One night, after the first snowfall of the year, a boy named Jonas wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day. Inspector Harry Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter he’s received. The case deepens when a pattern emerges: over the past decade, eleven women have vanished—all on the day of the first snow. But this is a killer who makes his own rules . . . and he’ll break his pattern just to keep the game interesting, as he draws Harry ever closer into his twisted web. With brilliantly realized characters and hair-raising suspense, international bestselling author Jo Nesbø presents his most chilling case yet—one that will test Harry Hole to the very limits of his sanity.
“Evil is not a thing. It cannot take possession of you. It’s the opposite; it’s a void, an absence of goodness. The only thing you can be frightened of here is yourself.”
Where to start with this one? This is the first book I have read by Nesbo. I don’t read a lot of Scandinavian crime fiction, so I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this one, and honestly it took some pushing through to get past the first half. I felt like the police procedural aspect of the book was a bit tedious at the beginning, but again, that may be a case of, “it’s not you, it’s me”, since I typically don’t gravitate towards police procedurals.
Once I got past the halfway point, and once Harry Hole began closing in on the suspect, I was hooked! I thought I knew how the book was going to unfold in the end, but it took a completely different turn.
Something I really enjoyed was the subtle hints and foreshadowing throughout the book. It was like the author was leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the reader to follow. I loved how all of these pieces came together in the end. All of the characters relationships and roles in the crimes was revealed in a brilliantly devious way!
I’m intrigued to read more of Nesbo’s work. Harry Hole is such a fun character to read about, he is iconic, and I want to read more of the Harry Hole books.
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