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The Bat: The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel | [Jo Nesbø]

The Bat: The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Available in English at last! The first book in the remarkable, best-selling Harry Hole series from Jo Nesbø.

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 a highly intelligent killer who is bent on total destruction.

©2013 Jo Nesbø (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

Advance praise from the U.K. for The Bat

“Even with this first book Nesbø’s command of the idiom is completely in place—there is absolutely no sense that the writer was finding his feet and aficionados will be very pleased to slide this on to their bookshelves alongside the other Harry Hole novels.” --The Daily Express
 
“It is fantastic to see a younger Harry, a more loquacious Harry. . . . [Nesbø is] a terrific writer who knows how to build a story, taking you slowly to the top of a rollercoaster before sending you hurtling towards a solution that you never see coming.” --Scottish Express
 
“Nesbø is already taking on the clichés, ruthlessly tearing them apart and coming up with new riffs. . . . Most satisfyingly, we can now see the organic shape that Nesbø always intended his work to take.” --The Independent (London)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (354 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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3.7 (330 )
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4.2 (322 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Old Hippy PA 11-26-13
    Old Hippy PA 11-26-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Glad I read the all the other Nesbo books first"
    What disappointed you about The Bat?

    Nesbo's fixation on Harry Hole's alcoholism just destroys this first novel of the series. And the whores, fights, and poor storyline. You can see the latent writing skills that get progressively better with each sequel. I've sought out and read all the subsequent Harry Hole novels before finding this audiobook (except Cockroaches), and they've been great. (The latest "Police" is a masterpiece".) But, if I had read this one first, I would never have gone further. It's THAT bad.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jo Nesbø again?

    I've already read all the others in the series. All are good, some great! This one is just bad.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, sure.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend avoiding this one, and start out with the next in the series, which is "Cockroaches". I haven't found "Cockroaches" in audio yet, the next one after that is "Redbreast", which was very good.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP Oakland, CA 07-10-13
    KP Oakland, CA 07-10-13 Member Since 2006

    There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not as good as the others...."

    I’ve read several books in the Harry Hole series, and so I was interested in finally reading this, the first in the series. I was always curious as to why it hadn’t yet been translated into English.

    Perhaps the reason it took so long to bring this to the English speaking public is because it’s not as good as his other books? I might not have wanted to continue the series if I’d started with this book, BUT since I’d become acquainted with Harry Hole, I wanted to know more about his history and his beginnings. I did get to know a lot more about him and why his personality is as dark as it is.

    I didn’t think the plot was as exciting or as good as the other books I’ve read by Nesbo. I also wasn’t very interested in all the philosophical asides that he threw in. A couple of them were interesting, but I started to get tired of them, and they started to seem like filler.

    Wow, I just looked and there are quite a few I’d need to read to get to the one I started with, The Snowman. Also, it looks like #2 in the series, The Cockroaches, still hasn’t been translated. I’ll take a break from Harry Hole and see if #2 comes around in English, and then perhaps I’ll try again. Hopefully, Nesbo gets better with each book!

    ***************

    • In The Bat (1997), Hole is sent to Sydney, Australia to investigate the murder of a B-list celebrity.
    • In The Cockroaches (1998), Hole is sent to Thailand to investigate the murder of the Norwegian ambassador.
    • In The Redbreast (2000), Hole is promoted to inspector in the Oslo Police District and tracks an insane assassin with a vendetta against the Norwegian Royal Family.
    • In Nemesis (2002), Hole investigates a fatal bank robbery and becomes implicated in the apparent murder of an ex-girlfriend.
    • In The Devil's Star (2003), Hole suspects another detective, Tom Waaler, of being a murderous arms smuggler responsible for the death of Hole's former partner.
    • In The Redeemer (2005), Hole is on the trail of a Croat hitman who kills a Salvation Army officer during a Christmas street concert.
    • In The Snowman (2007), Hole struggles to identify Norway's first serial killer.
    • In The Leopard (2009), Hole returns from a self-imposed exile in Hong Kong and unofficially investigates a serial killer.
    • In Phantom (2011), Hole again returns from Hong Kong to look into a murder apparently committed by his would-be son, Oleg. His investigation draws him into Oslo's drug scene.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. WARD Midlothian, Virginia United States 07-31-13
    D. WARD Midlothian, Virginia United States 07-31-13 Member Since 2009

    Diana bookworm

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    "At last, the first book"

    We are introduced to Harry Hole....making sense of all the references ( in subsequent books) to the events that occur in this first book.

    John Lee is one of my favorite narrators. The anticipation I feel when looking for a new book is always peaked when John Lee is the narrator. Wonderful Norwegian accents....

    This a a great mystery, complicated, unexpected and you wont see the ending coming.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul United States 09-11-13
    Paul United States 09-11-13 Member Since 2010

    I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Rocky Beginnings"
    Would you listen to The Bat again? Why?

    Probably not. Not because it's a bad book, but because there's too many other stories that I'd like to listen to.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    It's a double edged sword, I like the Australian history and fables, but it doesn't really add too much to the story. It pads the length of the book out, but it's not critical for the story telling. Harry Hole is going to be an interesting character in his future stories, as this book give us a good bit of what makes him tick.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I really like his Australian accents, he gave a great voice to the setting and characters. I can't compare him to Robin Sachs, but Mr. Lee does a good job bringing the story to life.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like the Millennium trilogy, this is a great series to get involved with.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronna United States 09-07-13
    Ronna United States 09-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    "First Harry Hole finally translated into English!!"

    Although this is the first in the Harry Hole series, it's just now coming to America after many of the later books have made fans of many Americans. Luckily, this is the first book I've read in this series. I love knowing the background of the hero before getting into the later books. Harry Hole was a great character to read about in this book. Alcoholic, rushing into dangerous situations, and unlucky in love, Harry pushes for results regardless of what will happen to him.

    In trouble with his Norwegian police force, Harry is sent to Australia with instructions to stay out of trouble while "looking" into the death of an woman celebrity from his homeland. The Australian police force pairs him up with an Aboriginal policeman, who is full of historical information and strange friends. The Australians want to find a simple single murderer, but Harry in convinced that they should be seeking a serial killer. Meanwhile, he quickly finds a love interest that complicates his life.

    I'm really glad I started the series here. Really enjoyed the philosophical discussions that developed these characters. The story development was fast passed, and developed beautifully. Looking forward to reading all the rest of this series now that I've had an appetizing taste of this very flawed, but very compelling man named Harry Hole---pronounced Harry Holy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Herriman, UT, United States 06-14-14
    Melinda Herriman, UT, United States 06-14-14 Member Since 2011
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    "didn't care for it"

    Heard great things about this author, but I found nothing likable about this character and really can't believe he is so attractive to women and so good in a brawl. And don't care for the treatment of other characters. Not a likable or relatable person in this whole book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gail San Rafael, CA, United States 05-08-14
    gail San Rafael, CA, United States 05-08-14 Member Since 2011
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    "what a disappointment"

    author came highly recommended but book felt as if sprung from an outline--overly plotted with characters who fail to come alive...reader's Australian accent grating and not suited to the detective from Norway--I really thought the Aborigine fairytales a form of padding rather than anything integral to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Palmer Denver, CO USA 04-23-14
    Carol Palmer Denver, CO USA 04-23-14 Member Since 2012
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    "We are introduced to Harry Hole"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Bat to be better than the print version?

    No unless you were planning a trip to Australia and wanted to know how the places names are spelled.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Jo Nesbo twists and turns a plot. Just when you think you know who did it - nope!


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The different accents


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No because I don't usually have 9 1/2 hours of uninterrupted time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian Washington, DC, United States 03-21-14
    Marian Washington, DC, United States 03-21-14 Member Since 2009
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    "This series start is rather low key"
    What did you like best about The Bat? What did you like least?

    I liked the unique characters (and their names) in this novel. It's not often when you have an Aborigine detective named Andrew Kensington as the co-lead of a murder investigation in Australia. The plot turns seemed to make no sense. They did little to add to the story. There was such a slow build up to the story that I expected more of a climax but nothing. I was a bit let down.


    What was most disappointing about Jo Nesbø’s story?

    The revelation of who the real murderer was. It seemed a bit convenient.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Not much. Some of the characters sounded like they were from Transylvania rather than Australia.


    Did The Bat inspire you to do anything?

    No, I hate to say.


    Any additional comments?

    I read Jo Nesbo most recent novel, The Snowman, and I was inspired to start from the beginning. The Bat was a bad foreshadowing of The Snowman. Same plot twist, same story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura CARBONDALE, CO, United States 03-10-14
    Laura CARBONDALE, CO, United States 03-10-14
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    "My first and last Nesbo"

    What an absurd conclusion- *Plot Warning* The main character (cop) sends his *girlfriend* into a "sting" operation with a serial killer and rapist... Oh, and the police chief authorizes the operation? I don’t think so!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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