The Snowman by Jo Nesbø & Don Bartlett


11 Critic Reviews

Nesbø breathes new life into the serial killer subgenre, giving it a Norwegian twist and never losing his laconic hero in the process.
-Publishers Weekly


Inspector Harry Hole tracks a Norwegian serial killer in this installment of Jo Nesbø’s New York Times bestselling series. Now a Major Motion Picture starring Michael Fassbender.

One night, after the first snowfall of the year, a boy named Jonas wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day.  Inspector Harry Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter he’s received. The case deepens when a pattern emerges: over the past decade, eleven women have vanished—all on the day of the first snow. But this is a killer who makes his own rules . . . and he’ll break his pattern just to keep the game interesting, as he draws Harry ever closer into his twisted web. With brilliantly realized characters and hair-raising suspense, international bestselling author Jo Nesbø presents his most chilling case yet—one that will test Harry Hole to the very limits of his sanity.

About Jo Nesbø & Don Bartlett

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Jo NesbØ is a musician, songwriter, economist, and one of Europe’s most critically acclaimed and successful crime writers today. His first novel featuring Police Detective Harry Hole was an instant hit in Norway, winning the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel—the most prestigious crime-writing award in Northern Europe. Norwegian readers voted The Redbreast the best Norwegian crime novel of all time. NesbØ lives in Oslo.
Published May 10, 2011 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard. 530 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Crime, Horror. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Nov 05 2017
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Snowman
All: 11 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 1


on Apr 18 2011

The smart, suspenseful cat-and-mouse game will remind some readers of Erik Skjoldbjærg’s 1997 film Insomnia—and that’s high praise indeed.

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Publishers Weekly

on Mar 28 2011

Nesbø breathes new life into the serial killer subgenre, giving it a Norwegian twist and never losing his laconic hero in the process.

Read Full Review of The Snowman | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Robert Lamb on May 10 2011

The Snowman comes off as an attempt to blend traditional crime fiction with the horror genre, a sort of Stieg-Larsson-meets-Stephen-King affair. Doesn’t work.

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The Bookbag

Reviewed by John Lloyd on Mar 01 2010

So while I would still hazard to suggest Hole could do with being lifted out of one of unoriginality, and things could have been more Nordic and more sustained, there was enough to spook, enough drama to drive one through the investigation, and enough uncanny snowmen to make me consider further Nesbo adventures.

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Suite 101

Reviewed by Elizabeth Gregory on Jan 01 2011

A number of critics have been moved to liken Nesbo to Stieg Larsson since the publication of The Snowman; many readers would say that Nesbo has been doing it better for years.

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USA Today

Above average
Reviewed by Carol Memmott on May 23 2011

Let's agree that from now on we will no longer ask whether each and every Scandinavian crime novelist is the "next" Stieg Larsson...If you don't know Nesbø, it's time to get with it.

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Lincoln Journal Star

Reviewed by GEORGE WRIGHT on May 24 2011

If you're a fan of Nordic noir, you'll like Nesbo's book. If you like dark mysteries, this one will keep you up at night.

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The Agony Column

Reviewed by Rick Kleffel on Jun 11 2011

Don Bartlett's translation of Nesbø's prose is really quite superb. 'The Snowman' has a creepy, sort of horror-novel feel to it. Nesbø is quite descriptive and his evocations of landscapes, crime scenes and even everyday domestic tableaus are somehow chilling beyond the frigid weather.

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Reviewed by DREW MCWEENY on May 01 2012

It's good stuff. Obviously, I read a translation, but Nesbo seems like a smart writer with a strong feel for the genre. Hole is an archetype writ large, the brilliant detective who can't manage his own personal life or his own habits.

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Quick Book Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by David Ben Efraim on Oct 30 2013

All in all, The Snowman is another fantastic addition to Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole collection, giving us an entertaining story, a challenging mystery and a haunting villain.

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Savvy Verse & Wit

Above average
Reviewed by SERENA on May 27 2015

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett, was a thrilling read and well written. Hole may be an anti-hero, but he’s one you’ll want on your side to bring you justice, even if his own dysfunction can derail him.

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