My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Married women, all mothers, have been disappearing from Oslo, oddly enough when it snows. Harry and new partner Katrine Bratt are called out to one such case, and a day or two later, yet another. Large snowmen have sprung up at each site, maker unknown, each with some “momento” from the victim. But there’s little other evidence, and Harry’s skills – and emotions- are about to be severely tested.
The integrity of novels written in other languages depends on the proficiency of the translator, and Don Bartlett knows his stuff. (It goes without saying that Nesbo does too!) This is an intricate plot, relying on flashbacks and multiple points of view. There is also a plethora of suspects, each of whom seems guilty until single details rule them out. Translating characters must be even more complex. Though Harry is an modern archetype, the others are not, and Bartlett seems to have spanned the cultural gap and its nuances quite well. The Snowman is loaded with suspenseful sequences, and although the flashbacks are occasionally a bit confusing, the novel as a whole does not suffer. And its ending, satisfying (and horrific) in itself, leaves the reader wondering what’s next for Harry. Whatever comes next, it’s probably far from simple….