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New Release: The Snowman

By Jo Nesbø
Knopf | 400pgs
Release Date: May 10, 2011

Summary:
The troubled but brilliant Norwegian Inspector Harry Hole returns in Jo Nesbø’s latest thriller The Snowman. The fifth installment of the Scandinavian series tracks Hole’s investigation of several murders perpetrated during winter’s first snowfall. When two women turn up dead, each with an menacing snowman built to mark the occasion, Hole and his new partner Katrine Bratt uncover a string of murders spanning several years. During the hunt for the killer, Hole realizes a connection between the case and an ominous letter he received months earlier, referencing the recent murders and events in the Inspector’s past, signed by The Snowman. As Hole’s quest for justice becomes obsessive, the Snowman draws him into a deadly game, where the ultimate prize may be the policeman’s life.

The Snowman has been a bestseller in Britain for the last three months, and arrived in U.S. stores earlier in May. Though there are obvious comparisons drawn between Nesbø and fellow Scandinavian crime writer Stieg Larsson, Nesbø doesn’t feel he has much in common with the author of the blockbuster Millennium series. “I believe Scandinavian crime is connected with quality so in that way, it’s OK (to be compared to Larsson), but I feel more related to the American hard-boiled crime tradition, than a Scandinavian tradition,” he explains in an interview with the Associated Press.

What critics are saying:
Before Nesbø became an author, he had successful careers in professional sports, finance and music. Readers and critics both agree that the writer has hit on another successful profession. “That he is able to combine the urgency of the best storytellers with a keen and intelligent engagement with social issues may well be the reason why Nesbø is shaping up to be the next big name in Scandinavian crime fiction…” writes Barry Forshaw in a review for The Independent. While a review in USA Today simply states: “If you don’t know Nesbø, it’s time to get with it.”

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