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THE SNOWMAN Hardcover – 2011

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Hardcover, 2011
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt (2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307595862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307595867
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 3.8 x 24.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,347,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 2 2010
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: Next published in the series (in English).

A woman disappears and a few months earlier Inspector Harry Hole had received a threatening note. He is convinced that their is a connection. Then a second woman disappears. Harry and his detectives soon discover a disturbing tale of women, married with children, who have gone missing without a trace over a chillingly large number of years. The clues will take him down so many false roads that his job is on the line not once, but twice.

This is a thriller that takes off on new twists with the speediness of a whip crack. What's up for one chapter is down the next with reveal after reveal sending the police on the chase of a clever, determined serial killer who is skillfully directing the police to play into the unsub's own mad theatre of his mind.

I've read three of the books in this series so far and this is the most excellent. The red herrings, the false roads which all do connect, in a way, just not the way the police want them to, are an amazing road to follow. Twist after turn will have you gasping as they go after who they think is the killer only to find they have suspicions of someone else ... more than once. I really can't convey how amazingly clever this plot was woven together, with a myriad of clues, characters and evidence Nesbo doesn't miss a step in seamlessly creating an airtight thriller.

Funny thing for me is that I guessed who the killer was as soon as the character was introduced, for no particular reason than I thought it would make perfect sense in the end. (Perhaps I read so many thrillers I'm beginning to think like a thriller writer, either that or a serial killer, AAH!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 2 2011
Format: Paperback
"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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CGP on Aug. 31 2011
Format: Paperback
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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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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