Unable to resist an exciting job offer in Marseille, Sam Levitt and his girlfriend Elena find their happy return to the region's coastal sunshine and delectable cuisine challenged by an increasingly violent competition for waterfront property.
After two young women are found dead, both drowned in their own blood, Inspector Harry Hole is compelled to return to Norway to see his dying father and to investigate the brutal crime, which may be the work of a serial killer.
"In Oslo, after the first snow of the season has fallen, a woman disappears, and a sinister snowman is left in her wake. As irascible detective Harry Hole realizes that this is only one of multiple disappearances, he begins to think a serial killer may be at work--and may be drawing in Hole personally and intentionally"--
It is 1937, and Captain Alexei Korolev finds himself on an airplane bound for Odessa after the suspicious suicide of a loyal young party member who supposedly had an illicit relationship with the party director. His instructions are to determine if her suicide was actually a cover-up for murder, and if so, to find her killer.