The Bat By Jo Nesbo

Andrew grabbed Harry’s shirt collar. ‘Look closer, Harry. Use your eyes! See…’ he started, then gave up and sank back on the pillow.

‘See what?’ Harry persisted, but Andrew had closed his eyes and was waving for him to stop.

Inger Holter – a young Norwegian girl has been murdered and Norway’s best detective Harry Hole has been assigned to help with the case. Poor Harry must pack his bags and travel all the way to Australia. When Harry arrived it was soon clear to Harry that he was meant to sit back and watch, but as he delves deeper it is obvious there is a serial killer on the loose.

The Bat is the first of 10 books in the Harry Hole series. It is best to read them in order as he does reference them in each book and you may misunderstand his character.

The book was originally written in Norwegian, it has been translated into English so that we can enjoy the novel too.

The Bat is a slow starter but Jo has to set the scene somehow, this way we learn a lot about Harry and we also learn a lot about Australian Aboriginal history, not only is the author educating his character but he is educating us too.

Whilst reading this book, several things cropped up for me. Why did Harry have to come all the way from Norway to assist in the case? Surely, they have not run out of police officers? However, as the book progresses it soon becomes clear that the case needed an outsider’s touch as he could see things that the other could not.

The bar fight that Harry started seems a bit odd and out of place in the book. It seems a bit reckless for a top policeman to begin a fight but the reason it is there to show more of Harry’s impulsive character.

The first half of the novel shows Harry not doing much work but this is due to Jo building up the scene and trying to show us who Harry is and his past.  Also the Australian expect Harry to sit back and relax but that is not who he is – he did not become Norway’s best detective by sitting on his bum!

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