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James Robert Thompson
Jo Nesbo could be poised for a breakthrough
Jo Nesbo could be poised for a breakthrough

His friends knew he had a way with words. So when some filmmakers acquainted with Jo Nesbo asked the Norwegian crime writer to suggest a title for their upcoming horror movie, he tried to oblige. After musing on the story — friends go on a snowboard trip, and, then, one by one start dying — he came up with what he thought was the perfect title: "The Snowman." His friends' response? "They said, 'Probably,' " recalls Nesbo, 51, in a phone call from Oslo. " 'Only problem is, there's no snowman.' " Rebuffed, the author reflected on the image itself — about "something so trivial, even cozy," but also...

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