The world is going to be a little topsy turvy in this post, much like the idea of a snowman being ominous.  Seemed only fair.  So let us kick this review off with my rating!  Two spoons up for sure!  Maybe even two and a half.  The extra half spoon is for the fact that this book kept me guessing to the bitter end.  I do mean bitter as the ending is not related to the fairy tale.  I admit that I didn’t figure out who the killer was, or even have an inkling till the end.  It is truly thrilling to be so outwitted by a book.  I never stopped guessing or questioning, and even went so far as to start speculating (when I knew the characters were wrong).

Without too many spoilers, the book is set in Norway and there is a serial killer.  A serial killer who not only kills people, but leaves snowmen as a calling card.  See what I did there leaving out the gender?  Now you have to guess too!  The principal character is a man named Harry Hole, the lead detective on the case.  And a darn fine character too.  He has a massive number of character flaws, more than one obnoxious habit, a good heart, and some very poor judgement.  In short, he is fun to read about!

In light of the fact that this book is translated, the names take a bit to get used to.  I am not sure if it is just something weird and wacky I do, but I struggled to figure out how I thought the names (be it of a city, street, or person) should be said.  I can pretty much guarantee I butchered all of them.  Kind of like the serial killer.  (For the record, I think I am funny even if you don’t).

Things I liked about the book: the suspense, surprise ending, vivid characters, realistic characters, Slipknot references, and the not really happy but not “ball your eyes out” sad ending.

Things I struggled with: names (as mentioned above) and how you cannot yell at the person to just turn around.

Things I didn’t like: that there wasn’t more from the killers point of view and how some of the backstory of the case seemed to be glossed over.  Really that is it.  No really, the book is that good.

So get thine self to a library post haste!  If you like thrillers, suspense, criminal dramas, and the dirty hero then this book is for you.

Love and let it snow,

Betty

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