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The Snowman (Harry Hole, Book 7) (Harry Hole Series) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 10, 2011
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, May 2011: The Snowman, Norwegian author Jo Nesbø's thriller, should please even the most die-hard Stieg Larsson fans. On the first day of snow, a child wakes up to find his mother has disappeared during the night. Outside, a snowman has appeared out of nowhere, the calling card of one of the most terrifying serial killers in recent fiction. A letter from the perpetrator draws Detective Hole further and further into the case, and together with his new partner, Katrine Bratt, he hunts the Snowman through twists and turns that become increasingly personal and may drive Hole to the brink of insanity. Brilliantly crafted, this credible and dark page-turner fully fleshes out the characters, especially Hole, a hardened detective with sharp instincts and real heart. What is the link between the victims? Is the Snowman a suspicious doctor, a notorious playboy, or one of Hole's peers on the force? The police keep thinking they've caught the criminal, but Hole's astute observations may steer him around the red herrings and right into the hands of the cold-as-ice killer. --Miriam Landis
“Jo Nesbø is my new favorite thriller writer and Harry Hole my new hero.” —Michael Connelly
“With Henning Mankell having written his last Wallander novel and Stieg Larsson no longer with us, I have had to make the decision on whom to confer the title of best current Nordic writer of crime fiction. After finishing Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman, I hesitate no longer . . . This is crime writing of the highest order, in which the characters are as strong as the story, where an atmosphere of evil permeates, and the tension begins in the first chapter and never lets up.” —Times (UK)
“The Snowman is a superb thriller—smart, stylish, beautifully paced and meticulously plotted . . . Nesbø is such an insightful portraitist that Hole and all the secondary characters are convincing at just about every bloody turn . . . The psychological aspects of the novel are on a par with Ruth Rendell’s inspector Wexford mysteries. Ultimately, though, what sets Nesbø apart is his ability to keep the pages turning with such intellectual dexterity.” —Newsday
“Every now and then, a truly exceptional crime novel comes along, something so gripping that it recalls classics such as The Silence of the Lambs. Jo Nesbø has pulled it off with The Snowman . . . [which] establishes him as a writer of rare ingenuity and total confidence.” —Sunday Times (UK)
“Irresistibly addictive . . . This is reading as you experienced it in childhood, without any gap between eye and mind, but with the added pleasures that adult plots and adult characters can bring . . . It is Nesbø’s plots—brilliantly conceived, carefully worked out, and complicatedly satisfying—that finally make [his books] unputdownable.” —Slate
“Nesbø is being hailed as the next Stieg Larsson or Henning Mankell . . . Apt comparisons, but they don’t go far enough. This is simply the best detective novel this reviewer has read in years . . . Nesbø’s latest thriller reads like a symphony, from the thundering first chords that pull the reader into a magical world through the delicately enticing development in which motifs and story strands are woven together leading to a pounding, furious conclusion.” —Library Journal (starred)
“Erica Jong meets Stephen King meets, yes, Stieg Larsson in this superb thriller.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
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Top Customer Reviews
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 Nesbø 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 Nesbø 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 Nesbø 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.
This is Nesbø's seventh Harry Hole novel, but the fifth to be published in English. While this is a serial killer novel, which I normally don't care for, I did enjoy this book. Nesbø is a fluid, lyrical writer, Don Bartlett a talented translator, and Harry Hole a compelling character.
It's the first snowfall of the season and a snowman appears outside young Jonas's house. Strangely, the snowman is facing the house, rather than the street. In the middle of the night, Jonas awakes and finds his mother is missing, but her scarf is now around the snowman's neck.
As Harry's team works this missing-persons case, Harry fears that they are actually dealing with a serial killer who has left a note for Harry, taunting him. His fear heightens as other crimes are discovered that seem to him to be related.
As in previous books in this series, there are certain themes that connect the crimes being investigated and Harry's life. The complexity of the various plots means that the book begins slowly and deliberately to get the stories in motion. Then, about halfway through, things take off and become breathtakingly tense and exciting.
Several times you may think you have the whodunnit figured out, but there are more twists and turns to come. You learn new clues along with Harry, so there is no feel of trickery in the plot's movement. This is typical of a Harry Hole mystery, though in this case, probably because of the nature of the crime, the red-herring suspects were less believable than usual.
Harry's relationships with his team, his superiors and his former lover Rakel and her son Oleg continue to be an important part of the books. And as always, Oslo itself is almost another character.
Harry's self-loathing and titanic struggles with drink continue in THE SNOWMAN. His addiction to his job helps combat his addiction to alcohol, but in moments of despair he falls into the pit again. Another character tells Harry that all of the best stories are about losers. Readers of the Harry Hole series should agree.
Ideally, the Harry Hole series should be read in order, though that is not absolutely critical with THE SNOWMAN or its predecessor, THE REDEEMER. It would be unfortunate, however, to read THE REDBREAST, NEMESIS and THE DEVIL'S STAR out of that order, because they function as a trilogy in one important thread of the story.
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