The Bat

Harry Hole #1

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage Books
ISBN: 9780345807090

The electrifying first appearance of Jo Nesbø’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.

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“Written in beginner’s euphoria. A story which bears the marks of where it was written, both in terms of geography and my life. Just recently I read it on the radio, and to some extent I was dreading all the mistakes new writers make, but what struck me was how fresh and bold it is.”

Jo speaks about The Bat

“Nesbø’s inaugural Harry Hole novel, finally translated into English, takes the Oslo homicide detective to Sydney, Australia, where he displays all the brilliance and angst that Harry’s fans have come to expect, after reading Phantom and other later entries already available in English. … this debut effort shows Nesbø as an already confident genre craftsman, striking sparks from the familiar genre material of Harry’s fish-out-of-water experience in a foreign land and odd-couple pairing with a mismatched partner.”
Publishers Weekly (US)

“This is an absolute must for devotees of the riveting train wreck that is Harry Hole. … While the chronological confusion is disconcerting, it adds a layer of dramatic irony to the tale and enhances its tension and power.”
Booklist (US)

“Harry is already every bit as volcanic as in his later cases. The big difference is Australia, which Nesbø, seeing it through the eyes of both a tourist and a cultural pathologist, makes you wonder how much different it is from Norway after all.”
Kirkus Reviews (US)

“Nesbø is already taking on the clichés, ruthlessly tearing them apart and coming up with new riffs. … Most satisfyingly, we can now see the organic shape that Nesbø always intended his work to take.”
The Independent (UK)

“A fascinating book … It is a stunning opening to the series.”
Sunday Times (UK)

“Whether a hardened Hole addict or a first-time imbiber, The Bat is sure to snare your interest with its tale of this booze-fuelled policeman”
Sunday Sun (UK)

The Bat fills in the early blanks for Hole fans who must have wondered how he came to be such a tortured soul. With an unerring ability to attract death, Hole takes his first blundering steps towards becoming the sort of character that thriller fans find irresistible. Wheter a hardened Hole addict or a first-time imbiber, The Bat is sure to snare your interest with its tale of this booze-fuelled policeman.”
Yorkshire Evening Post (UK)

“Although this is the first in award-winning author Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series, and was published in Norway in 1997, it has only just been translated into English. It’s worth the wait.”

“Even with this first book Nesbø’s command of the idiom is completely in place—there is absolutely no sense that the writer was finding his feet and aficionados will be very pleased to slide this on to their bookshelves alongside the other Harry Hole novels.”
The Daily Express (UK)

The Bat is a gripping mystery and a fascinating insight into the (occasionally) recovering alcoholic detective’s earlier life.”
Bella (UK)

“It is fantastic to see a younger Harry, a more loquacious Harry. … [Nesbø is] a terrific writer who knows how to build a story, taking you slowly to the top of a rollercoaster before sending you hurtling towards a solution that you never see coming.”
Scottish Express (UK)

“I hereby announce that a new crime fiction talent has entered the arena. Nesbø will definitely be a strong force in the coming seasons.”
Dagbladet (Norway)
“Jo Nesbø has written the cleverest debut novel in the crime genre that I’ve read in a long time.”
Aftenposten (Norway)

“Jo Nesbø should be the obvious candidate for a long list of coming awards. Not since Karin Fossum’s Evas Øye, has a Norwegian made his debut with such a convincing work of fiction in the crime genre as Jo Nesbø.”
Aftenbladet (Norway)

“An ambitious, fun, exciting and original crime novel.”
Smålandsposten (Sweden)

The Bat is a rather amazing and entertaining story about a Norwegian policeman, who travels to Sydney in search for answers as to the death of a young Norwegian girl.”
Politiken (Denmark)

The Bat is innovative and different, and the pace that Jo Nesbø creates in his debut novel makes you long for more crime novels featuring Harry Hole.”
Kristeligt Degblad (Denmark)

“A compelling crime story with elements of indigenous Australian myths. /…/ A powerful debut novel for which Jo Nesbø was awarded The Glass Key 1998 for Best Nordic Crime Novel of the Year. It is the nuanced depictions of characters and surroundings along with historical background and good dialog that make the story run smoothly. The depiction of Harry being drunk several days, after another murder has been committed, is particularly excellently described and makes the reader almost feel the following morning’s hang-over. Jo Nesbø, write the next one!”
Berlingske Tidende (Denmark)

“An excellent crime novel.”
Prinz (Germany)

“Truly worth reading.”
Hamburger Abendblatt (Germany)

The Bat is a truly captivating crime novel.”
Berliner Morgenpost (Germany)