The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: sexual content, murder, death, crime.

Goodreads Rating: 2 Stars


The Snowman by Jo Nesbo was the winner of the vote for my IRL book club for January. I was really looking forward to the novel, having heard it was a fantastic detective-crime mystery that was so good, they made it into a movie. It had my vote, and I snagged an audiobook copy from the library to help squeeze it into my reading cycle.


I got about four chapters into the audiobook and immediately knew that the format was working against me. Nesbo introduces a lot of characters rather quickly in the beginning of the book, and jumps from plot line to plot line, and leaving me confused. I decided to stop listening to the audio and grabbed a physical copy from the library.

With that accomplished, I restarted the book, hoping to clarify what was going on. I was reintroduced to Harry Hole, an ex-alcoholic loner detective whom many believe to be past his glory days. He is recently given a new investigative partner, who he shows interest in (which honestly gave me creeper vibes) and they team up to find out who has kidnapped- and most likely killed- a young boy’s mother. From there, they go after the killer and find that there are more women dead than Jonas’s mother.

Honestly, I have no idea what happens after about 40% into the book. The novel jumped around so much that I struggled to follow along, and there were so many characters being introduced. I genuinely disliked Harry (and seriously, his name is Harry Hole… the worst!), and as I did some research on the novel trying to see how much I should push myself to finish it, I found he’s a classic anti-hero, which has proven to bother me in the past. Overall, I just could not find the will to read this novel. I got almost 170 pages through the 383 page novel, and finally decided to DNF it. I tried to push through for the sake of book club, but after getting so far and STILL struggling, I knew I was going to have to give up on it. That’s part of my DNF policy- if I am forcing myself to read it, it’s not the book for me.

In the end, after our book club discussion, I understood how everything seemed to come together and why readers have appreciated the novel. However, I still feel that it wouldn’t have been a book for me, because if I have to work that hard to understand the conclusion, it’s not an entertaining read for me. Additionally, I feel that Nesbo is almost making fun of his readers by giving them an anti-hero with a terrible name, then basically telling them who the killer is in the first chapter, but still making them read almost 400 pages of chaos. It’s not clever if it’s mean, Nesbo.

Published: May 10, 2011

Publisher: Knopf Publishing

TL/DR: The Snowman by Jo Nesbo is the seventh Harry Hole crime detective novel in the Harry Hole series. In this novel, a serial killer is on the loose and leaving clues with the aide of snowmen.

Read it? If crime detective novels is your thing, go for it! This book just wasn’t for me.

Recommend it? No.

Buy it? No.

Watch Movie? It would probably be the only method you could force feed me this novel, and even then, I’m not a willing participant. Watch it if you want.

If you liked this novel or review, check out these similar reads:

  • Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith

Categories: Book Review, Fiction, Mystery

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5 replies

  1. Wow! I love your honest reviews! I would have felt the same!

  2. I did finish this book but I did really struggle to get into it. I have a hit/miss relationship with Scandinavian authors and their writing style (or the way its translated) and I felt some of the descriptions longwinded and clunky. It was a twisted serial killer mystery but the writing just wasn’t for me… Great review!

    • I’m so glad you understand! It was my first Scandinavian author read, and we discussed if that element caused issue for anyone in our book club- I didn’t think it was the main reason I struggled, but I can definitely see how it could have been a factor.

  3. i love your honesty! thank you for sharing💞💞

    Follow @everythingtips for tips and recommendations if interested! It would mean a lot to me!🥺🤍

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