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THE SNOWMAN [Hardcover]

Jo Nesbo
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another craze Aug. 31 2011
There's obviously a Nesbo craze on, given the other reviews. I don't see it. The Snowman is an okay story, even if the gruesome violence is overdone and there's rather too much personal stuff between Harry and Rakel. But the reader isn't part of the solving of the crimes; there's not enough to work with. Obviously the reader gets it all at the end without participation. In this way, the work is too passive so it's not really a mystery; it's a story, period. The goings-on between Hole and his boss and colleagues end up as the most interesting aspect of the narrative. My first and last Nesbo--but then I didn't take to Stieg Larson, either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
"Furthermore the LORD said to him, 'Now put your hand in your bosom.' And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. And He said, 'Put your hand in your bosom again.' So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh." -- Exodus 4:6-7 (NKJV)

The best mystery novelists can take us into the depths of human depravity in ways that make them more accessible and understandable . . . which serves to make the experience all the more chilling. Jo Nesbo is a master in this aspect of the genre and Don Bartlett is an exceptionally talented translator who makes The Snowman seem like a novel originally written in English.

The Snowman is the fifth Harry Hole novel to be translated into English, and fans of the series are in for a treat. The book opens with one perspective on how a criminal mind was shaped . . . and then fills in the consequences through a series of crimes and the police investigations.

While the book primarily takes the form of a police procedural, there is enough threat, risk, and exposure to also enjoy the book as a thriller where no one is truly safe.

Ultimately, the book's finest quality is in its careful character developments that leave you with quite a complete sense of the book's major and many of the minor characters. The result is to bring the reader into the story in ways that make the action more gripping.

Unlike a lot of longer police procedurals, this one didn't drag. Mr. Nesbo has a great talent for keeping his story line spare. Even what appear at first to be red herrings serve deeper story needs.

If you haven't read the other Harry Hole books, I don't advise you to start with this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars can't put it down July 12 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't discover Nesbo's books until recently and I'm reading them in a rather random order - non-sequential. They're just as good out of order. Crime and suspense at its best.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It will guarantee you cold chills! May 7 2014
By Vanessa
Format:Kindle Edition
In that book Harry's professional and personal relationships mingle and meet and you get to know better the different characters, which makes us closer to the protagonists and gives us the impression of being part of the team. I met Harry Hole again with pleasure. He's in a better state than in The Leopard (which was written after The Snowman), but as I haven't read them in the order... It's in this book that I knew the extent of the horror experienced by Harry and why he's hurting so much in the future. In any case, I enjoyed discovering more about Harry 's relationship with his colleagues who regularly mock his propensity to see a serial killer behind every dog run. I made acquaintance with Rakel - and discovered their history - and Oleg who worships Harry.

Here, no action at all costs, no chases in each chapter, but tension rises gradually. We have a sense of failure and a feeling of the horror to come. Harry must investigate the murders of the past in connection with the disappearances of the present time and it takes time. Time during which the danger increases and we feel that something bad is coming but the killer seems quite too smart for Harry and, indeed, he's on the verge of not succeeding. The atmosphere is cold as can be - probably because it's about the first snow (perhaps to read it in July would not have the same impact!) - and adds to the tension and anxiety. As to discover the culprit... beware the obvious!

Harry's struggle not to drink, his efforts and the anger he feels all the time are obviously recurring in the series, but this is what makes him an endearing character (yes, cliché die hard in thrillers!).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book Jan. 25 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good read, kept me intrigued until the end. Typical Jo Nesbo style of writing. I would recommend this book if you like his style of writing
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4.0 out of 5 stars good mystery Oct. 17 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
the book was recommended and it lived up to expectations! I t was a great read; enjoyed it very much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There Are No Easy Answers Jan. 27 2013
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
I have always liked the way Nesbo carefully builds a story to a critical point where all the cumulative detail suddenly makes sense. He seems to feed his readers just enough information to lead them to the next point in a protracted search for a cunning, ruthless, psychopathic killer who leaves snowmen behind at each crime scene. The thrill in reading a novel like "The Snowman" comes in following the hunt through a very involved labyrinth of circumstances, personalities and settings that takes us ever closer to an unknown quarry. This murder mystery is set in Oslo in the middle of winter. Women, especially mothers, are disappearing off the streets only to be found brutally murdered by what looks like a serial killer. The fear that pervades the city is very real. In the midst of this gathering gloom comes a glimmer of unlikely hope: a dispirited Inspector Hole has suddenly become, out of a sense of duty and compassion, a heroic member of the investigative team in spite of his own lagging fortunes. We get to follow him and his sidekick, Katrine, around as they follow clues, conduct interviews, and eliminate suspects in this bloody rampage. The breaks that come their way only serve to deepen the plot as they inch ever closer to apprehending a very sick person. It is looking more like the killer is so brazen as to be working in their very midst but, before we get to discover his or her identity, be prepared for a couple of unexpected, action-packed twists and turns. This is a novel that keeps one guessing as to who's who. I found this tale to be full of all kinds of fascinating detail from the medical, forensic, and psychological worlds that needs contending with before the killer is reeled in.
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