Review: The Snowman (Harry Hole #7) by Jo Nesbo

Initial reaction: I’ll probably settle on a 3.5 star read overall, but I need a night to meditate on it. The mystery was good, and the characters were interesting to read about, but the narrative as a whole dragged a bit more than what I would’ve liked. It probably doesn’t help that this is the first in the Harry Hole series that I’ve read. Probably need to start at the beginning for investment.

Full review:

Jo Nesbo’s “The Snowman” is the seventh book in the Harry Hole series, but it’s my first venture into the series (also my first read into the author’s works). It came recommended to me in addition to the recent movie release staring Michael Fassbender. My overall impressions of this were that I liked it, but there was still much of the experience that I felt kept me from connecting fully with the read.

Granted, it had all the things I usually like in a mystery: intriguing overarching series of crimes, a grand cast of characters, hard hitting moments of peril and ultimately a journey that kept me guessing even when I thought I’d figured out the person behind the crime (though I think I realized the criminal about halfway through the book). Harry Hole is an interesting character to follow, but I’ll admit my connection to him was limited because I didn’t know a lot about his backstory – similar situation with all the characters. So I felt that might’ve been one reason there was a disconnect between the narrative and me. The other: this book had moments where it dragged far too much for my liking. There were times when I was intrigued and liked reading the different vignettes and insights into the crime, but others where I felt I struggled through the narrative to get to the more interesting situations – so it felt a bit like a rollercoaster and it took me longer to get through this than I would’ve liked (I probably could’ve read this inside of a couple of days, but when I’d hit a particular slow point, I was slow to return to it.)

I would like to read more of the author’s works to get a better handle on his style, though. I could see where the comparisons between this and Steig Larsson were noted. I’m interested enough to continue further in the series.

Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.


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