There are a few books – and movies – that reveal something new each time you read or see them. this is one of those. Smilla Jasperson is a scientist who studies ice, an authority on Artic ice. As a heroine, she is a more realistic forerunner to Stieg Larsson’s Lisabeth Salander, a young woman with special skills determined to find justice despite resistance from the powerful. For Smilla, the cause is the death of a boy, a fellow Greenlander living in Denmark. They were friends, and she doesn’t believe his death was an accident.
As you’re reading Smilla’s Sense of Snow, you might wonder, why Peter Hoeg interrupts his suspenseful narrative to provide technical information about ice, its behavior and formation. When you get to the end, you will understand. To say more would reveal too much.
I read Smilla’s Sense of Snow when it first came out in the early nineties and remember thinking enough of it to pass the book on to a friend. Back then, I came to the book solely as a reader. This time around, I was looking for well-written thrillers because I’ve become a writer and wanted to try my hand at that genre. You learn by studying the masters, and this is masterfully written and realized. I’m not passing this copy on. Smilla’s Sense of Snow has a place in my permanent collection.