Book Review: The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
February 7, 2012 27 Comments
Nadine of The Books of Life! read this book at the same time as me, so we decided to post our reviews on the same day and ask each other some questions about the book.
I enjoyed reading this book but for some reason, I couldn’t think of much to write about, so you’re getting a quick review this time. Below the review are the questions that Nadine asked me, and my answers to them.
My Quick Review
This is a thriller in the Inspector Harry Hole series, but it seems they can be read in any order. It was my first book by this writer.
Harry Hole is in charge of a missing woman’s case. She didn’t take anything with her when she left the house, and her mobile phone is found in the head of a snowman in the garden. Harry finds a link with other missing women cases and his team broadens their investigation. He is assisted by a young woman, Katrine Bratt, who has been transferred from Bergen to Oslo and was assigned to Harry’s team.
The murderer (it turns out the missing women are killed) always makes a snowman in the garden of the woman he abducts. It seems very hard to catch the Snowman and Harry gets it wrong a few times, but in the end, he finally catches the murderer in a dramatic turn of events.
It was a good read while I was reading it, but quite soon after reading it, I already failed to remember the plot. I can give you the bottom line (which I won’t, because of spoilers) but I could not summarize the whole book for you. Too many things happened and there were a few too many suspects.
A confession: I’ve had enough of flawed main characters, like Harry Hole. Harry is an alcoholic with an ex-wife and a son. He hasn’t got much to live for besides his work. I don’t need handsome heroes for whom everything they touch turns to gold but I’ve just read too many thrillers where the protagonist is having a non-existent or heavily flawed private life. This is not the fault of this writer or this book, but if you read thrillers regularly, you can get a bit fed-up with it.
Still, the story as such made for a good reading experience.
Nadine: Had you read any other book(s) in the Harry Hole series?
Judith: No, this was my first book by this author. I won it from Boof at The Book Whisperer who loved the book. I liked it but I didn’t think it was special. It’s just like many other good thrillers.
Nadine: Did you have the impression you missed something because you didn’t read any earlier books in the series?
Judith: No, I don’t think I missed out on anything. Maybe the characters (Harry, his ex-wife, his son, his colleagues) would be more interesting to me if I had read the other books, but I didn’t feel I missed any essential information.
Nadine: Did you have an inkling of who the snowman was before it was revealed in the book?
Judith: Not at all! I was not sure who it could be. I certainly didn’t expect that particular person to be the Snowman, he/she was never suspect (in my mind).
Nadine: Did you enjoy the book and if so, are you going to read any others from the series or by this author?
Judith: I did enjoy the book and I might read more of the author, but it’s not high on my list. For me, this wasn’t better or worse than many other thrillers that I’ve read.
Nadine: On the cover of my edition of the book, a sticker says: ‘The Next Stieg Larsson’. I know you have read the Millennium Trilogy and enjoyed it. What do you think about the comparison between Nesbo and Larsson?
Judith: Nonsense! Any Scandinavian crime writer is the next Stieg Larsson if you’d ask the marketing department at any publisher! Well, no! This book is one in a series, but Larsson’s books formed a trilogy with one story line (that of Salander) taking a large part of the books (Harry Hole’s private life is much less important in The Snowman). Larsson’s books took place in Sweden, The Snowman in Norway. Larsson’s books contain more politics and a conspiracy at government level. Nothing like that in The Snowman.
[I actually read the Millenium Trilogy twice, watched all three (Swedish) films and the new (American) film. I can’t get enough of it!]
You can find Nadine’s review (and my questions to her) HERE.
I got this book: From Boof of The Book Whisperer
I read this in: English, the original language is Norwegian
Number of pages: 576
First published: 2010 (English edition, the Norwegian edition Snømannen is from 2007)