Thursday, June 24, 2010

Currently reading: THE SNOWMAN by Jo Nesbø

Today I started THE SNOWMAN, a recent book by an author I've been meaning to read for quite a while now; Norwegain crime maestro Jo Nesbø.

Having heard lots of great things about Nesbø, I'm really looking forward to sampling one of his Inspector Harry Hole stories for myself. Much has been made of the Scandinavian surge in crime writing, but while much of the focus has been on the Swedes, there is plenty of quality crime being produced by the other Nordic nations, and Nesbø seems to be moving from 'appreciated by the connoissers' to wider public attention now, particularly in countries like the United States.

There were rumblings that Nesbø might have been coming downunder later this year, perhaps to attend a books festival or two in Australia and New Zealand, but I understand that plan may have now fallen through, which is a real shame. Those of us down here will just have to make do with his writing for now - which isn't too bad a consolation prize!

The publisher's blurb for THE SNOWMAN says: "The night the first snow falls a young boy wakes to find his mother gone. He walks through the silent house, but finds only wet footprints on the stairs. In the garden looms a solitary figure: a snowman bathed in cold moonlight, its black eyes glaring up at the bedroom windows. Round its neck is his mother's pink scarf. Inspector Harry Hole is convinced there is a link between the disappearance and a menacing letter he received some months earlier. As Harry and his team delve into unsolved case files, they discover that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years. When a second woman disappears Harry's suspicions are confirmed: he is a pawn in a deadly game. For the first time in his career Harry finds himself confronted with a serial killer operating on his turf, a killer who will drive him to the brink of insanity. "

I am very much looking forward to reading it.

Have you read THE SNOWMAN? Or any of Jo Nesbø's other books? What do you think? Are you a fan of Scandinavian crime? Want to give it a go? Sick of the Swedes? Don't know what the fuss is about? Thoughts and comments welcome


  1. Craig - The Snowman is on my TBR list; I hope you'll enjoy it very much, as I've found most people have who read it. Jo Nesbø is a very talented writer, so I, too, am very much looking forward to enjoying this one.

  2. Craig - I'm currently reading Nemesis. I think Nesbo is one of the greatest crime fiction novelits that we have now-a-days. The Redbrest is superb and Nemesis seems pretty much in line. I'm trying to read him in roder although his firsts two books have not been translated yet. The Snowman will have to wait. Hope you like it.

  3. The Snowman is colourful (the modern, dramatic kind of ending many readers and publishers seem to demand), but apart from that I think Nesbø´s books are brilliant, and Harry Hole is one of my favourite protagonists.

  4. I'm finding it difficult to get his books in sequence so I've been reading whatever is available. So far I've read _Redbreast_ and _The Devil's Star_.

    One of my prejudices is that a writer should stick to the point--mystery writers should focus on writing mysteries. In _Redbreast_, Nesbo supposedly is writing a mystery, but frankly the mystery is only minimal.

    His real objective is to expose Norway's collaboration with the Nazis and to write about numerous Norwegian soldiers who fought with the Germans against the Russians because they thought that Russia was a greater threat to Norway than Germany would be. Consequently much of the first half is spent with Norwegian soldiers with the Germans on the Russian front, and frankly, much of it is superfluous as far as the mystery goes.

    _The Devil's Star_ has a similar problem. Much of the first half is spent watching Harry Hole disintegrate as he spends more time trying to get fired than working on his assignment.

    Yet, Nesbo is a strong writer, and I will read his other works. I guess I'll just have to skim the first part and settle down when he finally gets around to the mystery.

  5. just finished it!

    Nearly put it down after a 100 pages - hadn't grabbed me then something clicked and have sore red eyes now after HAVING to finish it last night!

  6. Good to hear noodlebubble. I will have to get back to this book - I ended up putting it aside temporarily when I suddenly had a whole lot of author interviews to do in quick succession, so had to read all of those authors' latest books asap(e.g. Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke, Val McDermid, Peter James, Peter Robinson, Simon Kernick, etc) - hadn't got back to it yet, though had been meaning too. Glad to hear it gets better - I'd heard good things but was finding it a bit of a slow-starter