So I’d kicked the dust of John Verdon off my feet, and was looking for another mystery to read. “Hey,” I said to myself, “you’re gonna be unemployed soon. Why not check out the public library’s selection?” So I did that.
The public library site is kind of hard to browse, but eventually I hit on Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman, another in his long-running Harry Hole series. And I thought, “I don’t love the Hole books, but this’ll be free. Give him another chance.” So I did that.
Takeaway: A readable, exciting book. Also overcooked and kind of annoying.
Harry Hole (pronounced “hoo-leh”) is an Oslo police detective. His colleagues often joke that he’s a specialist in serial killers, even though Norway has never had a serial killer case (his expertise comes from visits abroad). But now they’ve got one. They just hadn’t realized it. Continue reading ‘The Snowman,’ by Jo Nesbo
My feelings about “Scandinavian Noir” are pretty well established. With rare exceptions, I dislike the genre. I find it nihilistic and depressing.
But I’ve read a couple of Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole books all the way through. And when I saw that he’d written an updated version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, set in the police force of a fictional Scottish city, I thought it was an interesting concept, and bought the book.
I’d only gotten a fifth of the way through when I noticed I was approaching my reading with dread. This was a journey I didn’t really want to take.
The pleasure of Shakespeare’s “Scottish play,” (as we “actors” call it), is largely in being able to hate Macbeth almost from the start. He’s pretty one-dimensional, and you look forward to seeing MacDuff lay on against him.
Macbeth here is the leader of a SWAT team when the book starts, a pretty admirable guy. He has a couple serious flaws, though, and it’s easy to see how he could be corrupted.
I felt like I knew what was going to happen, and I didn’t think there’d be much enjoyment in it. There was no pleasure here. No moments of lightness. So I put it aside.
It’s well written, and if this is your cup of tea, you’re likely to enjoy it. Cautions for adult material.