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The Bat by Jo Nesbo
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The Bat (original 1997; edition 2012)

by Jo Nesbo, Don Bartlett (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,8931203,622 (3.4)189
Member:ElizaJane
Title:The Bat
Authors:Jo Nesbo (Author)
Other authors:Don Bartlett (Translator)
Info:Random House Canada (2012), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Review Copies
Rating:*****
Tags:arc, randomhouse, crime, norway, serial killer, read2012

Work details

The Bat by Jo Nesbo (1997)

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» See also 189 mentions

English (104)  Dutch (5)  Swedish (4)  German (4)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (120)
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman tried to take everything he held dear, he went to Australia. Harry Hole is sent to Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a young Norwegian girl, who was working in a bar. Initially sidelined as an outsider, Harry becomes central to the Australian police investigation when they start to notice a number of unsolved rape and murder cases around the country. The victims were usually young blondes. Inger had a number of admirers, each with his own share of secrets, but there is no obvious suspect, and the pattern of the other crimes seems impossible to crack. Then a circus performer is brutally murdered followed by yet another young woman. Harry is in a race against time to stop highly intelligent killer, who is bent on total destruction.

I love this series! I'm not sure what grabs me about these particular books, but they are right in my wheelhouse for entertainment. Usually I hate to read something out of order, it bothers me on a subconscious level maybe, but that hasn't really been an issue. I feel like Each book tells you just enough about where Harry Hole is in his life that his characterization feels complete.

That is one of the things I always base most of my "score" on when reviewing books. 1)Is the plot coherent? 2) Are the characters interesting and two dimensional?

I am happy to say YES to both of those questions for this book. The plot to this really had me hooked and pulled me along quite nicely. Mysteries are a strange thing for me to read because I hate it when I guess the murderer too quickly. If i can guess who did it in the first section of the book I sometimes feel cheated. The book may or may not redeem itself with the ending, but usually it doesn't seem as fulfilling to me. I'm happy to say that I didn't guess the killer until the very end. This book had a bunch of twists and turns in it that made me stay up late to finish!

As for the characterizations, I felt that they were all really well defined. I have always found Harry Hole to be well fleshed out and sympathetic, even if he is making terrible choices and making me yell at him. He is a smart and capable police officer and really cares about the victims. The secondary characters were also really well drawn although they did suffer a bit compared to Harry. I'm not sure whether this is because it was the first book in the series or just a translation issue. It didn't bother me too much or take me out of the book any.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to getting some of the others i missed! ( )
  Sarah_Buckley | Sep 17, 2016 |
This had all the key ingredients I usually enjoy, but for some reason I stuggled to get into this book and it didn't maintain my interest. The plot was okay but nothing more than that. I don't know if it lost something in translation but did just not hook me. There seemed a lot of descriptive passages but I wanted more interplay and dialogue between the main characters. Don't let this put you off, just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean you won't enjoy it - many have! For me it just needed more flow to the story. As a result I am giving it three stars. It was the first book in the series so perhaps I need to try a later book in the series before giving up on Harry Hole altogether. ( )
1 vote Andrew-theQM | Jul 11, 2016 |
Excellent thriller with great character introduction for detective Harry Hole. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jun 26, 2016 |
3.75 stars. this is extremely well written for what i expect of a thriller. i always wonder when it's in translation about the original and the translator, but this seems like quality on both sides.

just before starting this i'd heard that nesbo has said that this first book in the series, as far as he is concerned, could be tossed. that people could start with the second. i don't know if he really said that or not, but maybe it set me up to have low expectations. because i don't see why he'd say that - this is a solid story and it's well done, and i found myself liking it quite a bit. it's got it's share of misses or mistakes, but fewer than others of this genre that i've read.

i really enjoyed the dreamtime stories and the cultural aspects he brought to the australian part of this story. i thought those stories were interesting and tied in nicely to the plot, and seemed respectfully done from my white american perspective. i thought the characters pretty well drawn (definitely better than in an average macho thriller), the dialogue and story believable, and the writing really good. i think this is an excellent start to a series, especially if it only gets better from here. and he didn't take the easy way out and have harry save birgitta in the end, although as a reader i was hoping he'd get to her in time; it was better for the story and more realistic that she was murdered. he didn't make the choice that many authors would have there at the end, and i appreciate that. i keep coming back to it, but the writing is very strong here, and that is enough for me almost no matter the story or topic, and he manages to do well with the story, too, so i definitely find myself wanting to read more of his books. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Jun 20, 2016 |
I guess I had high expectations with this one as everyone seems to lovethis series. I like a few other mystery series a lot better. According to the reviews, it seems this one isn't as good as the others so I will reserve further judgement until I read the next one. ( )
  Krild13 | Jun 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jo Nesboprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bartlett, DonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
It rose into space, its wings spread wide,
them fell, its wings now a fluttering cape
wrapped tight about the body of a man.

FRANK MILLER
Dedication
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Noe var galt.
Something was wrong.
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Book description
Harry is out of his depth.

Detective Harry Hole is meant to keep out of trouble. A young Norwegian girl taking a gap year in Sydney has been murdered, and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can.

He's not supposed to get too involved.

When the team unearths a string of unsolved murders and disappearances, nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth. The hunt for a serial killer is on, but the murderer will talk only to Harry.

He might just be the next victim.

Appearing in English for the first time, The Bat is the legendary first novel from the worldwide phenomenon Jo Nesbo.

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Follows Harry Hole's efforts to solve the murder of a television celebrity whose demise is linked to a string of serial killings.

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