It is no surprise to anyone that I love thrillers and mysteries. So when one of my favourite book blogger constantly suggested this Author, I had to read something by him. I, along with a fellow booklover picked The Snowman which is not the first in the Harry Hole series, but apparently a good place to start. If you are a Nesbo fan or know of other Authors and books that are as exciting as this, let me know in the comments below.
This title comes in multiple covers and mine has the one with a snowy clad landscape and a man walking amidst it. The face of the man is hidden away, he of course is the Snowman- the serial killer that Harry is after. The cover is not too creative, neither too unpleasant, just a cliché cover of a murder mystery (Yes! We know one, when we see one, don’t we?)
Harry is the lead investigator with a mixed reputation. He is an alcoholic, with a troubled personal life and a crazy obsession for his job. Rakele is his love interest, who has a son who simply adores Harry. She is dating Dr Mathias, who she plans to marry soon. Katrine Bratt, is Harry’s new partner- she is smart and mysterious and has an air of mystery about her. There is the mysterious Cosmetologist, the owner of a magazine- these two are among the few suspects in the case of the missing women. Apart from this there are all the women who go missing and their families, and not to forget, an ex-cop who is yet another suspect.
A woman goes missing, and there appears a mysterious snowman in her yard. Harry takes the case up and there seems to be something about it that urges him to believe that there is a serial killer on the loose in Norway. No one seems to believe him until yet another woman goes missing, and the snowman in the premise of her death confirms it. Named as The Snowman, the killer seems to target married women with children. Something links these women to a certain man, and there begins the hunt. From Oslo to Bergen, the killer has a deeper history than anyone assumed.
The chase for the killer keeps Harry and his team on their toes, it feels like the killer is playing a game with Harry. But can Harry track the killer before he runs free again? Or will he fail to live up to the challenge thrown at him by the killer?
The book is a translated version, and is about 550 odd pages long. It is a well translated book with inclusion of the original language making it a more wholesome read. It really supports the cold, icy setting it is set in making a great title under Nordic Noir.
Though this is the seventh book in the series, one does not feel they are missing much. The character of Harry, though a little cliché, is quite interesting, making him very likeable for anyone who enjoys this genre. I will surely read a lot more on Harry, and he surely qualifies to be a fictional character that I’d love!
The writing very smartly captures the beautiful yet cold landscape of Norway and makes the most of it, transporting the reader to this gorgeous place. The way the plot carries forward is a no nonsense affair with a direct approach to every crime. The way the different events are interlinked are very interesting, keeping one glued to the book.
I guessed the killer right in the middle of the book! I had about 200 odd pages, and I had a strong inkling as to who it was. Though the plot tries really hard to derail the reader, it was quite evident who the killer was ( or was it evident only to me?).
Who do I recommend it to?
If you are a fan of thrillers, you need to read Jo Nesbo! He is one of the best out there and all for the right reasons.
It was almost frightening how someone you have been intimate with can fade and vanish. Or perhaps that was why, you had been so close to each other that afterwards, when you no longer were it seemed unreal, like a dream you soon forget because it had happened only in your head.
“What is worse? Taking the life of a person who wants to live or taking death from a person who wants to die.”
Imagine the trembling victim trying to hide, but knowing that the smell of its own fear will kill it.
Evil is not a thing. It cannot take possession of you. It’s the opposite; it’s a void, an absence of goodness. The only thing you can be frightened of here is yourself.