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Customer Review

352 of 376 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We're all crazy. We're restless spirits that cannot find their way home., March 6, 2010
This review is from: The Snowman (Hardcover)
Extra Information: The first two books for this Harry Hole series The Bat Man and The Cockroaches have not been produced for translation at this time. The Redbreast: A Novel would be the third book in this series; if you were to start this series my recommendation would be from The Redbreast. The series then follows through in order with Nemesis: A Novel (Harry Hole), The Devil's Star: A Novel, The Redeemer followed by The Snowman which then brings us readers in wait for The Leopard.

Review - The Snowman (Harry Hole, Book Seven)

Little snowflakes start to fall taunting us with what's to come. Flurries grow stronger settling softly on the ground, powdery and fluffy at first but darkness soon takes hold, the cycle turns. Subfreezing temperatures, crystals formulate and yet dipped in magical moonlight everything sparkles and glisten. This brings a gentle calm of all things white and beautiful..............until someone builds a Snowman!

November Oslo, Jo NesbÝ brings us into his story during family hour. The first snow has fallen and a discussion is taking place about a solitary figure looming in the garden. A snowman with big black stone eyes staring into the house and yet no one seems to know who built it. That same evening a young boy wakes to find his mother missing, he looks for her but all he finds is her pink scarf which the snowman is now wearing.

Harry Hole is brought in to investigate, what is thought to be a missing person to others, Harry has doubts, convinced there is a connection after receiving an anonymous letter some months earlier signed "The Snowman". His team look into old case files they find an alarming number of wives and mothers disappearances. A second mother then goes missing this time the snowman leaves his signature and handiwork, Harry's horror is confirmed but to catch a killer his to become a pawn in a deadly game for the serial killer will only play against the best.

Love this Authors work, for me in all his books its what this author is not afraid to write about, social issues of life and the way he brings in nature, wildlife to identify, relate too, which keeps these books intelligent and interesting. The cycle of life with all its shaded areas, loyalties or disloyalties, weaknesses, infidelities, parenthood, control, goodness fighting fear/evil from within. I'm not so sure in looking back to the first two books after working my way forwards from the third book and all in translation in this wonderful series this Author proves to stay one step ahead he goes from strength to strength.

Jo NesbÝ novels are very descriptive he pays attention to detail with brain teasing puzzles even for us long term readers still he pulls snow hats over our eyes. This novel is darker than the others, close contender the devil's star but darker for me is marvelous and skin crawling with suspense. The Snowman also has references to the first book written The Bat Man which is not in English translation, a story line based in Australia, any references made to that first book are explained throughout.

The Authors observation of people is once again uncanny all are well drawn. Harry Hole is a compelling character to read, still fighting the bottle urges and his love life is complicated. A new character emerges Katrine Bratt who joins Harrys team, you warm to her quickly as she takes the no nonsense approach with life and Harry which is really what he needs.

For any first time readers starting any Jo NesbÝ books, go in with suspicion, gather your list of characters remember trust no one and suspect the rest. The author has a remarkable way of twisting and turning plots, throwing in enough red herrings, smoked and salted with changing subjects and diverted argument. Yet he keeps the story line and smaller stories, exciting, entertaining with added dry humor, tying up loose threads and even though he gives enough information pulls off a fast paced unexpected ending. You have to feel convinced and this author for me delivers each and every time.

The Leopard is next in translation and has already won the Danish award Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, congratulation to the Author. Even though its not listed on amazon yet, its already on my wish list in the hope I can have this in the not to distance future.

Fantastic, loved it , The Snowman comes Highly Recommended. Also adding here a thank you to Don Bartlett for the clear translation in the series.

Andrea Bowhill
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Showing 1-10 of 34 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 6, 2010 11:57:50 AM PST
"Fantastic, loved it , The Snowman comes Highly Recommended." Pretty powerful bottom line recommendation. Great review!

Posted on Mar 7, 2010 11:30:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 7, 2010 11:33:47 AM PST
Artemis says:
Good of you for giving first-time readers the "extra info". It's vital that the books be read in order. Such a great series!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2010 12:13:59 PM PST
Thank you Steven, and it really was :) knew how to end it but struggled to think how to start this review, so I went in with my own little intro. Also didn't want to give anyone to much of anything plot wise, so many people are going to want to read this book so kept it as simple as possible. I also mentioned The Bat Man, first book written references are made in The Snowman, not sure whether this is going to be produced for translation but if it comes out, I will read, I use to live down under for a few years so I'm sure I'll find the whole book very interesting. Although I do feel this author really may have developed his writing skills a long way since that first book. We will see what happens.

The Snowman Highly Recommended would be five stars, Fantastic, loved it, is worth six plus ;P Always learn something new (my curiosity takes over) from this Author, its has humor, darkness and he knows how to hold the pace and what's very important for me would be the Psychology used behind the crime, why and how a person came to commit such a crime, which of course he always delivers. So very much looking forward to The Leopard now. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2010 12:17:54 PM PST
:) And I agree with you on both points.

Posted on Apr 3, 2010 6:24:01 PM PDT
Thanks for the review and for pointing out the correct order of the books. I just started The Redbreast and was wondering if it was the 1st. I do wish they'd released them all in the correct order. Oh well.


In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2010 2:24:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2010 2:55:12 AM PDT
Hi David, Thank you, Welcome aboard, your starting from The Redbreast and this is the best place in order has the edge. You'll have to write a review, let me know how you found it. :) The Redbreast third book but our starting point for this series and it brings us into Oslo, the main Character Harry Hole's HQ.

Reading through this great series a couple of the books also makes reference to the first two books only very briefly The Bat Man set in Australia and The Cockroaches set in Bangkok both books are not in translation at this time but explanation are given and does not deter with any story line at hand.

As for this book The Snowman I would have loved to have taken my review at more In-depth decided in the end being a new book and first up to review so many will want to read this book, kept it all simple and playful which I'm glad you liked also. I'll just have to keep the uncut version to myself till others catch up. Thanks again Andrea :)

*Thanks, will take a look at your blogspot also*

Posted on May 27, 2010 9:02:00 PM PDT
smileygirl says:
I must have read a different book to everyone else. I am only half way through and debating whether I should just drop it. I find the interactions between characters wooden, the characters themselves to be caricatures of the genre, and scenes that I presume are meant to be chilling, just godawful and silly. I keep coming back to these comments, will give it one more chapter, to try to see what the fuss is about, but so far, it just aint doin' it for me.

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2010 11:07:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 28, 2010 12:53:25 AM PDT
Hi Smileygirl,

After reading your comments I'm only going to assume this is your first book by this Author, so my advice straight away in this situation would be to stop reading The Snowman right where you are. Instead grab a copy of The Redbreast and start from the beginning. Characters interactions in these books are far from wooden, this author for me has an uncanny observation of people, a point which most others who read this series would agree on.

Starting from the top suggestion I have made to others who have jumped in half way through this series and they have gone on to not only read the first book but then the whole series in order, from one to the next, The Redbreast, Nemesis, The Devil's Star, The Redeemer and The Snowman, they are now coming back and complaining of withdrawals having to wait another year for the release of The Leopard. May I please urge you not to give up if this is your first attempt and try taking it from the top. I don't know anyone who been disappointed at this advice. Andrea :)

Posted on Jun 9, 2010 9:06:03 AM PDT
Pietr Hitzig says:

Another fine Nesbo review. I have just finished Devil's Star and can't imagine any finer Nesbo still to come. Unfortunately, I will miss that wicked man from Redbreast. Thought he would stay around a bit longer.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2010 2:55:16 PM PDT
Hi Pietr,

Try taking The Redeemer next, thats if you haven't already and then follow in with The Snowman which just happens to be my Dark favorite.

The Redbreast - again a favorite for other reasons its the WWII element entwined with the modern day plot. The authors own family stories from WWII which are different stories told away from what the history books might say, these are always of interest. I certainly thought that was a great tribute to his own parents.

Characters many come and go through this series; hold tight, there might just be another character who intrigues around the corner ;)
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