SOON THE FIRST SNOW WILL COME.
A young boy wakes to find his mother missing. Their house is empty but outside in the garden he sees his mother’s favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of a snowman.
AND THEN HE WILL APPEAR AGAIN.
As Harry Hole and his team begin their investigation they discover that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years.
AND WHEN THE SNOW IS GONE…
When a second woman disappears it seems that Harry’s worst suspicions are confirmed: for the first time in his career Harry finds himself confronted with a serial killer operating on his home turf.
…HE WILL HAVE TAKEN SOMEONE ELSE.
I got The Snowman for Christmas from my Other Half, along with a few other books. The Snowman is the 7th book in the series featuring Norwegian police detective Harry Hole. I’d previously read The Leopard, which is the 8th in the series – word of advice….if you haven’t read any of the Harry Hole series & do intend to start, don’t start with the Leopard, cause then you’ll know who the killer is in The Snowman. So, yeah, unfortunately I knew who the killer was, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of The Snowman.
A couple weeks ago I was in Sainsbury’s picking up a few DVD’s for work & saw a couple books that really caught my attention. The Leopard was one of them. After buying it I discovered that it is part of a series, but I didn’t want to wait to read it, so thought I’d throw caution to the wind & read it anyway. I am so glad that I did!!
In the depths of winter, two young women are found dead, both drowned in their own blood. Inspector Harry Hole, deeply traumatised by an investigation that threatened the lives of those he holds most dear, initially wants nothing to do with the case but his instincts take over when a prominent MP is found brutally murdered. The victims appear completely unconnected to one another, but it’s not long before Harry makes a discovery: the women all spent the night in the same isolated mountain hostel. And someone is picking off the guests, one by one…
The Leopard is the 8th book in a series about Norwegian detective Harry Hole & the first Jo Nesbo book I have read. Admittedly it probably would have been best to have started with Nesbo’s first book, but when I see a new book I like the look of – I buy it. At the time I didn’t know it was part of a series & when I do discover this, often I would rather read what I’ve bought than go out & track down the beginning of the series & wait to read the book I just bought. ‘Cause the thing is, I bought the book in the first place because I needed something to read, not because I wanted to stockpile a bunch of books that are “waiting” to be read.
Luckily for me, The Leopard is one of the rare books in a series that while yes, you probably should read them in order, it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t. Nesbo does mention things that happened in The Snowman (in fact, the character The Snowman is also in this book), but Nesbo writes The Leopard in such a way that reading it before reading The Snowman, doesn’t ruin The Snowman by telling you the critical parts of the story in flashbacks.
The story begins in Hong Kong, where Harry has disappeared to after closing the case on The Snowman. He’s now an unbelievably broken man, intent on killing himself through abuse of alcohol & drugs. Kaja Solness travels to Hong Kong to bring Harry back to Norway to help solve 2 grisly murders – and unfortunately that is all that I can say about the book without giving anything away. Believe me, this book is far too good to have me ruin it for you by talking about what happens in the story. Nesbo’s writing style is gritty & at times gruesome – you’re either going to love it, or hate it. Personally, I loved it & now I need to go buy the rest of the series……..
Ok, I admit it does sometime happen, but not often enough. The last 2 books I have read have both been part of series (& unfortunately for me, they were not the 1st book in each of these series) but neither book was marked to indicate that it was part of a series. The first one I read was Kisscut by Karin Slaughter & the second was The Leopard by Jo Nesbo. Kisscut was a great book, but it ruined the book that comes before it, if you hadn’t already read it. I now pretty much know what happened, so why bother reading it? The Leopard was also a great book, but unlike Kisscut, it doesn’t ruin what happens in the book before it. I have a vague idea what happened in The Snowman after having read The Leopard, but Nesbo didn’t really give anything away & I am going to run out & get the rest of Nesbo’s books, because I loved The Leopard.
So, my question is – to all the publishers out there – if you represent an author who writes a series of books about the same central characters, why can’t you tell us that? Is it really so difficult? It surely makes sense to put something like: “An Inspector Hole novel” or “A Jack Reacher Story”, like are on Lee Child’s books. Doing so would alert potential readers to the fact that the book they have in their hands might not be the one they want to read just yet & would save people from doing what I did – reading a book out of order & having that ruin the book that came directly before it.
Just a thought!