Monday, 21 February 2011

Jo Nesbo – The Snowman

Harry Hole is a Detective who is on the case of a woman who has disappeared from her home. When another woman is found murdered Harry believes there may be a link and that he may be facing a serial killer which is an extremely rare occurrence in Norway.

I chose this book as part of the Criminal Plots Reading Challenge. I have decided to review this one in the category “A Different Country” although it is also from a new to me series. The book is set in Olso, Norway and I live in the UK.

I liked Harry Hole as a character, he was interesting and quite likeable despite his flaws. I liked the characterisation throughout the book. Whilst many of the characters were not particularly likeable people I did feel like I got to know them and that they were three dimensional and interesting.

The storyline was good and it kept me interested throughout. I did feel that at 550 pages the book was perhaps a little long and I think it would have been better had it been a little shorter as it did seem to be a little dragged out towards the end.

I liked the Oslo setting although I don’t think it made the book particularly different from one set elsewhere. There was the snow of course but there are plenty of places where it snows quite a lot.

I thought the translation was quite well done. One thing that I found a little odd was that the men were still referred to as herr and the women frau (and they weren’t capitalised which I thought was strange but I suppose that must be the way Norwegians write it). I think it was supposed to add to the Norwegian-ness of the book but I found it a little odd. All the other translated books that I have read have referred to Mr/ Mrs/ Miss etc.

This was the first Jo Nesbo book that I have read. It’s not the first Harry Hole book in the series but that didn’t matter, it worked well as a standalone and I didn’t feel that I was missing anything from not having read the previous novels. I would say that the book was average. I enjoyed it and would be interested to read more Jo Nesbo in future especially as I liked Harry Hole but I won’t be rushing to do so immediately as there are the other authors that I will be more excited about reading.

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