Wednesday 15 June 2011

Jo Nesbo: The Snowman Reviewed

Nesbo's best work yet; you can see why his US publisher went big with this book, it's a cracking tale of serial killing and snowmen. Policeman Harry Hole is dragged around Norway as the body count mounts - someone with a talented scalpel is killing women and taunting the police by building snowmen at the scenes of the crimes.

Detective Harry is awash in a sea of TV stars, doctors, good cops and bad cops, office politics and Nesbo's usual red herrings. Jo Nesbo hasn't always been as subtle in the use of such devices as I'd have liked; here he's mastered the art to provide a series of plausible but blind alleys and crescendos of action.

So, who is being bumped off? Young women with young children. Attractive women in unsuitable marriages. Women with a whiff of the adulterer about them. Could the killer be a twisted Lothario, a leftish media star? What do the victims have in common? A doctor - the scalpel?

Hole follows these trails, beating his head against personal and medical rights and restrictions. Sometimes he circumvents these restrictions with blackmail and a hint of brutality - he's a lawman with no great respect for the law, a hunter who seems to feel no hatred for the hunted. Distaste, perhaps, but then he feels distaste for most of society, including himself.

You'll notice I'm not saying much about the plot - Nesbo writes in a series of vignettes where plot is simple and action paramount. To describe detail of that would spoil enjoyment of the book. Suffice it to say that if you like your action creepy and violent, if you like a few good climaxes, this is a book you'll enjoy.

Buy The Snowman from Amazon UK. Watch out also for Nesbo novels bundled on Amazon - there are some good money-saving deals to be had.


vartinnaa said...

I am currently reading Leopard, and I think I'll become addicted to detective Harry Hole

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