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.