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The Snowman: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 5) Paperback – 19 Aug 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (19 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099520273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099520276
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (526 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Every now and then, a truly exceptional crime novel come along, something so gripping that it recalls classics such as The Silence of The Lambs. One of Norway's most successful crime writers, Jo Nesbo has pulled it off with The Snowman... This latest novel to be translated into English establishes him as a writer of rare ingenuity and total confidence" (The Sunday Times)


The Snowman is a superb thriller. Jo Nesbø is astonishingly good; he knows how to grab you, by the throat and by the heart


"This is chilling, spectacular stuff and anyone looking for serious, and seriously compelling, crime writing need look no further"

"Chillingly adept...creepy, creepy stuff from the very first page" (Time Out)

"Nesbo, in his fifth, most wide-ranging novel, gradually tightens the narrative grip until, throughout the last 100 pages, the reader also finds it hard to breathe" (Evening Standard)

Book Description

Beware the falling snow... The first snowfall in Oslo brings a series of gruesome murders, and Harry Hole is pitted against a brutal killer who will drive him to the edge.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Thompson on 16 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is only the second Harry Hole book I have read (now working may way through the series). I ordered the book once I was a few chapters into Nemesis as I knew I had stumbled upon a great character and a great author.

After completing Nemesis I was expecting great things from this book but it far outreached my expectations. This book grips you from the first to the last sentence. I have to confess that I worked out who the 'culprit' was half-way through the book, at least I made an educated guess and was proved to be right (the clues were there) but this in no way deterred from the suspense and enjoyment of the story.

I cannot recommend this book or indeed the character of Harry Hole highly enough.
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347 of 366 people found the following review helpful By G. J. Oxley on 22 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
You'd be forgiven for thinking that 'snowman' was a slang term for a cocaine dealer - but you'd be wrong. In this, the fifth Jo Nesbo to be translated into English, there's a particularly nasty, hyper-intelligent serial killer of that name; a man with serious psychological issues rooted in a past event. Nesbo's marvellous creation - detective Harry Hole - initially struggles to get a handle on his identity and makes wrong assumptions, but ... I'll not give away any more of the plot.

The book is full of incidental invention, and it was only after finishing the book, when I thought back on everything that occurred within its pages, that I fully appreciated the author's genius. And believe me, that is not too strong a word for what's on offer here. It's not difficult to work out who the killer is (I don't think it's meant to be) but it's what the author does with the plot that counts: he takes familiar elements and twists completely new shapes out of them. Indeed the last fifty pages or so are almost unbearably tense and are as exciting as anything I've read in the past three years.

No-one in the world of crime fiction is producing better stuff than Jo Nesbo and that includes Michael Connelly, Elmore Leonard, George Pelecanos, James Lee Burke et al. He is THAT good. I can hardly wait for the next one and If I had the money I'd pay the excellent translator, Don Bartlett, out of my own pocket to get them translated quicker! Counting up my personal Amazon ratings, I make that 24 stars out of maximum 25 for the five Nesbo books I've read. This, for me is a prime indicator of not only his stellar talent, but the sheer consistent brilliance of his output.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Maxine Clarke VINE VOICE on 29 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
Translated by Don Bartlett.

There is no doubt in my mind that THE SNOWMAN is the best so far of Jo Nesbo's series about Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo police. The novel is a very well-plotted, exciting story, initially about two women, both wives and mothers, who go missing - the start of a case with many complicated directions. But more than that, the protagonist (Harry) is an engaging character whose blend of tough vulnerability and funny subversions of authority make the reader strongly identify with him. As with many modern heroes of crime fiction, Harry stands up for what is right, and for intelligent, deductive police work, not for fashion, political correctness or toeing any organisational or party line. As the novel opens, the reader is given some hints that the women's disappearances may be related to other events during the past 25 years, and that the appearance of a snowman is a common theme to these sinister happenings. Even without this information, Harry is immediately convinced that a serial killer is at work, on the basis of a mysterious anonymous letter he has received referring in unnervingly precise terms to a case long ago in Harry's career, when he caught a notorious serial killer in Australia, making him famous in his native Norway*. Ever since, Harry has wanted to track down a serial killer on his home turf, but has never encountered one (regular readers of this series may think that this assertion stretches a point or two, based on some of Harry's earlier cases, but never mind).
What Harry is interested in is a battle of wits - the traditional serial killer of detective fiction who is highly intelligent and leaves complex clues as to his or her plan and motivation, a "worthy opponent".
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85 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Brida TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
THE SNOWMAN is the first book by Nesbo that I have read. In fact, reading this has been a break away from the genres that I usually turn to; I rarely read crime novels. What drew me to the book was how snow and snowmen could be made into scary things. With this book, I realised how.

Nesbo is a fantastic writer. His story grabs you at the very beginning and it truly does not let go. The plot is also slowly built up; different threads and possibilities are woven into the story, some of which you may realise straightaway that they are relevant, others take a little more time before you see why they were there. All of the characters are well drawn too. Although Harry Hole, the policeman who is the main character, is a divorced, alcoholic, he does not read like a cliche. The struggles he has with the case, himself and his ex-wife were well thought out and you do not need to have read the other books in the Harry Hole series to appreciate this one.

An excellent read. Will make me look at snowmen in a whole new light, but I would recommend anyone to read this book - even those like me who never normally would.
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