Inspector Harry Hole is tested to the very limits of his sanity by a killer with a strange signature: a snowman.
One night, after the year's first snowfall, a boy named Jonas wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day. Inspector Harry Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter he's received. The case deepens when a pattern emerges: over the past decade, eleven women have vanished--all on the day of the first snow. But this is a killer who makes his own rules, and he'll break his pattern just to keep the game interesting, as he draws Harry ever closer into his twisted web.