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

by Jo Nesbo

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1,533914,792 (3.41)157
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Title:The Bat
Authors:Jo Nesbo
Info:Random House Canada (2012), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:mystery, Scandinavian

Work details

The Bat by Jo Nesbo (1997)

Recently added byLarou, David.Silberman, rena200, sklee, MrMorrison, private library, shazjhb, lmckamy, e-zReader, OveStorbugt
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» See also 157 mentions

English (74)  Dutch (5)  Swedish (4)  German (4)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (91)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
Interesting to see how it all began. Wonder why he decided to write the first book in Australia. ( )
  shazjhb | May 22, 2015 |
I struggled with the Narrator of this book. There were times I felt like I was listening to a sportscaster, the inflections and ways of speaking were sometimes distracting. John Lee narrates the first 2 books in this series and then it switches to someone else so I will be interested to see how the other narrator performs with the same character.

Although this is the first book int he Harry Hole series, it wasn't released in the USA until the last few years. I think most of the people who have read this book and reviewed it have already read a Harry Hole novel and love this character therefore are excited to read about his beginnings. Unfortunately this is the first Harry book I have read and I found it only so so. I'm not sure if it was the narrator or the story but I found that it didn't hold my attention as long as many other Nordic Mysteries. They usually are a bit slower and darker than US mysteries but this one seemed to wander around having a hard time figuring out where it needs to go. Despite this I'm gonna stick with Harry though since I have high hopes for later books. ( )
  ReadingGrrl | Apr 28, 2015 |
Harry Hole (pronounced 'Hoo-leh'), is sent to Sydney, Australia, to help find the killer of a Norwegian ex-pat woman who, through closer inspection alongside Aboriginal officer Andrew Kensington, seems to not be a singular case but one of many across Australia. Harry plunges deep in to Aboriginal culture and finds himself mixing with a Swedish ex-pat woman, whilst all the time he's attempting to find a serial rapist and murderer.


This is the first of the 'Harry Hole' seiers by Jo Nesbo, but it was not the first that was translated in to English. I can see why they did that, though; this book is set exclusively in Australia, despite the fact that Hole is a Norwegian detective, with the exception of a few flash backs provided via first-person storytelling.

It's a quick and easy read with a good storyline and a nice mix of Australian culture from a tourist's P.O.V. We get a good sense of who Harry Hole is here-an ex-alcoholic who meets a beautiful Swedish girl and, despite himself, "falls in love" and finds himself teetering on the edge of the wagon. We get segments of his past and find out what kind of copper he is. There are perhaps too many references to "what the cops on TV do", but all in all it is a standard crime novel with good dialogue and twists you don't find incomprehensible.

( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
I really didn't take me 18 months to read this book. I started it back in 2013, got distracted and you know how that goes. I found it again recently and picked it for my mystery group.

This first in series from Scandinavian author Jo Nesbo was not the first of the Harry Hole novels translated and released in the US but it was definitely worth the wait.

Trying to describe it is kind of fun, It's about a Norwegian police inspector. And it's set in Australia. And he falls for a Swedish barmaid. Oh, yeah, and he investigates a crime that he's not really supposed to investigate that becomes a series of crimes he's not supposed to investigate with an Aboriginal homicide detective who is just supposed to keep him occupied and out of the way. Say whut? Maybe this is part of the reason it wasn't translated into English sooner than it was.

It sounds convoluted but it is really good! After Stieg Larsson, I was a little nervous that this series would be as dark and violent. What a pleasant surprise. Nesbo's writing is crisp and fresh. Harry is flawed but dealing with those flaws as best he can. He is not overloaded with testosterone. He can be a little bashful and unsure of himself without needing to prove anything. He has a sense of humor. He is real. And I like him.

Awful things happen in the book (and I see a similarity or two between things that happen in this book and the second Lethal Weapon film). It's a murder mystery so it stands to reason that someone has to die. But without giving anything away, I will say that the story is resolved with bite. BIG bite.

*ahem*

Seriously, though. This is an excellent book- highly recommended. ( )
  enemyanniemae | Feb 17, 2015 |
This is the first Harry Hole book, and I'd never read it. Well and intricately plotted, good characterizations—really liked it. It gave me insight into Harry that I didn't have, because I hadn't read #1. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (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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Noe var galt.
Something was wrong.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Original title: Flaggermusmannen
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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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