REVIEWS+

The Snowman

Knopf. May 2011. c.400p. tr. from Norwegian by Don Bartlett. ISBN 9780307595867. $25.95. F
COPY ISBN
Norwegian detective Harry Hole is in a quandary—he's an expert on serial killers in a country that prides itself on not having any. Yet women are being murdered on the day of the first snowfall, their bodies enmeshed with or guarded by eerily watchful snowmen. Hole has to convince his peers that the murders are the work of a serial killer, so he tracks The Snowman. But soon questions arise—who is stalking whom? And for what purpose? Nesbø (The Devil's Star; Nemesis; The Redbreast) is also a musician and composer. His latest thriller reads like a symphony, from the thundering first chords that pull the reader into a magical world through the delicately enticing development in which motifs and story strands are woven together leading to a pounding, furious conclusion.
VERDICT Nesbø is being hailed as the next Stieg Larsson or Henning Mankell; this work is being compared to Peter Høeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow, among others. Apt comparisons, but they don't go far enough. This is simply the best detective novel this reviewer has read in years. [See Prepub Alert, 11/1/10; 150,000-copy first printing; six-city tour.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.