This isn’t a book I normally choose to read, so I had to think a little bit how I would review it. I’ll do my best, but just so you know this might not be the best interpretation of this book.
Here’s more about the book
Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf.
Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother—and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in an increasingly terrifying game whose rules are devised—and constantly revised—by the killer.
I ended up reading this novel during my #24in48 readathon, so not only did I finish this book but I finished it in a sitting. I tried to think a little bit about how that happened. How did a crime fiction novel that I’m not usually into was read in an entire sitting? Only rarely does this happen to me and I’m shocked that The Snowman kept my attention the entire time.
Jo Nesbo is one of those writers that drops clues throughout the novel, but you’re never sure what they are. Is it this piece of info that was provided all the way at the beginning? Why is it important that we know about their extensive backgrounds? Are we dealing with a red herring?
And it’s good that Jo Nesbo breadcrumbed his story throughout the novel. It’s always these little hints and clues that compel me to continue reading. I guess Jo Nesbo did this almost in a subconscious way where I didn’t know they were clues until the very end.
I’ve read and heard that this book was scary with some pretty gorey details, but I didn’t find it that scary. Perhaps it’s because I’ve read horror fiction and even suspense thrillers with horrific amounts of blood that I’m desensitized to it. However, I didn’t find myself gripping my pillow or yelling at the characters to run away and hide. It felt like I was watching an episode of SVU with clever police officers, intrigue, and so many damn layers of evidence that you shock yourself with how you missed it before.
I think many people may find the way Jo Nesbo depicts its characters a little haunting. For example, the killer consistently calls his prey “whores” and some of the depictions of sex are a little too much for the faint of heart.
But overall, I thought this was a compelling and interesting novel and if you’re wondering if you should read this book you should. It’s the seventh novel in the Harry Hole series, but you don’t have to read the other books to know what’s going on.
The only thing I would comment on would be the wordiness. I think this is just Jo Nesbo’s style, but I found myself pretty exhausted by the end of the novel. I wanted to put it down once I found out everything especially since it’s really word-heavy. But some people may enjoy the literary-ness of a crime fiction novel.
I may not read another Jo Nesbo book again in the future, but I’m happy to have read this one. It’s fun reading crime fiction especially when it’s well-written like this one.
- Paperback, 528 pages
- Vintage Crime (June 28, 2016)
- Rating: 4/5 stars
- Find The Snowman on Amazon
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