I have just started reading an advance copy of The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, thanks to Karen of Euro Crime. So far, it is great, not to mention beautifully translated by the peerless Don Bartlett, as ever perfectly in tune with the author's words and meanings. I thought I'd share an excerpt from page 19, in which Inspector Harry Hole meets a new partner, Katrine Bratt, who says to him after they are introduced:
"But you should show me round and take care of me for the next few days. Until I'm up and running. Can you do that, do you think?"
Harry eased off a smile. So far he liked her, but of course he was open to changing his opinion. Harry was always willing to give people another chance to end up on his black list.
"I don't know," he said, stopping by the coffee dispenser. "Let's start with this."
"I don't drink coffee."
"Nevertheless. It's self-explanatory. Like most things here. What are your thoughts on the case of the missing woman?"
Harry pressed the button for Amerciano which, in this machine, was as American as Norwegian ferry coffee.
"What about it?" Bratt asked.
"Do you think she's alive?" Harry tried to ask in a casual manner so she wouldn't realise it was a test.
"Do you think I'm stupid?" she said and watched with undisguised revulsion as the machine coughed and spluttered something black into a white plastic cup. "Didn't you hear the Politioverbetjent say that I worked at the Sexual Offences Unit for four years?"
"Mm," Harry said. "Dead then?"
"As a dodo," said Katrine Bratt.
Harry lifted the white cup. He pondered the possibility that he had just been allocated a colleague that he might come to appreciate.
The Snowman (English language version) is published in March this year by Harvill Secker. It is the fifth book by Jo Nesbo to be translated into English (and fifth of those in chronological order). It was awarded the Norwegian booksellers' prize for best novel of the year, 2007. See Euro Crime for reviews of Nesbo's earlier novels.
Jo Nesbo's website, which features extracts and trailers of The Snowman as well as a video interview with the author.
Posts about Jo Nesbo and his novels at Crime Scraps, a longstanding advocate of this author and his books.