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(Harry Hole #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  98,772 ratings  ·  6,430 reviews
Politimannen Harry Hole er i Sydney for å bistå australsk politi i etterforskningen av drapet på en ung norsk kvinne. På sin vei gjennom lysskye miljøer treffer han horer og halliker, transer, klovner og pushere. Og noen aboriginer, Australias urinnvånere. Harry Hole har reist så langt vekk fra Norge som det er mulig å komme. Saken er komplisert, og i den blinde nattejakte ...more
Paperback, 339 pages
Published July 2nd 2005 by Aschehoug (first published 1997)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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 ·  98,772 ratings  ·  6,430 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 m
Federico DN
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: almost-fav
A very disturbed serial killer, and an even more problematic detective.

In this first novel of the series we learn the beginnings of the enigmatic Harry Hole, a renowned but highly problematic detective from Oslo, Norway. A rape and murder of a norwegian citizen takes place in Sydney, Australia. The indecipherable detective is sent as support to carry out the investigation. But one murder turns into many, and a simple investigation quickly turns into a desperate hunt for a very disturbed serial k
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
The Bat is the first book in the Harry Hole series and while this was an average story it did establish the character that has since gone on to facilitate some very engrossing thrillers. This book had too many plot holes and a constant question of why start a series about a Scandinavian investigator travelling to Australia. I can only presume that Jo Nesbo felt his home location may not have provided the most appealing setting for his debut. Perhaps my criticism is influenced by know
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
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first in the Harry Hole series which sees the detective sent to Australia to help assist in a murder inquiry of a young Norwegian student whilst on a gap year in Sydney.

Like many it was the adaptation of 'The Snowman' that alerted me to these stories, but that's the 7th book in the series.
I've finally gone back and brought the earlier ones, as I'm a stickler for reading in the correct order.

While the case isn't the strongest we really get a good idea of Harry's flawed character, straight fro
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
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
Audiobook - 4 stars
Story – 3.5 stars

I was only supposed to sample this, I found myself sampling and eventually getting the audiobook and ended up enjoying it.

Set in Sydney Australia, the story follows Inspector Harry Hole, pronounced Hooleh as he races against time and his own personal demons to catch a serial killer. The story is easy to follow, and the investigation process is so much enjoyable.

Harry is a well-developed character, his smart mouth and sarcasm made me fall in love with him. I l
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
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 Englis
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jill Mackin
My first Jo Nesbo. Harry Hole is an interesting character. Page turner. Gripping.
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
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say, it was love from the first sight. Harry Hole ...

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
* 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.
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
Sep 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This is the first book by Jo Nesbo featuring his famous detective Harry Hole and I have to say I wasn't gripped by it. I found it quite patchy with some interesting characters and scenarios but often quite dull in places and with some pretty ordinary police work followed by some quite amazing leaps of deduction.

It's unusual to set a detective in a debut novel in a foreign setting before first establishing his character and I think Harry suffers a little by being a fish out of water. He has been
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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)

Articles featuring this book

"When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"-Sherlock...
77 likes · 138 comments
“Everything you do leaves traces, doesn’t it. The life you’ve lived is written all over you, for those who can read.” 48 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…