… the serial killer who leaves behind snowmen as a calling card?
The mystery behind Jo Nesbo’s novel, The Snowman, is pretty standard: police investigator Harry Hole stumbles across a series of gruesome murders and disappearances. Two things stand out about these crimes: the women all disappeared on the first snowfall of the year, spanning multiple decades, and there was a snowman present at each of the crime scenes. (Seriously, I had no idea a snowman could be so creepy.)
Harry Hole is a very flawed protagonist with self-destructive tendencies and a stubborn streak a mile wide, but he also has a rugged independence and a strong sense of justice, which comes in handy when everyone else has written off the case. He’s not exactly a likeable character, but he’s certainly compelling, and I found myself rooting heartily for him by the end of the novel.
Pacing is steady, and there are a lot of red herrings throughout, which I liked because it kept me from guessing what was going to happen next. And by the time the real solution presented itself, I was turning pages so fast I thought sparks would fly out from under my fingers. The story just seemed to become even more compelling the farther in I got.
Like most Nordic fiction, The Snowman is dark, bleak, and atmospheric, and with some top-notch writing to boot. I’m not generally a fan of mystery series, and I’ve never considered myself a fan of Nordic fiction, but this is a series I definitely plan on following.
Reviewed by Katie (staff)