Book review: Jo Nesbo – The Bat #1Harry Hole

Original title: Flaggermusmannen (Norwegian)

Publication date: 1997

English translation date:  October 9th, 2012 

English translation by Don Bartlett

Pages: 369 pages


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 unearths 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.



I heard a lot of people saying that they read randomly all the book in Harry Hole’s series, most of them starting with books number three and four. I hate to do that, so I started with the first book in series, The Bat. And here comes the trick. I have so many mixed feeling for this book, that I don’t even know where to start. 

I guess I will say a few words about the book’s story and I will comment on it.  

The main character is a troubled detective named Harry Hole. He is sent to Australia in order to investigate the murder of a young Norwegian girl. 

In this book, Nesbo gives us many pieces of information about Harry’s background and also about the Australian life and history. I love when a book is more than just the murder and the hunt when there are lots of different information as this book has. I’ve learned a lot about Australia’s history. 

But, what I found hard to handle it(?!) is Harry’s drinking problems. I can’t quite tell you why, but I just can’t stand drunk people and I really had a hard time reading about it. I think that’s the reason why it took me around 5-6 months to read the second book in series. 

But I have to say that his character is well contoured, as well as all the others characters. 

I felt that Nesbo gave us a really good description of the landscape and details, but even so, I didn’t find this book so good. That’s why I gave such a low rating. 


Rate: 4.5/10


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