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The Snowman | [Jo Nesbø]

The Snowman

Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf. Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother - and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn....
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Publisher's Summary

Internationally acclaimed crime writer Jo Nesbø’s antihero police investigator, Harry Hole, is back: in a bone-chilling thriller that will take Hole to the brink of insanity.

Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf.

Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother - and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in an increasingly terrifying game whose rules are devised - and constantly revised - by the killer.

Fiercely suspenseful, its characters brilliantly realized, its atmosphere permeated with evil, The Snowman is the electrifying work of one of the best crime writers of our time.

©2011 Jo Nesbo (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“Jo Nesbø is my new favorite thriller writer and Harry Hole my new hero.” (Michael Connelly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2283 )
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4.1 (1604 )
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Story
4.3 (1603 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Frederick Irvine, CA, United States 05-22-11
    Frederick Irvine, CA, United States 05-22-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story -- Narration a Little Off"

    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.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pavel Czech Republic 09-18-11
    Pavel Czech Republic 09-18-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    107
    ratings
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    149
    80
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    8
    1
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    Story
    "Thrilling"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Avi Stachenfeld Berkeley, California USA 01-14-13
    Avi Stachenfeld Berkeley, California USA 01-14-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
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    Story
    "the series has grown long in the tooth"

    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?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Kansas City, MO, United States 06-03-12
    Joe Kansas City, MO, United States 06-03-12 Member Since 2011

    I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Be Warned, You're In For the Whole Series"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    muna wesley chapel, FL, United States 01-19-12
    muna wesley chapel, FL, United States 01-19-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible- The narrating quality and story line"
    What disappointed you about The Snowman?

    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.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dottie B. Washington DC 06-27-11
    Dottie B. Washington DC 06-27-11 Member Since 2006

    Dotdumdum

    HELPFUL VOTES
    166
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    94
    51
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    Overall
    "Very good listen for parts of story"

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Vincent Michigan 01-30-13
    C. Vincent Michigan 01-30-13

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well-paced, excellent plot, great narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Snowman?

    The overall twists and turns in the plot.


    What about Robin Sachs’s performance did you like?

    Enhanced, but did not overwhelm the overall story. Just the right amount of emphasis for my taste without being bland.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Snowman brings death, who will be next?


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. WARD Midlothian, Virginia United States 10-20-11
    D. WARD Midlothian, Virginia United States 10-20-11 Member Since 2009

    Diana bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Jo Nesbo....my newest fave... Mystery and Thriller"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. O. Pardue Atlanta, GA United States 07-15-11
    L. O. Pardue Atlanta, GA United States 07-15-11 Member Since 2010

    I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    555
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    "Love this Book!!"

    This is my first Jo Nesbo book, but I am already researching which one to start on next. I loved this thrilling book so much that I started calling friends and family before I was even half way through telling them to please get started on this book immediately. I noticed that Robin Sachs continues as the narrator for other Jo Nesbo audible books. That really pleases me because Mr. Sachs did a great job keeping the book exciting with his excellent reading. The characters are really interesting, and the book is full of twists and turns. I haven't felt this way since I was reading the Stieg Larsson books. And by the way, I will never look at a Snowman the same ever again.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Prince George, BC, Canada 01-17-13
    Peter Prince George, BC, Canada 01-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    "Very poor whodunit."
    What disappointed you about The Snowman?

    I guessed who dun it 1/4 of the way into the book.


    What was most disappointing about Jo Nesbo’s story?

    Nothing surprised me. No twists. Predictable, unclever plot.I would say the book did not even have potential to be a good story.


    What three words best describe Robin Sachs’s performance?

    Norwegian not British.

    The accent should have been Norwegian. Like the Renko novels use a Russian accent.He's not a bad narrator. Just the wrong one for this book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Surprise. Such a highly rated book is so predicable.


    Any additional comments?

    A poor experience. Maybe I just got lucky in guessing who done it. But I kind of doubt it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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