The Bat by Jo NesboThe Bat by Jo Nesbo

The Bat

byJo Nesbo

Paperback | June 4, 2013

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The electrifying first appearance of Jo Nesbo’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 sidelines, Harry befriends one of the lead detectives, and one of the witnesses, as he is drawn deeper into the case. Together, they discover that this is only the latest in a string of unsolved murders, and the pattern points toward a psychopath working his way across the country. As they circle closer and closer to the killer, Harry begins to fear that no one is safe, least of all those investigating the case.

The Bat
was awarded with the most prestigious crime writing award in Norway, The Riverton Prize (Rivertonprisen) 1997 for Best Norwegian Crime Novel of the Year, as well as the premier crime writing award in Scandinavia, The Glass Key (Glasnyckeln) 1998 for Best Nordic Crime Novel of the Year.


With his ten internationally acclaimed crime novels featuring Detective Harry Hole, Jo Nesbo has achieved an unparalleled success both in his native country Norway and abroad, winning the hearts of critics, booksellers and readers alike. Translated into more than forty languages, awarded a whole range of awards and boasting record-brea...
Title:The BatFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.8 inPublished:June 4, 2013Publisher:Random House of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307361020

ISBN - 13:9780307361028

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Books: Top Ten Lists


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Confused? Here's the hard part about reviewing an audiobook that was translated from a language I don't know: I can't use any character names, because I don't know how to spell them. :( That's mostly a joke, but also a disclaimer: I did listen to the audiobook instead of physically reading, so some of my complaints could be related to that. This book was... confusing. I've never read any of the other Harry Hole books, and skimming some other reviews makes me think that I might like later books in the series more, but I found this one very hard to follow. I couldn't keep the characters straight, especially near the end when flashbacks became more common, and I often didn't know whether we were in a flashback or not. Again, this might be because of the audiobook narrator rather than the actual writing, but most of the characters sounded sort of the same to me; they didn't have distinctive voices. There were several weird tangents that made the murder-mystery plot hard to follow, as well. I found myself tuning out a little when characters started rambling about the history of Australia and Aboriginal myths and family backstories because, while interesting, they were (mostly) completely irrelevant to the plot. Some of them became relevant-ish when the reason for the murders was finally explained (no spoilers!), but they didn't have to be so... long. All that said, I didn't dislike the book. The writing is very good, and the plot ended up being quite interesting once I figured out what was going on. Harry himself is an interesting character - I might check out some of the later books in the series, now that I know more of what to expect.
Date published: 2018-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent series! While it is possible to read the series out of order (I definitely did) this book provides an exciting beginning to the Harry Hole series--would recommend it to anyone who loves mystery/thrillers.
Date published: 2018-01-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Bit Batty I will fully admit, I struggled with this book. I elected to read this, as The Snowman was being made into a film and I thought, why not start at the beginning and meet Harry Hole. I feel like the author made the decision to shove as much absurdity into one book as possible, with the desire to reach a "twist"- you'll see people mention a twist in a lot of reviews, but if you pay half attention you'll see it coming a Manitoba Mile away. I had a hard time connecting with Harry. For seventy five percent of the book, I hoped he died. And yes, that's absurd (I use absurd a lot), as he is the star of 50 other books... Prepare yourself for a handful of cliches.
Date published: 2018-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The first appearence of Harry Hole Great introduction to the Harry Hole character and the beginning of a very fun reading series.
Date published: 2017-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Got me hooked on the series. I love how flawed Harry Hole is, and I actually love all of the character and place description that goes into these books (though sometimes it takes me a while to remember and figure out who everyone is, as Mr. Nesbo throws a lot of suspects, witnesses, and police officials at you rather quickly). My heart breaks when Harry's does and I feel triumphant when he succeeds or overcomes his flaws, if even for a moment. I think he's a really well done character.
Date published: 2017-10-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Among the best of the Hole oeuvre Fantastic fish out of water murder mystery black comedy
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Bat I loved this book, and Harry Hole! I love a good serial killer mystery with a twist.
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read Could be a tad boring at times, but overall a great introduction to the character.
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not good This novel was extremely dull and boring.
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Bit dull In my opinion, this book spent too much time on secondary relationships and events than it did on the mystery. The plot was lacking, and I was bored throughout the novel.
Date published: 2016-11-05

Editorial Reviews

International BestsellerWinner of The Riverton Prize (Rivertonprisen) for Best Norwegian Crime Novel of the YearWinner of The Glass Key (Glasnyckeln) for Best Nordic Crime Novel of the Year"For fans of uber-cool Jo Nesbo, The Bat is a must-read, but...also a great place to start on one of the 21st century's most thrilling Scandinavian crime series." TVNZ (New Zealand)"His novels are maddeningly addictive: be prepared for more whirlwind rides through those unpronounceable Scandinavian street names." Vanity Fair"With his labyrinthine, shiver-inducing plots, full-blooded characterizations and uncanny sense of mood and place, Nesbo is simply a master storyteller." Winnipeg Free Press"Jo Nesbo is my favorite thriller writer and Harry Hole my new hero." Michael Connelly"This is crime writing of the highest order, in which the characters are as strong as the story, where an atmosphere of evil permeates, and the tension begins in the first chapter and never lets up." The Times (UK)