Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Snowman (audio book) by Jo Nesbø, read by Robin Sachs

The Snowman is the 7th Harry Hole book, and the first one I've ever read/listened to. I started it because 1) it was long and I was hoping to slow myself down so I could catch up on posts (ha!) and 2) I remembered Robin Sachs from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The basic setup is that someone is building snowmen nearby people who are about to disappear/die. Harry investigates the disappearances, realizes that there are more that occurred further back in time, and comes to the conclusion that Oslo has its very own serial killer.

I'd probably be willing to listen to another book in this series, but I don't think I could stand reading one. The pacing of this book was very slow and sometimes odd. It took a while for things to get going, and there were at least two or three moments that felt like they could have been endings but weren't.

I didn't really like Harry, and I flat-out cheered when Katrine Bratt turned him down, because, wow, hitting on her was super icky and unprofessional. I also raised an eyebrow at his complete lack of curiosity about the mold inspector. You'd think a supposedly sharp, paranoid police inspector would have had issues with giving a stranger extended access to his apartment without checking up on him first and making sure he was legit. This is not, by the way, a spoiler, because, as far as I can remember, the mold man stuff went nowhere and served no purpose other than to add "fear of mold" to Harry's list neuroses.

In general, the sexual relationships in this book were not my cup of tea – lots and lots of cheating, plus several unsexy sex scenes. The serial killer portion of the story, however, was interesting and creepy. And also gory. A couple bits were horrifying enough that I had to pause the book and listen to something else for a while, to give my brain some time to prepare for the rest. I had to pause some more near the end, when the tense moments came hard and fast. I had no clue whether Nesbø was the sort to kill major characters and the stress of it got to be too much for me sometimes.

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