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Book Review: The Snowman by Jo Nesbø (Audiobook)

18 Jul

Genre: Crime thriller, Detective

Series: Harry Hole #7

Publisher: Random House Audiobooks

Pub date: 13 Sep 2010

Source: Personal copy

Format: Audiobook

Narrator: Sean Barrett

Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins


Harry Hole is called in to work on a missing person’s case when a woman goes missing from her home on the night of the first snow. Her son wakes up to find a snowman in the garden, wearing his mother’s scarf. Harry is convinced that this case is connected to the letter he received some months ago. Once Harry and team start digging into similar cases, they find that many women (wives and mothers) have gone missing over the years. And when a second woman goes missing under very similar circumstances, Harry is sure that this is a serial killer.


Pretty much immediately after I finished The Leopard, I tracked down the more famous The Snowman. Since the Harry Hole series has not been translated into English and published in the same order as in the original series, I’m a little confused about what’s available in English. The result is that I’m reading them in an order I would normally never read.

Because of this, I had some idea of what happened in The Snowman which did ruin it for me a little. So I suggest that you read them in order.

Harry Hole is the only Norwegian policeman who has trained with the FBI and is an expert in serial killers. When these macabre murders come to light, he is the only only one who believes that the murders are the work of a serial killer. And he has reason for this conviction. He has been sent a letter from The Snowman, taunting him about the case.

Harry is already in trouble with his superiors due to his drinking and attitude. But he convinces his boss to let him put together a task force and starts to put together the pieces of the latest cases. He is a good detective – combining instinct with hard facts.

This murder mystery, like the others in the series is macabre and dark and a chilling psychological thriller. The killer leaves as his calling card, a Snowman in the yards of the people he has killed.

Hole teams up with Katrine Bratt (who has recently transferred to Oslo from the Bergen police) and old colleagues Magnus Skarre and forensic expert Bjorn Holm.

In this mystery, new questions and doubts come up even before the first few questions are cleared up. The suspicions, information and clues mount as does the tension of the case.

Fans of  crime fiction and police procedurals will love the highly complex which takes Harry and team on many a wild goose chase before they crack it. Gritty and edgy, The Snowman is an exciting, albeit gruesome ride.

The audiobook: I love this series in audiobook format. I’ve already sung the praises of narrator Sean Barnett in my review of The Leopard. And I say again, his voice is just perfect for these chilling stories, filled with suspense. And I will definitely be looking for audiobooks of the rest of the series. I can’t think of not listening to them!

Highly recommended for fans of crime fiction and psychological thrillers.

Rating: 4.5*

*See my Rating policy

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