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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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1,279756,147 (3.39)100
Member:smik
Title:THE BAT
Authors:Jo Nesbo
Info:Random House Canada (2012), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Australian setting, Harry Hole, murder mystery, Norwegian author

Work details

The Bat by Jo Nesbo (1997)

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Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Very much enjoyed the novel perspective of a Norwegian detective finding his feet in Australia. Will probably read the other Harry Hole book but not bowled over yet by Harry Hole. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
I’ve been hearing about Jo Nesbo for quite a while now and decided to read the first book in his Inspector Harry Hole series. It was fittingly set in Sydney, Australia and so it quickly became a priority for me.

The novel follows a relatively formulaic path. A dead body is found, it’s a Norwegian woman and so Hole is sent from Norway to assist the Sydney authorities in the investigation. The murder mystery is interesting, but it’s definitely not what kept me hooked on the book. I loved hearing about the culture and history in Sydney. They talk about specific locations, cultural traditions and racial struggles.

The novel reminded me of The Cuckoo’s Calling a bit. The troubled detective has a complicated history and is an alcoholic. The plot lost me a little bit at a few points, but I was reading it more for the location and the lead character so that didn’t bother me.

BOTTOM LINE: A great book to read if you’re interested in Australia and a good mystery novel. I’ll definitely check out the next one in the series to see what happens next for Harry. ( )
  bookworm12 | Jun 10, 2014 |
Solid first effort introducing a character I will look forward to getting to know better. Having a Norwegian police officer in an Australian setting was great. Some predictable plot elements. ( )
  powertriangle | Jun 7, 2014 |
With a story that was not as powerful as The Redbreast, I still thought The Bat by Jo Nesbo was a good introduction to Harry Hole and laid some interesting groundwork in terms of introducing him, giving us some background and a lesson or two on pronouncing his name (Hoo-leh). This is a younger more naïve policeman, we even get to see Harry falling in love. Many of his past secrets are explained and we can see some of the reasons why Harry becomes the damaged, difficult loner that he is in his later books.

This first book has Harry in Sydney, Australia to assist the local police in their investigation into the death of a young Norwegian woman. This is a very different Harry than the one we meet later in the series, he is brash, he makes mistakes, and he falls off the wagon, big time. The case soon appears to be more than they thought, it now looks like they are on the trail of a serial killer.

I actually appreciate that I have met the older, wiser Harry first and now have gone back to fill in the blanks. Although the pacing of this book seemed a little off and I felt that the story didn’t really start to jell until about halfway through, overall I enjoyed The Bat and felt it definitely showed glimpses of the interesting series that it has become. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Apr 29, 2014 |
Blurb.......

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.


This was my first taste of the Scandinavian writer, Jo Nesbo - my OCD-like tendencies having caused me to spurn earlier opportunities to read him, in favour of his waiting for his first published book, The Bat to become available at my local library.
Having collected it Thursday evening, I read a chapter on Friday night, got properly stuck into it on Saturday afternoon and finished it Sunday evening.
First thoughts – better than average, without blowing me away totally. Perhaps most debuts aren’t the best work an author can produce and his later books are stronger, although this did win the 1998 Glass Key Award – for best Scandinavian Novel of the year.
Harry Hole – Nesbo’s Norwegian policeman pitches up in Sydney to assist in the investigation into the violent death of a young Norwegian woman. After initially only being assigned an observer role in the investigation, Harry and his Aboriginal babysitter, Andrew Kensington are drawn deeper into the pursuit of a serial rapist-killer.
The novel immerses Hole into Sydney’s notorious King Cross area, full of seedy bars, strip joints and prostitution. Kensington befriending Harry gives Nesbo the opportunity to provide some background history to the difficulties between the Aboriginal indigents and white-Australia, as well as imparting some knowledge on some Aboriginal cultural beliefs and legends.
Whilst I enjoyed the book in the main, particularly Nesbo’s ensemble of characters, as well as the violence that seemed never too far away from Hole, I wasn’t totally convinced by Harry’s subsequent phoenix-like rise from the ashes of his latest alcoholic lapse.
Where Nesbo did score points with me was with his readiness to dispense permanently with key characters during the execution of the investigation.
I’m looking forward to more reading more from Nesbo, though can’t decide whether to wait for the second Harry Hole instalment when it is published in English later this year – The Cockroach, or skip ahead to The Redbreast ( Hole - number 3), or alternately the standalone book Headhunters.
4 from 5
Reserved and borrowed, after sitting in a queue of 9 from Leighton Buzzard library. ( )
  col2910 | Apr 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (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.

(summary from another edition)

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