The Bat - Jo Nesbo


A Harry Hole novel [Harry Hole #1]

ISBN - 978-1-846-55600-5
FIRST PUBLISHED - 2012 [in English]
PUBLISHERS - Random House
PAGES - 380
GENRE - Crime/Thriller
BINDING - Trade Paperback
SOURCE - Publishers

AUTHOR - Jo Nesbo

BEST-SELLERS - Phantom, The Snowman, Headhunters

SYNOPSIS - [From the book cover]


Detective Harry Hole is meant to keep out of trouble. A young Norwegian girl taking a gap year in Sydney has been murdered, and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can.


When the team earths a string of unsolved murders and disappearances, nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth. The hunt for a serial killer is on, but the murderer will talk only to Harry.


If I manage this without making an arsehole of myself it may open certain possibilities for me back home, I’ve gleaned. 
No wife. No children. No dog. All I have is a boss, a sister, a father and a couple of guys I still call pals even though years pass between their calls. Or mine.
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.
Intuition is just the sum of all your experience. The way I see it, everything you’ve experienced, everything you know, you think you know and didn’t know you knew is there in your subconscious lying dormant, as it were. As a rule you don’t notice the sleeping creature, it’s just there, snoring and absorbing new things, right. But now and then it blinks, stretches and tells you, hey, I’ve seen this picture before. And tells you where in the picture things belong.
FL Speak - This is Harry Hole's first case and as luck would have it, this was translated just this year. So the inevitable downfall was that, I already knew the killer. Remember I reviewed The Snowman 2 weeks ago, that was one of his later cases. And the murderer's name was plastered over there. 

*le sigh*

This is what I really, really hate. People should never start translating books at random. Nevertheless, I read on because even though the killer was known, the motive and the means was not.

A Norwegian girl was raped and murdered in Australia and the Oslo Police force sent Harry to observe. So when Andrews, an officer in the force teams up with him, Harry and his unit decide to find the killer. When it is realised that such cases were occurring all over Australia, the serial killer scenario comes to play.

Its funny how everything happens exactly when Hole is in the house. Nevertheless the investigation takes them to a few suspects but the motive for each was never concrete. And finally when Harry thought he made a connection, the killer kills himself. As you might've guessed, he wasn't the real killer. 

Jo Nesbo is somewhat predictable when writing about Hole. What to expect when you're reading Harry Hole.

1. clues will appear when Harry is on the scene
2. Harry Hole will make a few conclusions and make arrests and later realize they weren't the killers.
3. Someone close to him will die/suffer/leave him
4. Harry will drown himself in misery and whiskey.
5. While drunk, he will have a hallelujah moment and make another epic connection
5. Arrest/shoot and close the case.

That's out typical homeboy. Although I didn't expect Harry to fall in love. It was quite charming to see him awkward while mooning over a certain girl and make a mess out of it.

Anyway, coming back to book, Harry realises his partner was trying to give him clues without going into the details. [I say was, you can guess why] So, when Harry was sloshing himself with whiskey, the invisible threads begins to connect itself to the dots and if Harry is not quite clever, the killer will strike again. This time, at someone close to his heart. Very close.

I loved the ending and the chase. Wild goose chases are a definite turn-on, even if its bleddy predictable. What's unpredictable is the why's and when's. And Jo Nesbo is a killer at that.

Since this was Harry's first case, it was rough around the edges. The books get better, Harry remains the same. For better or for worse.

That's Harry Hole for you.

My Rating - 3.5/5 stars

PRICE - INR 539/- [Flipkart Price]


  1. Hahaha!! I love your The Snowman's review! The way you've listed Harry's predictable moves, no wonder, the killer manages to outwit him. ;) Nice review!

  2. and thats why i take so care n tym to pick books. specially thriller :)


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