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The Bat

(Harry Hole #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  70,272 ratings  ·  5,368 reviews
The electrifying first appearance of Jo Nesbø’s detective, Harry Hole.
Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case.  Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has firm instructions to stay out of trouble. The victim is a twenty-three year old Norwegian woman who is a minor celebrity back home. Never one to sit on the sideli
Kindle Edition, Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original, 386 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by Vintage (first published January 1st 1997)
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Dimitris Graikopoulos This scene was meant to further introduce us to Harry's character. That he tends to be impulsive, that he doesnt care to be beaten up
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3.54  · 
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 ·  70,272 ratings  ·  5,368 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know that the first two Harry Hole books are generally the least popular of the series, but I couldn't be persuaded to jump in at book three and altered my expectations accordingly. While I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that I've not experienced this character or series before, I actually loved THE BAT! Perhaps it was having the opportunity to learn Hole's backstory and read the books in their intended order, or maybe simply the fact that I don't know any differently, but I was i ...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordic-noir
”A sudden, uncontrollable fury rose in him, and he cast around for something to smash. He snatched the whiskey bottle from the table and was about to launch it at the wall, but changed his mind at the last moment.
Lifelong training in self-control, he thought, opening the bottle and putting it to his mouth.”

 photo TheBat2_zps01299094.jpg

As you read this novel you are going to realize just how much sarcasm is loaded into that statement. Harry Hole, pronounced Hoo-leh, is dispatched to Sydney Australia to investigate the murd
Evgnossia O'Hara
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review was originally published on Through the Chapters|Blog

*3,5 stars*

“I have an idea for Harry’s life, for what is going to happen to him. Harry’s near future looks bleak. After that it’s getting even worse. And after that everything is going to hell”
-Jo Nesbø interview, January 2010


This is the major reason I’m rating the first book with 3.5 stars. The second reason, equally important, is the connection that I had with the main character from the very first page. Harry Hole, pronounced as Hoo-
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a huge fan of Jo Nesbo and the Harry Hole series, I waited eagerly, like many other fans, for The Bat, the first book in the Harry Hole series, to finally be translated into English. It was like waiting for Santa to arrive on Christmas Eve and deliver that wonderful present that you are hoping you will get, the pure excitement of it all! Unfortunately, Santa didn’t deliver that wonderful present in the form of The Bat, instead of receiving that perfect present, Santa delivered to me (oh the d ...more
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my other binge-reading project of the winter, I thought that there was no better time to explore the Harry Hole series by Norwegian Jo Nesbø. I had heard much about the series, and with a keen interest in all things Scandinavian when the thriller genre is involved, I thought I could do no wrong. As the series begins, Harry Hole (that's two syllables, Holy) finds himself in Sydney, Australia where he's been sent to represent the Royal Norwegian Police Directorate to investigate the murder of a ...more
Sep 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bat, by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo is the first of the Inspector Harry Hole (pronounced Hoo-leh) novels.

Set in Australia of all places, Nesbo introduces our hero as a foreign policeman sent on a diplomatic mission to assist with the investigation of the murder of a minor Norwegian celebrity in Sydney. The novel starts slowly but builds to an exciting, if somewhat minimalistic, and troubling, ending.

Nesbo does an above average job of introducing an array of characters and develops some intri
A very different experience this one was for me. Harry 'Hoo-ley' is an experienced detective with a story of his own to tell, bought out to Sydney, Australia to assist Australian Police in a murder of a Norwegian woman. The poor man is called Harry Holy by everyone, he's given up on correcting people. An interesting one here as this is a Norwegian writer delving strongly into Aboriginal culture, and even re-telling some dream time stories. I am not at all good at concentrating at the best of tim ...more
James Thane
This is the book that introduced Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad--or it least it would have been had not several of the later Harry Hole novels reached the U.S. ahead of it. The wait is finally over, though, and The Bat is now at last available in a U.S. edition.

It seems a bit odd that the first book in a series featuring a Norwegian police inspector would be set in Australia. Nonetheless, that's the case. A young Norwegian woman who had been something of a minor television celebrit
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018

"You're a tiny bit damaged every time you unravel another murder case. Unfortunately, as a rule there are more human wrecks and sadder stories, and fewer ingenious motives, than you would imagine from reading Agatha Christie. At first I saw myself as a kind of knight dispensing justice, but at times I feel more like a refuse collector"

If you are into gloomy police procedurals there's no better place to go than Scandinavia. These writers would make even sunny, laidback Australia look like a dis
Although I love mysteries and thrillers, and have collected the Harry Hole series, this is the first mystery in the series that I have read. My procrastination meant that I could begin with the first book in Jo Nesbø's acclaimed series -- sometimes procrastination does pay off.

In this book, Harry Hole has just arrived in Sydney, Australia, after being assigned by the Oslo Crime Department to liaise with the local police department in investigating the recent death of a beautiful Norwegian citiz
Jon Kurtz
My first novel by author Jo Nesbo, left me nearly as schizophrenic as a Jim Carey character. From the beginning, I found the writing difficult to digest. Set in Australia, authored by a Norwegian, and translated into the Queen's English, my American brain sloshed through the idioms saturating the pages. But I remained engaged. With a background in law enforcement, I viewed the portrayal of protagonists and antagonist as over-the-top and not realistic. But I stayed entertained. With the same eye, ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“I think our common sins in many ways bound us closer together.”

“The Bat” is the fourth novel of Jo Nesbø’s that I have read, but the first one in his Harry Hole series. To me it reads like a first book. Norwegian police inspector Harry Hole is dispatched to Australia to work on the case of a murdered Norwegian citizen, and we are off to the races.
Many of the reviews I saw for this text say how genre busting this novel is. I disagree. This text features an alcoholic detective (will he fall off t
Rosa, really
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love a tortured hero

I love you, Harry, but--

And I love this series and would highly recommend it, but--

This was kind of an odd experience because although The Bat is the first book in the series, it's the 9th or 10th book published in English. When I first started the series I was most seriously disturbed that they chose to start with The Redbreast, the third book (IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT), but I read an article about the author where he said he thought the first 2 books were not well-done and he was happy the English-
I really want to watch the movie The Snowman, based on a Harry Hole book by Jo Nesbo. But I have a rule...if a movie is based on a book, I have to read the book before I watch the film. There is a bit of a problem with that rule sometimes. I am a bit OCD when it comes to reading a series. I always have to start at book 1 and read through in order. The Snowman is book #7 of #11 in the Harry Hole I have a bit of reading to do before I can watch the film.

Jo Nesbo is Norwegian, and his
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Harry Roolaart
Good for a first Harry Hole novel as it was the first in the publishing sequence in Norway, though a late arrival to these shores in translation. I had the pleasure of his background and personhood on an away game in New South Wales, where his sister was murdered in Sydney. Away games for detective characters is a common practice, but rare for a first time at bat. But it works for me as a way to know Harry without his team, a pure form so to speak.

Harry turns out not to be a cold fish or totall
Helena Halme
I really wanted to like this first Harry Hole novel, but I'm afraid I found it rather far fetched and dull.

For me the best thing about Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole novels is their dark and moody Norwegian setting, so perhaps I didn't like The Bat because it's set in Sydney.

A Norwegian girl is found brutally murdered, and the Australian police send for a Norwegian policeman to pacify the country's Embassy.

What follows is Australia through the eyes of a damaged, t-toal, young Norwegian policeman. Ther
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I really enjoyed this first novel! Although Nesbo’s first novel, publishers took the decision to publish his novels from the third in the series onwards. Only in retrospect were the first two published. Apparently this first is different in tone and lighter than its sequels...some say that Nesbo has matured as a writer in later books..others speculate that maybe the translations were better later on. Well I found this story dark enough and I thought the translation, a good one, not clunky as som ...more
A Norwegian national is killed while working in Australia and Detective Harry Hole is sent to assist in the investigation. It’s not long before her death is linked to a string of murders and it’s believed a serial killer is on the loose. Can Harry and company track down and stop the murderer before he kills again?

Like seemingly everyone on the planet, I enjoyed Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy and after I closed the book on the final novel, I began hearing that this Jo Nesbo guy was someone I
Paula Kalin
I'm a big fan of the Stieg Larsson and Jussi Adler-Olsen series which led me to Norwegian Joe Nesbo. This being my first read of the author, I was able to start with his #1 in the Harry Hole series which was just translated into English in 2012.

The Bat, set in Sydney, finds Harry Hole looking for the murderer of a young Norwegian woman. This turns into a manhunt of a serial killer where the victims are all young blond women. The book is a little bit odd as Hole keeps on changing his mind as to w
* A Reader Obsessed *
3.5 Stars

A solid mystery featuring the infamous detective with the equally infamous moniker that is a set up for all sorts of well… you know.

Regardless, not a bad mystery. Hole definitely has a shit ton of demons - past and present - and despite them or because of them most likely, he still gets the job done in his own unconventional way.

Decent enough - I’m not opposed to delving into more.
First off: If you've never read Jo Nesbo, DON'T start with this one. Nesbo's first Harry Hole book and the least accomplished. It's set in Sydney and just when I though I would lose the will to live if I had to read/hear one more Aboriginal creation myth used to explain the mysteries of life; on about pg. 168 order was restored with a spectacularly gruesome murder involving a clown leading Harry to fall off the wagon (thank God!), wreak havoc, have a couple of dark nights of the soul and of cour ...more
My husband likes to preorder books for me from my favorite authors. I think he likes to see the smile on my face when I see that little brown box of happiness awaiting me after a long day at work or at least that is the social media “we are so in love” version. In reality he probably just does it so he has a 'get out of jail free' card on layaway. You know, buying ahead on those elusive love points. In regards to this book buying situation I think I should deduct points because he stepped out of ...more
I remember when Christopher Nolan’s Batman films came out, one of the (few) consistent criticisms was that it seemed like characters had a speech prepared for every situation. “Oh, you need to brush your teeth? One time, when I was in Burma…” Frankly it didn’t bother me in the films, but it did become something of a joke between me and my friends. I feel that joke could apply here, because whenever there’s a big development, someone is going to tell a story from their past, a story from a relati ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
May 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: netgalley
My View:
I am a Jo Nesbo fan. I have read all his other books in the Harry Hole series and mostly have been very impressed with the action, the narrative, the character development, the intrigue and the resolution. This book however is an exception to the series. It is banal, its language wooden, stilted and as an Australian reading Hole’s experience of his adventures in Sydney, Australia and of Australians, I generally felt let down and uncomfortable with the stereotypes and colloquialisms - of
If you're like me, you probably encountered the Jo Nesbø phenomenon by reading one of his more recent Harry Hole novels (for me it was The Snowman that sold me), and if you're like me, you have a nagging feeling you're missing something when skipping the first installments of an episodic police thriller series, you'd then feel the overwhelming need to start with The Bat.

I gotta tell you: this was...not very good. There are several explanations floating around out there as to why the first few in
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What can I say, it was love from the first sight. Harry Hole ...

Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good thriller with interesting characters. On several occasions the story did veer off course a bit, and I think it would have benefited by trimming some of the distracting material. As a whole I enjoyed this and more importantly, I genuinely like Harry. I’ll be continuing with the series, as I’ve heard that they only get better. 3.5 stars rounded up.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
2018 Reading Challenge: recommended by a friend

Decided to finally pick this back up. It’s picking up speed

2.5 stars? It’s well written, but I just didn’t enjoy the story
I had purchased a couple of the later books in the series when I saw them on sale but before reading them I decided that I should start reading the series with the first book. Several reviews seemed to indicate it was not as good as later books in the series but I decided it was better to start with the first book. I still can't compare it to any of the other books but am glad to hear the later books are better. If I hadn't read this I don't know if I would have had the incentive to continue wit ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
I read different genres, and books which slide over the genre category rules don't bother me. This first in the Harry Hole series is a slider, I think - somewhere between a cozy and a noir (In my opinion, I think many British/European mystery series tend to be sliders). Many of the characters have normal family relationships they care about, and the cops have relaxing lives beyond the job - which bring the story into cozy territory. However, the crimes and criminals are noir country. A sliding m ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Book cover for ISBN13 - 9789174295504 2 10 Jan 06, 2019 08:27AM  
Will Trent vs Harry Hole 3 28 Aug 30, 2018 12:21AM  
Nothing But Readi...: Nesbø, Jo--The Bat informal buddy read starts May 26, 2018 113 185 Jun 18, 2018 04:31PM  
Around the Year i...: The Bat, by Jo Nesbo 5 55 Feb 09, 2018 04:07AM  
CdC - Gruppo di l...: Libro #18 - il Pipistrello 3 20 Nov 30, 2017 05:29AM  
Play Book Tag: The Bat by Jo Nesbø - 4**** 1 9 Mar 25, 2017 06:11PM  

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Jo Nesbø is a bestselling Norwegian author and musician. He was born in Oslo and grew up in Molde. Nesbø graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics with a degree in economics. Nesbø is primarily famous for his crime novels about Detective Harry Hole, but he is also the main vocals and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre. In 2007 Nesbø also released his first children's book, Dokt ...more

Other books in the series

Harry Hole (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Cockroaches (Harry Hole, #2)
  • The Redbreast (Harry Hole, #3)
  • Nemesis (Harry Hole, #4)
  • The Devil's Star (Harry Hole, #5)
  • The Redeemer (Harry Hole, #6)
  • The Snowman (Harry Hole, #7)
  • The Leopard (Harry Hole, #8)
  • Phantom (Harry Hole, #9)
  • Police (Harry Hole, #10)
  • The Thirst (Harry Hole, #11)
“Everything you do leaves traces, doesn’t it. The life you’ve lived is written all over you, for those who can read.” 43 likes
“How's your girlfriend?'
‘Birgitta?’ Harry was quiet, ‘I don’t know. She wont talk to me. Feeling terrible, I hope.’
'Why do you hope she’s feeling terrible?’
‘I hope she loves me, of course.’
Sandra emitted a rasping laugh. ‘And how are you. Harry Holy?’
‘Terrible.’ Harry smiled sadly”
More quotes…