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on 27 August 2017
I didn't quite "get" this book, mostly because the disproportionate focus on methodology versus motive makes for underdeveloped characters that are difficult to relate to. "The Snowman" reads like your average police procedural; the protagonist and his associates are flat, the female characters are strictly ornamental and the antagonist has a hatred of women that has no basis in neither science nor sociology. The dialogue is flat and not engaging. The plot moves painfully slow until the author finally decides to throw in an arbitrary damning clue out of nowhere that solves everything. As for the antagonist, I figured him (surprise!) out the second time he appeared. So would Hole have, if he ever decided to pause his navel gazing and sleeping around for no apparent reason once in a while.
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.
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VINE VOICEon 21 September 2017
After reading Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman, snowmen are now up there with clowns and those giants in Attack on Titan in terms of things that freak me out.

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:

The Snowman:


(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

The Snowman:

Maybe, bye…


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.

The Snowman:


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?
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on 30 September 2016
I've read practically all of Herr Nesbo's works,( bar 'Midnight Sun' because I wasn't all that keen on Blood on Snow because it was too short, and an idea that could have been developed further, but was, alas, cut down to little more than an extended novella) and I've really enjoyed them, but this is by far the best Harry Hole novel, although all of them are good, generally. In, The Snowman, early on, we are introduced to our cool customer when he is but a child, and told of an incident in his childhood that shapes him as an adult, when Nesbo takes us forwards quite a few years to the present day. As I read the novel a while ago now, the plot is a bit hazy, but it involves a battle of wills between Harry and the snowman. There is a very exciting, if a little creepy, denouement, involving Harry in a race against time to save his nearest and dearest,and you don't find out till the very end, who he is! Very Agatha Christie! I can see why it's being made into a film, as I reckon, with the proper casting, it'll be a smash! The take away lesson from it is, in true X Files, style, 'Trust No one.' Utterly brilliant!
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on 5 October 2017
I had already seen the trailer for the movie version of The Snowman before starting to read this so I’m sure that influenced how I saw the characters in my minds eye. This is the first Harry Hole that I have read and I have probably ruined the series for myself by starting here but I knew I would go see the movie anyway. I was reading on a kindle version and thought I was finding the book a bit slow but on checking realised that it’s much longer than most books I read. That said, there was a lot covered in the present time story and the retrospective. The author managed to maintain the tension to the end and I thought the overall plot was very clever. I don’t think the happy snowman figures which feature so much on Christmas cards will ever have quite the same appeal but I am looking forward to seeing how this transfers to the movie screen.

I received a copy of The Snowman via NetGalley and my thanks to Vintage for that.
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on 2 November 2017
Now a major film this is another Harry Hole story by Jo Nesbo. There is a killer out there whose calling card is the building of a snowman at the site of the abduction of the victims. Inspector Hole, along with his new officer Katrine Bratt are investigating a series of abductions which might have led to the murder of a number of women. The challenge they face is what connects these women?

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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on 7 March 2018
It is a riveting plot. My hats off for the twist in the story and the plausible motive to kill, unusual but highly possible. I just could not follow the flow of thoughts though.

The author moves one character by bringing in a new character so sudden and so often within the same chapter, I was caught off guard. As a result, I had to turn back the pages thinking that the new character may have been introduced before and I had overlooked.

This introduction of another character within the same chapter happen so frequently that I somehow lost touch with the development of the story. I couldn’t link the flow of the stories within stories quick enough to keep myself engaged in the plot. Thus, I lost concentration. There were chapters I found too tedious to try to remember who was who.

I think I will go watch the movie...
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on 5 January 2018
I hadn't read Jo Nesbo before. My husband wanted to see the film Snowman, then I saw it was based on a book so brought it as we never manged to get to the cinema. Honestly at first I found it hard to get into due to the volume of characters but about 100 pages in I was hooked. I loved this story! The twists and turns were well written. The characters are flawed and realistic. The way this story picks up and is written from different view points kept me turning the page. I am going to go back and start the series from the start. You don't have to read any of the earlier ones to understand this story but I guess you get more background on the characters if you do it in order.
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on 18 October 2017
This well it kept me guessing. I honestly thought I knew who the Snowman was really believed it, then when found out who was surprised to say the least. Red herrings galore and that kept me thinking yes I know the outcome to be thrown on its head yet again. That's one of the reasons why this book was so good not expected events or endings. The best by Jo Nesbo for me.
Not sure if I would go and see the film as knowing who and all about it would be sat there going no, no at times and maybe give the game away.
Well worth getting the book if one read you want to get deep into but just don't expect to be able to read a chapter then leave it. I couldn't.
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on 31 March 2016
Going on a cruise to see the Northern Lights in Norway, It seemed appropriate to read a juicy thriller from that region. What better than a Harry Hole novel written by the masterful Jo Nesbo? Little did I know I would catch the bug floating around the ship and endure 3 long days stuck in my cabin with only Harry to keep me company. Nothing could have pleased me more... other than being healthy, that is.

I've read a few early Harry Hole books but wanted a story that would be more current and supremely creep me out. Wish granted. The Snowman is one of the scariest villains I've encountered in the pages of a book and a solid opponent to our capable, deeply flawed, recovering alcoholic detective of international fame, Harry Hole. It's a brilliant book! The only downside, from my view, would be the large cast of women mentioned throughout the book. I had difficulty keeping them straight... but it may have been the cold meds keeping my brain from sparking.

What's to like in The Snowman? Harry is in great form whilst staying on the wagon (mostly), there are some dreadful instances of the Snowman at work, the climax is as heart-stopping as you would expect, and the story is tight and twisty.

If you enjoy police detective thrillers, The Snowman is well worth your time. Thank you, Mr. Nesbo!
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on 29 December 2017
Just finished this book which I couldn’t put down, my only problem was that some the characters names were written in the local language and as I couldn’t say them I couldn’t remember who was who very easily. I am 70 so it may just be me and no one else who has reviewed seems to have had this trouble. However the plot was clever and despite my problems with names I enjoyed the book.
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