Damn it Jo Nesbo!

I just finished The Snowman by Jo Nesbo.

I thought I knew what I was getting into, I thought that I had it all figured out, I thought that Nesbo was maybe losing his touch and wouldn’t you know it? In the end I was completely turned around, breathless and completely in his thrall once more.


Once again, I thought that I was reading the next book in the series and once again, I realized I had missed something. The Snowman should have followed The Redeemer, not The Devil’s Star. It became pretty evident that I had missed something as Harry Hole gazes at a photo of another murdered colleague and I was like “wait, what?!”

Nevertheless I carried on knowing that when I do get to The Redeemer, one of the plot points at least will have been ruined for me. Is there a way that we can make it more clear with these Scandinavian translations, which book comes when? I run into this same problem with Camilla Lackberg’s books.


the snowman

A wife and mother disappears. On the front lawn is a snowman made with the first snow. He’s got the mom’s pink scarf wrapped around his neck. When days later another mom disappears and is later found, gruesomely making up the top of the Snowman, Oslo police realize they have a serial killer on their hands and since Harry Hole is the only police officer in Norway with serial killer experience, he’s dubiously put in charge.

Katrine Bratt is a new officer in Oslo, having transferred from Bergen. Hole finds that they think the same way about a lot of things and allows her to convince him to look into some older cases in Bergen that could be connected.

I was convinced that I had it all figured out. I thought that Nesbo was following a similar storyline as Lackberg in one of her books with a new police officer on scene. Then I thought that this other, random, character had to have something to do with it. Wrong on both counts. So wrong.

I’m pretty sure that it was because of the kind of case that was the centre of this book, but The Snowman was really heavy on misogyny. Katrine Bratt is an attractive woman and virtually all of her interactions with male police officers or really any male characters in the book, are crude and kind of gross. Some of the men that are with the missing women have really horrible, controlling attitudes towards their partners. In general, the thread of misogyny was not my favourite. But I’m willing to concede that it likely had to do with the subject matter and not the feelings of Jo Nesbo himself.

I will also say that this translation seemed clumsy to me. There were a number of times where clarifying language seemed to be missing or a direct translation didn’t really work at all and that had me stumbling a little.

But overall this was a thrill ride. The conclusion comes hard and fast and more than a little breathless. Despite how hard we worked to get there, I felt like the pay off was worth it. Hopelessly addicted to Jo Nesbo.

13 thoughts on “Damn it Jo Nesbo!

  1. I think he’s the author of these kids’ books my son likes “Dr. Proctor’s Fart Powder.” It’s pretty impressive that he can write successfully in more than one genre. Few people pull that off.

  2. Another great review. Glad you enjoyed and yes it’s a shame about the misogyny. Very different from the picture of equality I imagine Scandinavia to be.

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