Yesterday I turned you on to my newest blog read (or, should I say duo of blog reads, as Mia & Christine are forever linked in my mind), and today I want to give an early review of the newest book I’m reading now (Lauren, I’m sorry, I put down Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy halfway through. I promise I’ll go back to it at some point!). I mentioned Jo Nesbø’s “The Snowman” in my “I love winter in Scandinavia” post, and I stopped into Barnes & Noble yesterday morning on my way into work to pick up a copy. It felt so nice to stroll through the park (my normal walk to the subway is the opposite direction) and into the bookstore; the city was gorgeously sun-drenched and the air was still chilly. It took all of my will power not to stop for breakfast at my favorite faux-French bistro, Parc, and then call out sick from work to sit in the cafe and read all day.
So, the book. I can see why people draw similarities between Nesbø and Steig Larsson, and given that I devoured The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series (twice!) I figured moving on to the Detective Harry Hole series (apparently pronounced “Hooley”) was the obvious procession. There are common themes (Scandinavia! intelligent but maladjusted male protagonist! men who hate women! snow!) but by far, “The Snowman” is testing my limits of being freaked out. You might recall that, were I to have a Scandinavian thriller series written about me, it would be titled “The Girl Who is Afraid of Everything.” Seriously, I am terrified of spiders, elevators, the dark, too-scary-episodes of Law and Order, the noises my house makes at night, Ninja Rapists who can break through multiple locked doors, serial killers lurking in my closet, thinking I will spontaneously drop dead, etc etc. I’ve never seen a horror movie. And while I loved “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” series, there were times that I had to put the book down because I got too freaked out. And that was in broad daylight! I’m like Joey from the episode of Friends when he puts “The Shining” in the freezer because it’s too scary, only I would never, ever read “The Shining.”
So perhaps voluntarily reading a book about a serial killer who kidnaps and dismembers women and then leaves a snowman as his calling card was a bad choice. I’ve made some bad choices in my life, there was the time I decided to try to give myself dreads. But that ended up being more terrifying for everyone else and not me. The book is really, really good and really, really engaging, but in no way is it for the faint-hearted and I cannot read it in my house until Boyfriend returns from India and can defend me in the event the book, you know, comes true and claims me as a victim. If you’re into well-written, captivating thrillers heavy on character development, I’d definitely recommend “The Snowman.” If you are a sissy like me, maybe an illustrated Teletubbies book would be more your speed.