Steven Peterson's Reviews > The Snowman

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø
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Oct 16, 12


This is a powerful murder mystery, set in Oslo. It is another in the series featuring police detective Harry Holt. He is a tough character, he drinks too much, and he is a talented investigator. I have not read any of the other books in this series, so I cannot speak to their quality or the quality of the series as a whole. But this novel is a real winner.

It begins with a snowman facing a house. Murder follows. And we discover the modus operandi of the serial killer. There is the snowman-p-and there are other unique characteristics of his sanguinary assault on people. There are a number of threads in this novel--Harry's old girl friend, Rakel; his new police partner, a hardboiled female detective; a tale of a previous investigator who was investigating the snowman--and his demise; the various murders.

Nesbo is a craftsman as he pulls these various plotlines together in a taut and suspenseful novel. And the author creates a credible atmosphere, with the winter in Norway an element of the drama.

There are hints as to whom the killer might be, and several times one might think that we have identified the murderer. But these are red herrings. As unbelievable as it seems, I actually guessed right on the perpetrator (that's very rare for me in a well crafted mystery).

In the end, a fine murder mystery, with intriguing twists and turns and a pretty satisfying ending.
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