my Ipod to see if something was wrong with it, but all was fine on other books.
This mystery/ thriller was neither captivating nor scary. I didn't care about the victims or the identity of the killer no matter how hard I tried.
Probably The Marriage Plot.
Very little. That was the problem.
Any listener will guess the killer early on. There are much better thrillers out there right now. The Informationist was a good read.
I love a good book
I wanted to make this story work for me, so I listened to it all. It was difficult at times as it contained references about Norway I didn't understand. There were a lot of references to American politics that I could have done without. Also, these references seemed to center around the 1980's which made me wonder when this story was written.
The plot is somewhere between Sherlock Holmes and Silence of the Lambs. It's a dark and bloody detective novel. The detective is strange but effective and clever throughout. It was very different.
I thought this book was overall a very good listen (and read since I also downloaded the book and read it). I like the narrator, even though he does not have the most dynamic style of reading.
I enjoyed the book's drama, and mystery - the overall desire to know "who dunnit" is a fun thing to experience in books. I had that real sense of needing to know who was doing these terrible crimes.
The only reason I did not give this book 4 stars (because there are few books I would give 5 stars to) was because the story breaks down a bit toward the end when Detective Harry Hole thinks he knows who the killer is, and it is absurd. It is so contrived for about 50 pages that I was skimming through pages, and fast forwarding through the listening to the book.
The end wraps up in a more believable way, but I had been thrown from being on pins and needles. Let's face it - those of us who like listening to mysteries/thrillers love being on pins and needles. It's a hard thing for a writer to keep us there in a convincing way.
I will certainly read/listen to more of Jo Nesbo's books. Overall, Nesbo is a very good, tight author who has good plot!
Not a commuter so listen to audible books when I'm in the car driving on a long trip or at home housecleaning (not as often as I should). Love reading a good book and love the riveting suspense of listening to a good mystery, but hate not being able to race to the end like I do when I read - but it does make a good book last longer.
Yes. Long, involved story that was not too difficult to follow and kept me very interested. Fully-developed characters with a fallible, believable protagonist. No one in the book did anything so stupid that I wanted to throw up my hands in disgust - reactions seemed genuine. Very suspenseful.
The overall twists and turns in the plot.
Enhanced, but did not overwhelm the overall story. Just the right amount of emphasis for my taste without being bland.
The Snowman brings death, who will be next?
Once I have found an author I like to read all the books in the series....the Stieg Larsson
Girl with the Dragon tattoo series is my all time favorite. So now that the bar has been set so high its hard to find that immediate connection and passion I'm looking for.
I found that spark again with all the Douglas Preston & Lincoln Childs books ( w the Pendergast character) Charlene Harris w Sookie Stackhouse, every single one of the amazing Joshilyn Jackson books, Katheryn Stockett, all Elizabeth George books starting from the first of the Inspector Lord Lynley series....and now there is...and has been...Jo Nesbo. I love the gritty, grubby appealing central character Harry Hole...the stories are complex and you just cant imagine "who dunnit"...which I love. I'm about to be on my third Jo Nesbo and intend to read them all.
I recommend them.