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Falling Too Much In Love

I just finished a mystery, THE SNOWMAN, but Jo Nebo.  He’s supposed to be Norway’s answer to Stieg Larsson.  I’m underwhelmed.  I read a lot of mysteries.  I really enjoy the puzzle aspect of them, and by nature I like a story that tells me evil will be defeated and it will all come out all right in the end.  This book (at least based on the translation) is well written, and there are some nice twists and reversals that I didn’t expect, but….

I’ve decided I really don’t like books where we go into the head of the killer.  For me the mystery needs to stay closely focussed on the detective which is why you want a very appealing person in that role.  Give me Peter Wimsey, or Nero Wolfe, Harry Bosch.  The serial killers always just end up seeming kind of silly and not very scary once you show their tough life with their mommies, or how daddy drank, etc.

Second, not everybody can be fascinated with the hero.  In this book there’s a red herring who is obsessed with getting close to the detective, and so is the killer and it just hit my “ah, come on” button.  There seemed to be no reason for this beyond the need to threaten hero’s girlfriend.

You also can’t have a hero who makes really cool leaps of logic and sees connections the other cops miss, and then have him let a guy into his apartment without any questions asked, and who always explains away odd anomalies — like wet boot prints inside his apartment.  And at the end of the book I had a couple of points where I went “Huh?”.  Never a good thing in a mystery.  Maybe it’s meant to be some kind of cliff hanger, a sense of impending threat.  If so I missed it.

My old law prof says the first three books about this detective are really swell.  Maybe they are something to put on the IPad when I make my trip to Boskone.

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