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The Snowman

(Harry Hole #7)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  124,826 ratings  ·  8,949 reviews
One night, after the first snowfall of the year, a boy named Jonas wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day.  Inspector Harry Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter he’s rece ...more
Paperback, 500 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published August 19th 2007)
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Kerry The Harry Hole books do all work independently though if you read later books first they contain 'spoilers' relating to the regular characters, primar…moreThe Harry Hole books do all work independently though if you read later books first they contain 'spoilers' relating to the regular characters, primarily the officers and their families. Most obviously, if you know a particular character appears in a later book that they are not going to die in a seemingly perilous situation in the older one.

As Holger says, you do not need to have read the previous ones to be able to follow the story but there are references to events that have already happened. I have read the series completely out of order and it has not spoilt my enjoyment.(less)
Pat Yes, read "The Leopard, " the next in the series. Rakel is a distant, unattainable memory by then.…moreYes, read "The Leopard, " the next in the series. Rakel is a distant, unattainable memory by then.(less)

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordic-noir
”Jonas stood up on one of the kitchen chairs and peered out. And, sure enough, there on the lawn in front of the house was a snowman. It was, as his mother had said, big. It’s eyes and mouth were made with pebbles and the nose was a carrot. The snowman had no hat, cap or scarf, and only one arm, a thin twig Jonas guessed had been taken from the hedge. However, there was something odd about the snowman. It was facing the wrong way. He didn’t know why, but it ought to have been looking out onto th ...more
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was invited to read 'The Snowman ' by the publisher, prior to its release in cinemas in October 2017, and have given an honest review in exchange.

As a little girl I used to love the first snowfall of winter, and the fun that accompanied it, like sledging down hills with complete abandon and snowball fights, but best of all was building a snowman. Great effort went into making this little guy look good - a borrowed cap and scarf from dad - a few buttons from mum's sewing box - however, the snow
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a re-read for me, it is the 7th in the Harry Hole series set in Oslo, Norway. It is now a major film with Michael Fassbender as Harry, I admit to being intrigued to see how this novel translates into this movie! We have the usual gloomy and downbeat portrayal of Norway, its weather and its people. A young boy finds his mother missing and goes outside. There he finds a snowman has appeared, adorned with a scarf belonging to his mother. Oslo police have Harry investigate with his new partn ...more
Skyler Autumn
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loath
2 Stars

I am just not a Jo Nesbo fan! I'm sorry I tried. I read 'The Bat' thought well that was dull and confusing. Then everyone was saying don't judge the series by the first two novels. Jump ahead it gets soooo good. So I was like, I will jump so far ahead I will go straight for the book they deemed so good that they made it into a bloody movie. And all I can say is a resounding meh! That's right it was meh very meh.

The story follows our functioning alcoholic detective Harry Hole. I'm using th
Jim Fonseca
If you like a complicated plot with a lot of characters and many twists and turns, here’s the book for you. Nesbo, a Norwegian author, is one of the Scandinavian noir mystery/police detective writers. This book is one of a dozen he has written featuring the police detective Harry Hole.

Nesbo is obviously a brilliant guy. Consider that he is also a professional rock musician and song writer, and that as an economics major he has been a stockbroker and journalist. Until sidelined by an injury, he
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I can’t remember if I’m watching TV... or maybe I’m listening to some NPR podcast or something, but I hear about this movie called The Snowman directed by the same guy who did Let the Right One In and based on a novel by this Jo Nesbo dude. Hey! Jo Nesbo! I know that name! I’ve seen his books floating around on Goodreads. I’ve seen people I know, love, and respect reading, loving, and recommending his books.

But I found myself in a bit of a dilemma. I started thinking about all the other time
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intense!!! I loved it!!! I really really liked the authors writing style. It was detailed, unique, and very intricate. I was googling stuff left and right. Lol. I can't wait for the movie with Michael Fassbender!! Yum!! ...more
2.5 to 3 stars

Eh . . . I know I have mentioned something along these lines in my previous Jo Nesbo/Harry Hole reviews, but I feel like he writes to intentionally confuse the reader – and I am not sure it is in a good way. Sure, we all love to be pulled into the complicated web of a mystery. But, when things get so out there and are going is so many directions that you cannot keep up anymore, it is no longer fun!

If I were to diagram this book, I would put some big, fairly straightforward plot poi
Here's the thing about the recent popularity of Scandinavian writers and if you're a Nordic Thriller aficionado you couldn't care less about the distinction: the novels are depressed, somber, filled with ennui, a lack of humor, with flawed characters if not suffused with a strong tendency towards determinism; in short, whether you're reading Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, or Jo Nesbo you are likely reading Literary Naturalism. If you live in Scandinavia you might consider this par for the cours ...more
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
if this had been the first book i'd read of the series, it would also be the last.

'the other end!' she exclaimed, removing her hands from her face. 'we'll have to begin at the other end. in bergen!'
'no,' harry whispered with the last air he had left in his lungs. 'bergen's not an end. could you ...?'

he looked up at her. saw her dark eyes fill with tears.

"IT'S MY PERIOD,' she whispered.

honestly. i'm amazed i bothered to finish. i was completely unable to get lost in the characters or believe the
I read this for a video I did, it ended up being pretty underwhelming for me, see the video here: ...more
Good solid crime thriller. Got on track of this book via goodreads mention, great tip! I loved the atmosphere in the book, dark but beautiful too, the grim, well written story line, the characters, Harry, the snowy Oslo and Bergen scenes(visited both cities few times so memories...). Great ending. I can see this one on tv or in the theatre. Will definitely read more of this author.
Sharon Layburn
Jul 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-thriller
Although Nesbo is apparently a household name abroad- especially in his native Norway- he is just starting to receive acclaim in the States. His reputation appears to be well-deserved.
Admittedly, I did have to work a little to get into the book at first. The Snowman is the seventh Harry Hole novel, so I felt a bit like I was overhearing the middle of a conversation. I also had somewhat of a learning curve to overcome when it came to the landscape, characters, and the political structure of the N
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, buddy-read
Good introduction to the Harry Hole series!

I'm glad I read this book and I'll be starting at the beginning of the series. I did not care for Harry Hole by the middle of the book but then his character was better for me by the end. I have a feeling this is due to not knowing his backstory, why he battles alcoholism, why he's a lone wolf and some of the personal demons he struggles with. Once I get more information about his character, I'm sure I'm going to love this guy.

So my advice is to start a
Oct 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
I can promise you one thing; my days of making snowmen are over. No more! The British winter isn’t far away and if one of my neighbours decides to build a snowman in our quiet, secluded street, I’m booking the first flight to Barbados and running! I’m not kidding; this is one hell of a creepy crime thriller! – They don’t have snow in Barbados do they?

UPDATE:Full review and Movie Tie In Post on Blog

Two days ago I entered the world of the snowman and within seven pages I know I was hooked. Psychol
Feb 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Seek help, Nesbo. You are sick.

Somewhat higher ratio of detective work to fluff in this book. A sidekick here knows her business.

Very linear writing style (or translation), far better than the mess of book #1 The Bat, but very pedestrian and flat.

One very good scene of detectives at work, then more fluff and cliche.

And less than 20% in, there is a very unpleasant murder, described in FIRST PERSON victim's detail, brutal and unrelenting, and presented as titillation and gratuitous sick violenc
Jun 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
The Snowman is a blizzard of cliches, a swirling maelstrom of silly nightmares and a great mound of nonsense. It's a serial-killer murder-mystery where the narration shifts so much and the details are handed out so inconsistently you feel like the author is leading you around by the nose. The red-herrings are numerous and obvious (multiple times, the police become convinced they've caught the killer; the back-slapping is so strenuous I'm surprised there aren't more injuries) and the depictions o ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by this author and I'm definitely going to more, because I absolutely devoured this one!

I had a suspicion how everything is going to pan out from early on and was proved to be correct, but I still was questioning myself throughout the story, because there were so many twists and turns.
I often find several plot twists in crime books to be annoying, simply because they are too overdone, but that totally wasn't the case here. Everything still seemed realistic and fitting.

James Thane
This is the seventh entry in Jo Nesbo's series featuring Norwegian Police Inspector Harry Hole, and it may be the best thus far. Hole, for those who haven't made his acquaintance, is a maverick who prefers to work alone and to play by his own rules. He struggles with alcohol; his personal life is a mess, and, as a practical matter, he lives for his job.

Early in his career, Harry gained some fame, or notoriety as the case may be, for catching a serial killer while he was detailed to a case in Aus
Glenn Sumi
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-usa-can-uk
This is my first Jo Nesbø novel, but it won’t be my last.

I’ve wanted to read Nesbø for years, and the fact that this book – considered one of his best – is currently being made into a film, starring Michael Fassbender as the jaded, alcoholic Oslo detective Harry Hole, was a selling point.

I bought a three-eBook bundle for $4.99 (including Harry Hole books 7-9), and am so glad I went that route. It helped immensely to be able to search people and place names in seconds. Not being Norwegian, the
Morticia Adams
This might have been worth three stars, because I quite enjoyed it, but I’ve been stingy and given it just two, because of the disproportionate number of five star ratings it has, which I don’t think it deserves. It’s not a bad read by any means, the story is engaging, gripping at times, and genuinely creepy in places. But it’s far too long, so many red herrings it became tedious, and there were some utterly pointless non-sequiturs (eg the mould man, or was I missing some subtle reference there? ...more
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series, crime
“Did you know that darkness has a taste?”

Beware of the snowman in your front yard. It may not be as innocent as it seems!
Well, the snowmen in this book are not. Or rather the person who makes them.
A well written, suspenseful and atmospheric novel, with morbid storyline, abundant suspects and ample twists and turns.
This is my second Jo Nesbo, the 7th in Harry Hole series and definitely not my last.
This book met all my requirements for a good thriller:

1) It kept me on the edge of my seat for much of the time, AND the loads of suspects and false leads kept me guessing.

2) There were interesting characters with not too much backstory on each.

3) The suspenseful and bloody buildup led to a satisfying conclusion.

Strange, that what chilled me most about the book was not the creepy serial killer, but the thought of someone working diligently in my yard, making a snowman that stares not out onto th
Delirious Disquisitions
You should read this if you like: atmospheric crime thrillers/mysteries, detective novels with compelling characters, smart serial killers, cat/mouse dynamics.

Reading the The Snowman at 1 am last night, at one point I was so terrified I started seeing monsters in the dark. Unlike in childhood nightmares these monsters were human and not so easily banished from the mind. This book took me to a dark place, made me take a long, hard look at the disturbing human psyche and the violence we are capab
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nesbø creates his best novel in the series to date, placing Harry Hole and the larger cast of characters in a fast-paced race to discover Norway's first serial killer. Hole is investigating a number of murders in and around the Oslo area, after previous detectives could not find tangible clues to tie them together or offer any insight. Hole discovers that all the slain women are married mothers and that a snowman stands outside their residence, a beacon of sorts. Using the apt moniker "The Snowm ...more
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

In this 7th book in the 'Harry Hole' series, Police Inspector Harry Hole investigates a number of disappearances and murders in Norway - which he suspects is the work of a serial killer.

Over about twenty years a number of women have disappeared, and one is known dead. In each case the woman is married and a mother. In a bizarre twist, a snowman has been left at the site of each disappearance, in one case wearing the pink scarf and containing the cell phone of the victim. This and an anonymous n
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-shelf
This was a really good mystery/thriller. One of the best I've read in awhile. The author has you following Harry Hole around as he investigates a string of murders involving married women with children. You have been given easy clues, but there are still red herrings. Like any real investigation, we have to go through a process of elimination. But,after a few dead ends, the author practically hits you over the head with a brick, so if you were paying any attention, you know who "The Snowman" is. ...more
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
I think I may have fallen into a Jo Nesbø hole.

With a protagonist named (non-ironically) Harry Hole.

Unfortunately, I've had shitacular luck with romance reads lately so I picked this up not realizing it was book 7 of a series. Oops. And now I can't unring this bell.

There are a couple references made to past events but they were minor and didn't detract from how engrossing this case was.

The Snowman is a serial killer targeting women. Their hallmark is leaving a snowman near the crime scene. Spoo
Nick Pageant
It's been a so-so reading year for me. Thank God I chose to end it by stalking Lena, Alona, and Sofia.

This is one hell of a book. It works on just about every level a good book should. I can't recommend it highly enough. If you like scares or thrills or just a good character study give these books a go.

Editing to say the movie is really, really, really bad.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a little trouble getting into this book but once I did it was gripping and very creepy in places. However, I found it overly long and felt that the complex plot could have been simplified a tad to keep the tension high between killings. As usual for Jo Nesbo the writing was strong and the plot had sufficient false leads and red herrings to make it difficult to identify the killer (although there are early clues pointing in the right direction if you're watching carefully).

In the Snowman, H
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Jo Nesbø is a bestselling Norwegian author and musician. He was born in Oslo and grew up in Molde. Nesbø graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics with a degree in economics. Nesbø is primarily famous for his crime novels about Detective Harry Hole, but he is also the main vocals and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre. In 2007 Nesbø also released his first children's book, Dokt ...more

Other books in the series

Harry Hole (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Bat (Harry Hole, #1)
  • Cockroaches (Harry Hole, #2)
  • The Redbreast (Harry Hole, #3)
  • Nemesis (Harry Hole, #4)
  • The Devil's Star (Harry Hole, #5)
  • The Redeemer (Harry Hole, #6)
  • The Leopard (Harry Hole, #8)
  • Phantom (Harry Hole, #9)
  • Police (Harry Hole, #10)
  • The Thirst (Harry Hole, #11)

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