The main reason for choosing to read this book is because it had been branded by some as “the next Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”. That was a mistake and I was left feeling a tad disappointed – not because the book isn’t excellent, it is, but because it’s not a patch on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, three books which I devoured with glee.
Without that comparison, The Snowman stands alone as an excellent read, jumping between time zones and character’s perspectives without making it clear that’s what’s happening. You’re not confused throughout the book, just intrigued as each sub plot starts to become clear.
Author Jo Nesbo’s main character,Harry Hole, is great, I loved him. A messed up cop with talent, a good heart and a whole lot of issues. I enjoyed the humour in the book and Harry’s dry wit, the banter with his colleagues and his on/off love interest Rakel.
There are some similarities with TGWTDT, namely that the book is set in Sweden and has been translated from the Swedish tongue. There are some words/sentences which haven’t translated well and I found it a bit harder to plough through the Swedish dialect than with TGWTDT, but it didn’t stop me enjoying this book and I found myself eager to return to its pages.
This is also the first book I’ve read on the iPad (using the Amazon Kindle app) and that added to the enjoyment; I like reading off a kindle – it’s easier to hold with one hand (making bed time reading a tad easier) and I liked watching the percentage at the bottom of the screen creep up as I got nearer to the end.
Anyway, enough of me and my new reading tools, back to The Snowman. There are a lot of red herrings in the book but I’m afraid I sussed out whodunnit very early on. But that didn’t ruin it for me, I was intrigued by how the sub plots would come together and the reasons for the killings. There were a fair few climaxes and each time the reader is led to believe The Snowman has been caught. But has he?
I have to confess to thinking the author was a woman because of the spelling of Jo. But it’s written by a guy, not that it makes any difference to me. Turns out I’m not alone.
I find it hard to review a book in immense detail without giving away the crux of it to the reader – the whole joy of reading is finding out where the story leads – so I will finish with this: The Snowman is a great book, an intriguing read and although the whodunnit is easily predicted, you’ll still want to get to the end to tie up all the loose ends. The clunky translation doesn’t hinder the enjoyment of this book and I’ll endeavor to read more of Jo Nesbo’s work.
Robyn’s rating: 8/10
Posted February 2011