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

by Jo Nesbo (Author), Don Bartlett (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0091273,340 (3.38)196
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

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The Bat by Jo Nesbo (1997)

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» See also 196 mentions

English (111)  Dutch (5)  Swedish (4)  German (4)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  All (128)
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Book on CD read by John Lee

Book #1 in the Inspector Harry Hole series. Harry is a member of the Oslo Crime Squad, and he’s sent to Sydney Australia after a young Norwegian woman is murdered. Harry’s role is to “observe” and offer advice, if asked, but he’s not to interfere with the investigation. Of course, Harry can’t just sit idly by. First he befriends one of the lead detectives, and then one of the witnesses. Before long he’s pointed out the pattern of killings that point to a psychopathic serial killer.

The first thriller I read by Nesbø was The Snowman, set in Oslo and featuring Harry Hole. When I realized it was part of a series, I decided to go back to book one, except that at that time it wasn’t available in the USA. I’m glad I finally got to it.

Nesbø writes a tight , fast-paced thriller with plenty of clues, several red herrings, a flawed but likeable lead detective, and an interesting setting. I’ll definitely read more of this series.

John Lee does a fine job narrating the audio version. He has good pacing and I loved his Aussie accent! He even does a pretty good job with the female voices. ( )
  BookConcierge | Mar 24, 2017 |
Another series? Ermagod! But, I went ahead and dove in and I was not disappointed. I trusted the recommendation on the author because it came from a friend and fellow reader who has never steered me wrong yet. This time, I decided to start at Book #1 and read them in order.

The main character is Harry Hole (pronounced Hoo-leh), a Norwegian detective who has had been through some professional and personal hard times as all the best fictional detectives seem to have in common.

He has been sent to Sydney, Australia to assist in solving the murder of a Norwegian girl who was on a tourist visa. The first thing I loved about the book was that I lived in Sydney for several years. Ironically, the murdered girl’s flat was located in Hereford Street, Glebe which was actually one street away from where I lived. So I had the vicarious thrill of knowing the neighborhood intimately.

The next vicarious thrill was that the murdered girl, who was straight, worked as a bartender at the largest gay men’s piano bar in Sydney, The Albury. Now, my friends and I started many an evening of clubbing at the Albury. I had many friends who were bartenders, drag performers, singers in the piano bar. I went to many an after-memorial night there to celebrate fallen friends. I had many gay Mardis Gras nights there and Oxford Street was somewhere I spent many wonderful times.

Alas, The Albury is gone. As the community changes, morphs and assimilates, we have lost wonderful places. But I love that it lives on in this book. Harry is housed in Kings Cross which is the red light district of Sydney. I have millions of stories about Kings Cross too – all good. The Bourbon and Beef is somewhere many late nights and early mornings have ended.

A secondary location is the rain forests in northern New South Wales. Most particularly, Nimbin, which is a hippie town trapped in time. I spent time on a commune in that area so again, wonderful memories and to have so many rolled into one book sold me on the series right there.

In a wonderful stroke of serendipity, the story itself is very, very good. The mystery is complex; the characters are very rich and some of the clues dropped on Harry are done wrapped in aboriginal Dreamtime Stories shared by several aboriginal characters that populate the novel.

I am a convert. Harry is a wonderful character and there are plenty of books out there to get into before you have to wait for the next novel in the series. I love to find an author I can get stuck into and this is one for fans of a good mystery and a traveling Norwegian detective with issues. ( )
  ozzie65 | Mar 4, 2017 |
I should have listened to the reviews that recommended starting this series with Book 3. This was rather boring and the author took the reader out of the narrative with lectures on Australian and Aboriginal culture. More than I ever wanted to know. Nor did I find the mystery all that compelling.

I did find out how Harry Hole was pronounced (Ho-lay) so now I can stop pronouncing it the American way, which makes it a very unfortunate name indeed :-)

I've heard enough good things about the series that I'll read #3 next, but I'm not in a big hurry ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
First in the series of Norwegian detective Harry Hole. Unfortunately it was in Australia. To many Aboriginal wanderings and the end was a little cliche. But some good writing in places. But willing to give Harry Hole another chance. ( )
  JBreedlove | Feb 2, 2017 |
I've signed up to take a Harry Hole walking tour of Oslo, so I figured I should read some of the books first. Of course, this one takes place entirely in Australia. Harry Hole is in the country to follow up on the murder of a Norwegian woman. What follows is a lengthy journey through Australian aboriginal culture, the drug trade, Harry's alcoholism and past relationships, and sky diving. There were parts when I wasn't positive I was reading things in order, with flashbacks shoved in somewhat disjointedly. I don't have strong feelings about Harry or the story in general, but I do believe I need to read at least one more installment in the series before I form a solid opinion. ( )
  melydia | Dec 16, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jo Nesboprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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