Norwegian Hood   Leave a comment

My interest in crime fiction evolved from a casual guilty pleasure to an outright passion thanks to
Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. Unfortunately, there were only three books, so the quest began
for other Swedish titles. A few surfaced, but once my search expanded to other parts of Scandinavia,
the result was a huge score thanks to Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman. I owe my new-found addiction to Scandinavian
crime fiction to the late Larsson, but Nesbo’s writing is what’s making me look behind doors before going
to sleep at night.

The terror he creates in The Snowman is palpable. This Norwegian who-dun-it boasts intelligent characters, a
rapid page-turning plot and vivid, frightening descriptions of a serial killer’s handiwork. Yet Nesbo adeptly
incorporates humor and compassion.

Nesbo offers a disheveled, self-loathing anti-hero, Harry Hole, versus “The Snowman” in a slalom course of twists
and turns. The Snowman targets married women who’ve had affairs and borne the children of those relationships.
The murders always take place during the first snowfall of the season. This along with a snowman and no trace of
the actual crime are hallmarks of the murderer. The quest to find the killer is augmented with numerous characters,
none of whom are superfluous to the story – although a few may seem to be at times. Nesbo’s Harry Hole is flawed
in the way of Columbo, and a would-be misogynist in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes.

Nesbo has eight Harry Holes thrillers on bookshelves. The Snowman is fourth in the series.

400 pages
Knopf 2011

Four Bookmarks

Posted October 13, 2011 by bluepagespecial in Books

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