The Casual Librarian

My thoughts and opinions

Book Review: “The Snowman” by Jo Nesbo

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IMG_0347I find myself lately picking up all my books reading a few pages and not being impressed, so I asked myself what do I want? The answer is I don’t know!

So with annoyance I took a book from my partners bookshelf.

Alongside this I sought the blogosphere to see other reviews, but you have to be careful as you don’t want the whole story. Goodreads gave good ratings, another gave good review from the Netherlands lastly, a professional book reviewer. 

At first not much attention was given to the story however as I found myself wondering about the following page I realised I better start taking note!

Based in Oslo, Norway and translated from Norwegian into English it is a surprising good read. Having read and loved Jeffrey Deaver and Michael Connelly I began getting tired of the same structure of a Crime/Thriller but here Nesbo does something different. He gives you little questions that you keep asking as you turn the pages, and because I was not paying much attention by the time I got to the letter he had received I thought I had missed something entirely, but by rereading I hadn’t missed anything Nesbo in a sneaky way just dropped in the middle of his theory containing a serial killer! I really better pay attention!

As the book develops Nesbo keeps you on your toes by giving you the making of an actual murder, and leaves trails of clues. For instance; the present day missing woman, the scarf, the mobile phone, but we are still left questioning what it is the detective Harry Hole is really thinking. My early thinking of trying to ask or even answer the questions Hole is thinking follows on from this, that Nesbo is leaving us to decide if the reader wants to do this or if they can!

What really made me sit up and think, is the story of his childhood and how he could “taste the darkness” and before you know it he is in the present day reliving it, the darkness that he portrays is so dense and eerie, that for a minute you can imagine how it does taste.

The character of Jonas really intrigued me, the kid could tell alot more than what is being asked of him and yet again I am left frustrated by the father who questions what Detective Hole might know or might not know, Nesbo has given me a bad feeling about this man through the child’s behaviour earlier on, however there is more to this family that meets the eye…

Not even half way through the book it gets a little lost, it hits on a link between the 1st missing woman and now an actual murder while still trying to find links to other possible missing woman and the conclusion to Hole’s theory…a serial killer. After it hits on this link it drives really fast in various ways and all of a sudden we are given a third potential victim, however slightly confusing backdrop to her thoughts???

The investigation that Hole is on spans over 24 days, so in-between these days Nesbo jumps back and forth not only through historical events of the snowman’s victims but to potential leads within each current investigation and his own personal life….. This list of characters is going to get very tangled very quickly!

The story gathers momentum just over halfway through however it comes to a questionable abrupt stop whereby they have seemingly found the killer…I am not impressed as this is another structure of thrillers that annoy me,why give me a killer on page 210, I do know there are another 35o odd pages to read!

What Nesbo does add in the middle instead is a raunchy account of his sex life, it seems like Nesbo is really trying a bit too hard to show just how broken Harry Hole’s life is, addiction to alcohol, his ex and his job, I get it I don’t need explicit scenes to tell me, now can we catch this killer already!

As the book develops and leads are found and then found dead, and more sex scenes are added, the story does loose the point of the book – ‘the snowman’ and to my greater annoyance Hole’s so called partner is a bit nuts and has been adding to the killings, the only reason I am going to finish this book is in the hope I am very surprised! From here I shall add that I will not be reading another Jo Nesbo book, sorry bout that!

So I was correct in my killer, I am proud, but not surprised! There was always something a little to perfect about this partner of his ex, however I had not made a few connections to which I am surprised I did not pick up on but then I was thinking if I have an idea of who the killer is I really don’t want to be right.

So, it is the end of my ‘quick read’ and first Jo Nesbo book, a good story and I did have fun playing his guessing game, however I really did not need so many cul de sac’s filled with endless silly leads and sex!



Author: siobhanmac

Loves Libraries, Books, and Sunshine!

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