Book Review — written for The Surrey Mirror
Jo Nesbo — The Snowman, Vintage Books (2010)
The sticker on the front of the book says ‘The next Stieg Larsson’ — it should say — ‘Ten times better than Stieg Larsson’. For pace, thrills and plot twists you can’t beat Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo — and it’s no surprise he’s won awards for his crime novels featuring the uber cool Harry Hole. The Snowman, the seventh of the series, is set against the backdrop of Oslo, cold, moody, and as tense as the alcoholic Inspector.
When a mother goes missing, her son finds her scarf wrapped around the neck of a snowman in the garden. As Hole delves into unsolved case files, he discovers an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years. When a second woman disappears Hole becomes a pawn in a deadly game, finding himself confronted with a serial killer on his turf, a killer who threatens to drive him to the brink of insanity.
The Snowman is an effortless, gripping read, with great characters and thought provoking moments. When you’ve finished, you’ll want to the rest. The assistant in the news agents said so too — so much so her Richard and Judy Book Club selection is collecting dust. She showed me a novel with a sticker on the front saying ’If you like Jo Nesbo, you’ll love this’ (Camilla Lackberg, The Stone Cutter) — a lot to live up to — will keep you posted.