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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

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    2,269
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Decent but not a stand out

Purchased after seeing the trailer for the movie based on this book. While the book is by no means bad, and the writing is actually very good, the story dragged on and was frankly kind of boring. Once the final act twists and action start rolling it improves, but the author failed to really build the suspense he was going for throughout.

I have a feeling this will be a better movie than book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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What an awesome story! Kept getting better

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Glad I gave this series a second chance

What did you love best about The Snowman?

The interweaving of flashback scenes with present day to ratchet up the tension and keep the reader guessing.

Any additional comments?

4.5 stars. A labyrinthine plot (in the best way), a gifted but flawed investigator (with humanity and depth), an assortment of supporting players with distinct personalities and drives, a richly textured history for the main players, and a feeling of dread as each new victim goes missing combine to make this a really excellent mystery-thriller. I picked this up after being very disappointed in the first book of the series (disappointed enough that I did not finish it), so I am glad I read a few reviews and saw that this book (the seventh in the series following Harry Hole) received glowing reviews. Clearly Nesbø hit his stride some time after the first book and this was well worth the time. I look forward to other books in the series and was also interested to learn that this book is being adapted into a film for release this year. I just hope that the film does the book justice and that viewers perhaps choose to pick up the book first. Recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a whole new perspective on frosty

A unique, twisted tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • Prince George, BC, Canada
  • 01-17-13

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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  • Rebecca
  • Plainfield, VT, United States
  • 09-22-12

No Hornets nest but enjoyable........

An enjoyable murder mystery for a road trip. Its not art, Its not outstanding literature, but it passed the hours along the highway very well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Death Over Time

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • Monroe, WA, United States
  • 08-06-12

Slow Burn Noir

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Riveting from start to finish

Would you consider the audio edition of The Snowman to be better than the print version?

I did not read the print version, but my sister did and loved it. However, Robin Sachs' narration is superb.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

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.

Which character – as performed by Robin Sachs – was your favorite?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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).

Any additional comments?

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Gripping!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Harry was complex, very salty, jaded and human. I was rooting for him.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was horrified by the premise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful