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The Snowman

(Harry Hole #7)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  90,140 ratings  ·  7,499 reviews
Internationally acclaimed crime writer Jo Nesbø’s antihero police investigator, Harry Hole, is back: in a bone-chilling thriller that will take Hole to the brink of insanity.

Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably ap
Mass Market Paperback, 383 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Knopf (first published 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,…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)

Community Reviews

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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  90,140 ratings  ·  7,499 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
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
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
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
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!!
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
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
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
Kostas Papadatos
Τέλειο. Η υπόθεση εκτυλίσσεται στο πιο κρύο και από το χιούμορ μου Όσλο όπου ο υπεργαμάτος Χάρι Χόλε καλείται να εξιχνιάσει μια σειρά από στυγερά εγκλήματα, ενός παλαβού που σκοτώνει με ένα συγκεκριμένο μοτίβο τα θύματά του. Δεν είναι εύκολο όμως να τον συλλάβει, γιατί αυτός δεν είναι άνθρωπος… αυτός είναι χιονάνθρωπος.

10 αστεράκια.
Marilena and books⚓
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Όπως ξέρετε δεν διαβάζω σχεδόν ποτέ αστυνομικά.Είναι το μόνο είδος που αποφεύγω γιατί δεν μ' ευχαριστεί ιδιαίτερα.Όμως ένας απ' τους αναγνωστικούς μου στόχος για το 2019 είναι να διαβάσω βιβλία της βιβλιοθήκης μου που τα έχω καιρό,έτσι ήθελα να τελειώσω και τον χιονάνθρωπο.

“What is worse? Taking the life of a person who wants to live or taking death from a person who wants to die.”

Με κράτησε απτις πρώτες σελίδες έως τις τελευταίες χωρίς να βαρεθώ ή να κουραστώ καθόλου.Γίνονται τοοοσα πράγματα
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
Se non avessi visto il trailer del film uscito in questi giorni, che mette insieme Michael Fassbender protagonista e Tomas Alfredson regista, un’abbinata da brividi, probabilmente non avrei letto questo romanzo.
Tanto più che ho scoperto essere la settima avventura del commissario Harry Hole, nel frattempo arrivate a undici.
E invece, l’ho preso, iniziato, e letto. In quarantotto ore. Cioè, divorato: ho letto sette/otto ore al giorno. Meno male che era un weeke
James Thane
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
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
Morticia Adams
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
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.

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 capabl
Glenn Sumi
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 n
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Δεν θα πρωτοτυπήσω, με κράτησε από την αρχή μέχρι το τέλος με την καταιγιστική του δράση και τις συνεχείς ανατροπές. Πολύ ενδιαφέρον πορτρέτο του Χάρi Χόλε, δεν γράφω τίποτε άλλο με τον κίνδυνο τυχόν spoilers. Άκρως κινηματογραφικό βιβλίο που ευελπιστώ στην μεταφορά του να ανταποκριθεί στις προσδοκίες των fans.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Όταν στην μέση περίπου του βιβλίου κατάλαβα τον δολοφόνο, ενοχλήθηκα κάπως. Μετά όμως σκέφτηκα ότι μπορεί τον Nesbo να μην τον ενδιαφέρει ο αιφνιδιασμός του αναγνώστη.
Οπότε χαλάρωσα και απόλαυσα πράγματι ένα πολύ καλό αστυνομικό μυθιστόρημα. Ο Χάρι Χόλε γίνεται ιδιαιτέρως συμπαθής, αν και δεν καταφέρνει να ξεφύγει από το στερεότυπο του πρωταγωνιστή που έχω πετύχει σε ΟΛΑ τα αστυνομικά: Μυστήριος, με ροπή στις καταχρήσεις και κατεστραμμένη προσωπική ζωή.
Η ιστορία όμως στο σύνολο της παραμένει αρ
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Two parts mystery and one part thriller, this was all good Jo Nesbo writing.

Nesbo’s 2007 Harry Hole book, the seventh in the series, finds our alcoholic, tough guy detective finally finding himself on the trail of a Norwegian serial killer. This has been a running put-on up to now, since Hole went to Australia and ended that serial killer run. Nesbo alludes to some American FBI training Hole had before this book and when the clues start adding up to a Norse multi-murderer many in the department
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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)
  • Flaggermusmannen (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)
“What is worse? Taking the life of a person who wants to live or taking death from a person who wants to die.” 47 likes
“I´ve read that it´s the smell some carnivores use to find their prey. Imagine the trembling victim trying to hide, but knowing that the smell of its own fear will kill it.” 15 likes
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