A little boy in Oslo, Norway, wakes up to find a snowman in his front yard and his mother missing. Veteran detective Harry Hole is called in to solve the puzzle. Soon, a pattern is discovered and more bodies turn up. What sounds like a formulaic murder mystery is absolutely gripping when told by Jo Nesbo. He is a Norwegian author, often compared to Steig Larssen, but I found this book to be better than any of the "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" books. It is very well-written with many twists and turns which will keep you turning pages well into the night.
This latest novel by Allen features Willa Jackson of Walls of Water, North Carolina. The magical realism found in Allen’s other novels remains, along with a little bit of romance, and a little bit of history. The story revolves around the “The Blue Ridge Madam,” a mansion in the Blue Ridge Mountains once belonging to Willa Jackson’s family. An old classmate of Willa’s, Paxton Osgood, has restored the mansion and plans to open an inn. When a skeleton is found buried beneath the lone peach tree on the property, a secret history involving both Willa’s and Paxton’s families is unveiled.