The Snowman: Harry Hole 7 (Film tie-in) Paperback – 5 Oct 2017
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"This is chilling, spectacular stuff and anyone looking for serious, and seriously compelling, crime writing need look no further" (Mark Billingham)
"One of the stars of contemporary crime fiction" (Martin Josephs The Times)
"Every now and then, a truly exceptional crime novel come along... This superb novel...deserves comparison with the first volume of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy" (Joan Smith The Sunday Times)
"Jo Nesbo is my new favourite thriller writer and Harry Hole my new hero" (Michael Connelly)
"Everything zips along, with some excellent red herrings in a tight plot... Nesbo keeps you turning the pages and if your idea of the perfect crime novel is to see Inspector Rebus investigating killings from The Silence of the Lambs, you'll love this" (The Times)
"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" (Mark Sanderson Evening Standard)
When the first snow falls, Harry Hole is confronted by a terrifying murderer who will push him to the edge...See all Product description
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The antagonist has so much potential. He's vulnerable, he wants to be loved and is capable of love to some degree. Despite his professional success, he never quite grew up. It's not that the book isn't at all enjoyable, because it is, but Nesbø should have devoted more time to flesh out the personalities and backgrounds of the characters rather than wasting time on gratuitous descriptions of sex and violence. It's been done to death. The crime genre is due for a good spring cleaning, just as soon as The Snowman has melted.
Harry Hole our plucky Norwegian police inspector is still flirting dangerously with alcohol and his on-and-off-and-on-again lady friend Rakel while still managing to solve Norway’s first serial killer case. He’s working out a lot more, has lost a lot of weight, feeling a bit older, but manages to keep his personal demons at bay and as a result makes a lot less mistakes than he has done in previous books.
As usual there’s a strong central idea powering Nesbo’s book and this time it is the statistic that 20% of children in Norway have secret fathers who aren’t listed on the birth certificate, mostly as a result of extra-marital affairs. This can be detected when the father has hereditary disease that is guaranteed to be passed on to their children. The relationships between father and son, father and ‘cuckoo’, Harry and Oleg, Harry and Rakel, are integrated into the search for the killer.
A veritable school of red herrings swim seductively through this book, but when you’ve got two hundred odd pages and the police chief announces to the public that the case is solved, you know that Hole is going to find a problem with the arrest, usually to the embarrassment of his superiors in the police force. As a regular reader of Nesbo it’s something I’ve come to expect and it is, if I’m to be frank, a plot mechanism that is in danger of wearing thin.
The violence is once again graphic in places and the sex is too for that matter. However, I find it refreshing that Nesbo doesn’t shy away from describing the darker aspects of human nature.
The business with the snowman is a bit silly in places and maybe a little overcooked, but I remember the buzz about this book when it originally came out in paperback. I haven’t been disappointed. It is one of his best so far.
It’s a relatively quick read even at 550 pages because of Nesbo’s quick pacing which urges the reader to get those pages turned. For me it also seemed to have a simpler plot than some of his other books, or maybe I have just got used to following all the multiple threads that Nesbo weaves together to form his narrative tapestries.
Here’s a song to go with the book. I think you know the tune:
(Knocking: Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock)
Do you want to build a snowman?
Come to Oslo and play
I will kill every whore
Blood on the floor
Before ice melts away
We’ve never been best buddies
But that could change
I wish I could tell you why
Why I want to build a snowman;
It really has to be a snowman.
I’ll find you, Snowman
Do you wanna build a snowman?
Or wipe the mould from off the walls
I think the hot loop is overdue
I’ve started talking to
the pictures of the whores!
(Hang in there, Rakel!)
It gets a little lonely
All these empty years…
Just watching the victims add up.
I know you’re on to me,
People are asking where you’ve been
They say “at the bar”, and I’m calling you
Rakel’s waiting for you, loop around her chin
She only has minutes
It’s just her and you
What are you gonna do?
Do you want to catch the Snowman?
I received a copy of The Snowman via NetGalley and my thanks to Vintage for that.
Written with Nesbo’s familiar jibes at life in Norway and its history and the rise of American influence, there are plenty of twists and turns in this satisfying thriller
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