The Snowman is the seventh book in the Harry Hole series. It is written by the internationally acclaimed Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. He is one of the most engaging writers in the thriller genre with his books popping up often in the bestsellers list. Some of his bestsellers include: “The Redeemer” “The Nemesis” “The Devil’s Star” and many more. “The Snowman” is set to be adapted into a movie with the same name in the year 2017.
The plot revolves around Harry hole and his account of the sudden and mysterious disappearances of women in Norway. Another officer Katerine Bratt joins the investigation team, and the two of them inspect the case. Along with the case, the book also deals with Hole’s ex – girlfriend Rakel and her son Oleg.
Set chiefly in Bergen and Oslo in Norway the book begins with the first snowing of the season. In Oslo, a young lad wakes up terrified. He has had a nightmare. With his father being out of town, he searches desperately for his mother only to realize she’s missing. Suddenly the snowman in the garden comes to his sight. It has his mother’s favorite scarf around its neck. But that’s not all, he doesn’t know who built the snowman. Soon Harry Hole and his team are summoned to inspect the unresolved disappearance of the mother only to discover that the disappearance is only one among many such vanishings of women over the years. Soon another women disappears and it becomes evident that there is a link between the two women and numerous others who vanish into thin air as the first snow comes. On further investigation the team unearths another disturbing clue: every time a woman goes missing, a snowman appears .Harry’s worst suspicion is confirmed as he realizes that a serial killer is in action on his home ground. The disturbing letter he received now starts to make sense. Soon the cat and mouse game starts and Harry understands that he has to work fast and work smart to put the killings to a stop.
A lot of reasons make this book a must read. I love how the main protagonist isn’t portrayed to be the hero who does everything perfectly. Instead, Harry hole is a flawed character. He is a former alcoholic who hasn’t yet overcome his drinking problems. He’s obsessed with his work yet he can’t help but be in love with his ex-girlfriend Rakel. Harry and Rakel’s rapport is confusing yet at the same time the readers can’t help but wish for them to have a happy ending. The transformation of the characters is beautifully projected. Nesbo has described every situation in detail which makes the reading experience more enjoyable. The writing style of Nesbo keeps the reader guessing who the killer is and often he fools the readers with anti-climaxes. The climax is shocking and makes the reader wide eyed with disbelief.
Since the book has been translated into from Norwegian into English it is difficult to keep track of the names of the various characters whose names are Norwegian. Also some of the pages don’t add to the flow and plot of the story. Due to this the reader is compelled to flip through pages at times. The murders in the book have been described to the last detail which makes it gory and sends a chill down the spine. This might pose as a problem for the faint hearted.
Yet all in all “The snowman” is one of the most brilliant works by Jo Nesbo adding to his already acclaimed list of pieces. The book is worth reading for its narrative and plot which will make you fear humans rather than ghosts.