I usually like to start a series from the beginning, but I had already seen the movie The Snowman with Michael Fassbender, so decided to just try the novel by Jo Nesbø and see how they compared. It probably would have been better if I had done those two things in reverse order, but that’s how it was. This is the seventh book in Nesbø’s series featuring Norwegian Detective Harry Hole. Harry, like all good, classic detectives, has his issues – he’s an introvert, but extremely talented as his job, so his expertise is frequently called upon in difficult cases. He has problems with alcohol and is prone to depression (it is Nordic Noir, after all), but he tries to make his on-again, off-again relationship with girlfriend Rakel, and her son from a previous relationship, Oleg, who views Harry as a father figure.
The Snowman weaves the themes of single motherhood, paternity and fidelity with a story about a serial killer who likes to leave a snowman at the scenes of his crimes – all murders of women in Oslo. Harry is aided in his investigation by a newbie on the force, Katrine Bratt. They at times seem to be working together, and at other times against each other. The chase for the killer takes on a breakneck speed at the end of the novel, with an exciting and satisfying conclusion.
The movie The Snowman didn’t get very good reviews. It’s not a very good movie, but it isn’t completely terrible. Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson are good in the roles of Harry and Katrine, and it’s always great to see Charlotte Gainsbourg, who plays Rakel. Chloë Sevigny also has a small, but interesting role. There is a very strange cameo by Val Kilmer as another cop who had been investigating the Snowman murders before Harry. Kilmer reportedly had health issues during filming, which caused all of his lines to be (poorly) dubbed.
Harry Hole is a great character, and I might find myself once again following him through the chilly streets of Oslo. But don’t judge me if I imagine Michael Fassbender while I’m reading.