The Snowman is one of Nesbø’s bestselling series of Harry Hole novels. The Oslo cop, a boozy, fags-and-fatalism maverick in the best traditions of movie ‘tecs like Jake Gittes and Popeye Doyle, is in his early ‘40s in the books and an outsider in his own department.
Well used to the seamier side of human behaviour, even he is disturbed to find things going all Raymond Briggs when a woman’s disappearance is signposted by her pink scarf wrapped around the neck of an alarming-looking snowman. In the time it takes to bring Aled Jones in for questioning, Hole is dragged down a rabbit hole of serial killers, clandestine relationships and wintry bleakness in his troubled city.
Martin Scorsese was strongly linked with the thriller before Alfredson took the reins. The Let The Right One In director, of course, has a pre-existing relationship with Working Title, not to mention experience adapting densely-plotted thrillers, thanks to his take on John le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in 2011, and will have producer mavens Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner to help along the way. Scorsese remains as co-producer, alongside Nesbo himself.
The author, meanwhile, continues to have a moment in moviemaking circles. Headhunters made for a terrific, blackly comic thriller under the eye of Morten Tyldum, and he currently has Channing Tatum circling his freshly-published thriller The Son and Leonardo DiCaprio and director Daniel Espinosa both heavily linked with his pseudonymous thriller Blood On Snow.