Search This Blog

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

The Snowman continues the adventures of Inspector Harry Hole.  I like Harry, but I can't say that I liked this book.  The murders are senseless and gruesome.  It is less a mystery than a patchwork of murders intended for shock value.  The killer's motivation didn't work for me.

I like Harry, I really do.  He is an antihero, a flawed individual; still, I wish he'd clean up his act a little.  His character never grows within a novel; in fact, it hasn't grown from novel to novel.  Harry goes on the wagon occasionally, and he falls off, often spectacularly.  Even if alcoholism is a permanent part of his personality, it would be nice if it didn't take prominence in every novel.

So...even though I do like the character, I'm not entirely happy with him, and the plot of this novel (red herrings included) is just way over the top.  The last bit, the part with Rakel in jeopardy, was beyond my ability to take seriously.  My image of the scene with Rakel and the snowman is almost funny.

I've enjoyed the previous novels I've read by Nesbo, but this one, not so much.

Fiction.  Mystery/Crime.  Eng. trans. 2011.  400 pages.


  1. Jenclair, this is such good news for me. I've got three of his books and this was the first one I read and I did NOT like it. At all. I then gave up on him and was about to give away the other books I have. I will now at least give him another try.
    This book just felt so unrealistic.

  2. Caroline - He totally succumbs to one the view that the more shocking and bizarre the better. It becomes a body count of bizarre, doesn't it?

    Nesbo has skirted this edge before, but this time, he fell over. I won't be in a hurry for another of his books.

  3. I also was less than thrilled with "The Snowman"
    And Harry Hole can't compare with Kurt Wallander( I hate that name Harry Hole) seems almost porno.
    I am sorry Mankell has retired Wallander.
    Thanks for all your reviews I get many ideas for good reading from your blog.
    I just started "Home Front" Light reading. I will let you know how I like it.

  4. Chancy - I hate the name, too.

    It makes me sad that there will be no more Kurt Wallander. I'm sure Mankell felt it was time, but I hated that last farewell.

    I think Home Front sounds like an interesting read (my sil was in Iraq last year), so I'll watch for your review.