Harry Hole Series Book: The Snowman

"The Snowman" by Jo Nesbo is a gripping crime novel that follows the detective Harry Hole as he investigates the mysterious disappearances and deaths of several women, each connected to the presence of a snowman. Translated by Don Bartlett, this seventh installment in the series showcases Nesbo's storytelling prowess and his ability to create a compelling narrative.

The story is narrated in an anonymous voice, with straightforward and uncomplicated writing. While the composition contains numerous references to Norwegian places and things, which might be unfamiliar to some readers, they add a sense of authenticity to the setting.

Harry Hole, a seasoned investigator known for his previous success in catching a serial killer, is leading the investigation alongside his new partner, Katrine Bratt. Hole's renegade personality, reminiscent of Dirty Harry, shines through as he tackles the case in his own unique way, often clashing with his superiors. The complexity of his character is further explored through his struggles with alcoholism and personal relationships, particularly his breakup with his former love interest, Rakel.

The plot takes readers on a rollercoaster ride, jumping between Oslo and Bergen, as Harry and Katrine delve into the case. The snowman motif adds a chilling touch, as the murders occur on the first snowfall of the year and seem to involve married women engaged in extramarital affairs. Nesbo expertly weaves a web of red herrings, keeping readers guessing and encouraging them to scrutinize the backgrounds of the characters to identify the least likely suspect.

One aspect worth noting is the portrayal of the higher-ups in the police force, who are too eager to close the case prematurely, leading to embarrassing missteps. This American cliché provides an interesting layer of tension and showcases the flawed nature of the justice system.

Overall, "The Snowman" is a thrilling crime novel that showcases Jo Nesbo's masterful storytelling and his ability to create complex and flawed characters. With its twists and turns, the book keeps readers on the edge of their seats until the thrilling conclusion. While some familiarity with Norwegian references might be required, it adds to the authenticity of the setting. Fans of crime fiction will find themselves immersed in this dark and intriguing tale of murder and deception.