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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

Critic Reviews

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)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Unusual.

Well, it was unusual. it was interesting. I bought this because I had seen the movie The Snowman. and I wanted to learn more about the character.

even though this is billed as the first Harry novel, don't expect to learn why he's a binge drinker. I think. I'm not sure. It was unusual. it was interesting.

good enough that I'm going to pick another and listen to it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

slow but very good

the plot is a bit slow but very good. the characters are deep and interesting. their development is the real selling point. as they are slowly revealed layer by layer it really pulls you in.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Stick with it

This book took some time to grab my interest but finishes very strong and a must to fully appreciate Hole in the series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Unpredictable but a little drawn out.

I really like the side characters and the development of the story was wonderful. the main character was a little more flawed than I'm used to and I'm not emotionally invested in him yet. When the ending seemed to come, it was drawn out to what felt like almost half the book. That was a little bit frustrating. But I liked it enough to at least read the next book in the series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hometown

Coming from Australia I really enjoyed listening to the Aussie accents, they took me home! Planning to work my way through all the Nesbo books, I'm imagining they will just get better and better.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Look forward to more Harry

The first Harry Hole book I've listened to and enjoyed it a lot. I look forward to more in the series

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • i. Ski
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • 03-13-17

The beginning of Harry Hole

I am glad I had read other, better Harry Hole books (The Snowman is a favorite) before reading this one. Nesbo has developed as a writer and Harry has become more sympathetic and multi-dimensional since this first book -- something we can appreciate. There is not the tension of morals that Harry experiences in later books, and his overt alcoholism (without insight) does not make him a likeable person in this first story. The antagonists are the usual lot -- drug dealers, prostitutes, bad cops, and Australian mobsters. There is a good exploration of the second class treatment of Australian Aboriginal people -- a social struggle that is still evident in modern Australia.

If you are a Nesbo fan, read this as a marker for how a writer's plotting evolves with experience.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hmmm not sure

Seem like everyone loves the later books this one just seem to jump around alot.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Sorry I listen to the whole book

Very happy that Mr. Nesbo wrote several books after this work of rot. The next several books I've heard and were much better.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Lost in translation....

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Not for me...I found myself rewinding to figure out what the heck was going on. Maybe some of the finer points got lost in translation from the native language to English.