Ladies and gentlemen and everyone who doesn’t fall into either of those categories. What we have here is a classic Scandinavian serial killer story with murder, love, betrayal, twists and turns. It must be all the time in the gloomy snow that makes this bunch of authors so dark. And Nesbo was no exception with The Snowman.
But first, how did we get here. My parents are both patrons of the arts and during these difficult times, we’ve wanted to support small local bookstores. And one near our house was doing a mystery mystery bag, where you tell them what mystery books and authors you like, you tell them how much you want to spend, and then they create a bag of books for you. It’s pretty cool!
So we explained what we liked, handed over our $25, and then pulled up to pick up the bag. And fun fact, our town is so small that the guy who brought the bag out was like oh my gosh hey, it’s you, how are you Allison. I can’t avoid my high school classmates even in a pandemic.
We pull 8 books out of the bag (amazing deal) and carefully read the backs. And the one that sounded the most intriguing was the one with Michael Fassbender on the cover. The Snowman. I flipped to the back.
The Snowman is one of several Harry Hole novels- I’m sorry. I can’t move on without addressing this. WHO let Nesbo name his lead detective HARRY HOLE??? Absolutely not.
Ok but once you get past that, you learn this is one in a series of books. I hadn’t read any of the other Hole novels but Nesbo did a good job of filling the gaps throughout this story so I didn’t feel like I had to.
And in Snowman, Hole is trying to find a serial killer. Their country’s first ever.
The night of the first snow of the year, a woman is killed and a snowman is found in her front yard. And then it happens the next year. And the year after. Yet no one connects them. Because the cases are spread out geographically, it takes way too long to put the pieces together that it’s one killer. But Hole does. Even when everyone tells him he’s crazy, that he’s just seeing what he wants to see.
Hole persists. Even when things are tricky; there’s a new detective under him, he and his ex keep hooking up even though she’s found a new man, and the bodies are being found in increasingly disturbing states. And every time Hole discovers a clue, the snowman changes the rules.
Honestly, it was a good story. Some parts of it were fairly obvious (the daughter of the missing detective bit for one) but there were also parts that totally surprised me. Others were pretty disturbing. It was some of the same vibes I got from Girl With Dragon Tattoo. But not all of it and definitely not on that level.
I would also say, it was about 100 pages too long. We should have cut out some of the middle. It did a good job to make me feel sad and like the sun would never come out again but it was a lot. And you can only accuse so many people of being the snowman who aren’t before I’m like bruh.
But it was still interesting! And if you love getting tangled up in a web of facts and lies and putting together the pieces you should absolutely read The Snowman. Just know it’s pretty dark.
Which is why I probably won’t watch the movie even though I do love Michael Fassbender.