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
“Jo Nesbø is my new favorite thriller writer and Harry Hole my new hero.” (Michael Connelly)
Like a mobius strip, the plot has infinite twists, doubling back on itself. Even though it was by no means hidden who "the Snowman" was from the start, there were enough highly visual and inventive twists to keep the reader absorbed.
With the popular Scandinavian mystery writers (Larsson, Mankell, Nesbo, etc.) it can be a challenge both to pronounce proper names and place names convincingly and at the same time not confuse the mostly anglophone reader. This narrator got it just right.
A bad guy has a psychological reason for doing what he's doing. The good guy, over time and determination, searches for him. I liked this book. It's intelligent and intriguing. I'll read another Nesbo book.
I was hesitant for some time to read/listen to any of Jo Nesbo's books because I personally could not get into Stieg Larson's' writing (to whom he has been compared), and also because it sounded like his novels were grizzly. I am glad I finally gave them a try;
It took a little time to adjust to the pace of the book, it is slower in the beginning and begins to build, also being that it was written in Norwegian, the style is slightly different to to what I am accustomed, but this is something I have started to greatly appreciate. It makes me realize that (at least most of the time) no matter how good the novel, most of the mystery/suspense genre really is rather formulaic, and although after listening to several Nesbo novels I see he has his own formula as well, I appreciate his fresh approach.
That said The Snowman is a great noir tale of serial murder, and the cop who tries to solve the case, which is much closer to home than he realizes...
Young women, some who are married with children begin to disappear under strikingly similar circumstances, one thing connecting the disappearances is that they all occur on the day of the first snowfall, and a mysterious snowman appears on the lawn. When the bodies begin to be uncovered it is obvious that they are dealing with what seems to be a serial killer, who has a taste for the grotesque.
Enter our protagonist Harry Hole, who is truly an anti-hero, he is a drunk with relationship and personal troubles, but he is also the only man on the force to have studied serial killers, and has an insight into their methodology.
There are plot twists and turns that you don't see coming, and the reader Robin Sachs has a gravely voice that suits the story to a tee. I recommend this book. I did personally listen to them out of order, I started with The Snowman, then read The Devil's Star, and then The Leopard. Reading them in order would be helpful to understand some of the events that have unfolded as back story, but it is not imperative.
This book was so amazing, I immediately bought the whole series...including the ones I had to order from the UK in paper form in order to get a n English translation. I eagerly devoured them all and then, while looking for more books that might be translated soon, I did some research on this man.
Hes world renowned! I felt like s some dumb American, not having heard of him before. I guess I'm not the only one though, because the American press is publishing his books with these ridiculous pink and red stickers on the front that say, "The Next Steig Larsson." Steig Larsson was the author of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, that I loved, however, it turns out that Jo Nesbo, pronounced Yo Nez-bah, has been writing his novels and winning awards for years before Mr. Larsson ever picked up his proverbial pen. Hes considered Norway's best writer all around and Scandinavia's best mystery writer and one of Europe's best thriller writers.
Having read all of his books that are currently translated...I know exactly why.
Try this book, trust me...it's good.
I did not read the print version, but my sister did and loved it. However, Robin Sachs' narration is superb.
The plot is always moving forward, details are always being revealed which turn out to be essential to the eventual solving of the crime. Just when you think you know what's going on, but yet things don't quite add up, the plot takes a turn and things become clearer bit by bit. I usually only listen to shorter books (6-10 hours) because I get bored by descriptions and wordiness--this book had me on the edge of my seat all the way through.
I love them all and I love the individual voices. Its a hallmark of a truly gifted audio performer when a character can begin to speak and the audience knows who it is before the name is even revealed through text. Jim Dale (Harry Potter series) is the master of this--Robin Sachs does it as well. The countryman Bjorn Holm has a Welsh accent which was a little strange for my British father to hear!! But Sachs does this to individualize his characters and make their accents relevant and accessible to us Americans.
I could have kept listening, but I wanted to savor it. I enjoyed listening to it in bits and pieces because it made my commute so much more enjoyable. I am always sad when a wonderful audiobook is over--it means I have to figure out what I should listen to next (and I am often disappointed).
I did not like the Dragon Tattoo trilogy on audio--I found it too slow-paced for my liking. The Snowman moves at a blistering pace and never lost my interest. Towards the end it resembled a horror novel because of how dark and frightening it got. I loved it!
At times I wanted to say,"jeez, lighten up." This book was relentlessly grim. Being grim is OK, I just thought it could have used more character development to make me care about the people a little more and draw me in more. I read another book by Nesbo and I had the same reaction. But I know a lot of people really like him, so maybe people like me, who go for Pride and Prejudice,etc., are not the natural audience here.
Yes, I couldn't wait to hear the next chapter. Great protrayal of enigmatic characters. I felt like I was in Norway. So eerie to picture the villain and the cat and mouse interplay with Harry. Many great themes included alcoholism, marital monotony and lost love, smoldering sexuality, dead beat police. I want to read more about Harry the detective protagonist. You will love this book.
Harry was complex, very salty, jaded and human. I was rooting for him.
I was horrified by the premise.
I don't think so...so many more good ones out there to read. This story seemed so slow and one really had to listen "hard" to keep on track.
I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
I love the central character, a guy with loads of integrity and loads of flaws.
Robin Sachs is one of the best readers I've heard. He never goes into cartoon-land in defining each character, yet manages to carve out a completely distinct sound for each with subtle shifts in pitch and class-oriented accents from the UK. The women never sound drag-queen silly, and I'm not at all bothered by the cockney-sounding gangsters or the Welsh-accented CSI country lad. It gives me a cultural equivalent that I can relate to to help me understand who these people are in Norwegian society.
While some of the stories in this series go a bit over the top with really lurid finales, the storytelling is just terrific and keeps me on the edge all the way through. I wish the full series was available on audio. Totally addicted now, can't wait for the next one!
I would listen to another Jo Nesbo and/or Robin Sachs book.
My only negative feeling is that the book was very, very bloody. I almost put it aside because of the violence, which seemed excessive.
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