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The Bat: A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 1
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The Bat: A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 1 [Unabridged] [Audible Audio Edition]

by Jo Nesbo (Author), Sean Barrett (Narrator)
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,013 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

The thrilling first book in the best-selling Harry Hole series, never before published in English.

Harry is out of his depth.

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.

He's not supposed to get too involved.

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.

He might just be the next victim.

Appearing in English for the first time, The Bat is the legendary first novel from the worldwide phenomenon Jo Nesbo.

©2012 Jo Nesbo; (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks

Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 43 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audiobooks
  • Release Date: October 11, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009OXR8A4
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,013 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
167 of 171 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bat October 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
When I first read "The Redbreast" I assumed that it was the first in the Harry Hole series, only to discover there were mentions of past events in the life of character Harry Hole that suggested earlier books. In fact the English publisher had opted to publish the third book in the series first, leaving the first two books - The Bat and The Cockroaches - untranslated into English. Therefore, if like me, you hate reading series books out of order, you will be glad that The Bat has finally arrived.

Harry Hole is in Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a Norwegian citizen working in Australia. Inger was young, blonde and she was found dumped in Gap Park, having been raped and strangled. As Inger was a minor television celebrity in her home country, having hosted a children's television programme a few years previously, the case is considered important enough to have aroused interest in Norway's press. In this book we discover much about Harry's character, as he investigates a possible serial killer. Admittedly, I can understand the publisher wishing to begin the series with another book - in many ways this is pretty standard fare, and the digressions in Aboriginal culture and folk tales are, frankly, pretty boring in parts. However, there is much in this novel which is good, the plot is fast paced and Andrew Kensington, an Aboriginal detective, is a great side character. More to the point, this is the starting point of the series and, as readers, we should be given the chance to read them in order and not have publishers decide how and when we can read them. I hope they will publish the second book in the series as quickly as possible in English, so readers of the series can read them completely in the order the author intended.
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97 of 104 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars dull edges October 19, 2012
Like most fans of Nesbo's addictive Harry Hole series, I was looking forward to reading this long-delayed English language translation of the first HH novel. Even though the main character is Norwegian, this story takes place in Australia. Sort of a weird touch, but actually the "foreign" setting is one of the strengths to this story. All in all, this is not a bad read, but many elements aren't up to par with the later novels in Nesbo's series. For example, the dialogue isn't as sharp, the characters are a mixed bag as far as believability (the Aboriginal characters are well done, whereas the other police officers come off mostly as buffoons), and the plot loses some focus along the way. At one point --- or two --- I thought the story was about to come to its climax, but then it went on and on again. All in all, this one lacked the suspense and tension of the other novels and just didn't grip me as much. By no means awful, but clearly the work of a writer that hadn't quite found his groove yet. Most fans of the series will find some enjoyable elements to this story, but if you haven't read the others in the series I don't think you should necessarily start with this one simply because it was the first one.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The beginning for Harry Hole October 22, 2012
Jo Nesbo left me hanging at the end of the previous Harry Hole novel - Phantom. Phantom was the 9th book in this Scandinavian series that features the conflicted and complicated Detective Hole. But the first book - The Bat - that introduces us to Harry is only now newly released in North America. You can bet I jumped at the chance to read it!

Harry is sent to Australia to assist with a murder investigation as the victim was a Norwegian national. But the local cops define 'assist' differently.

"What you're gonna do is watch carefully while we haul the bastard in, tell the Norwegian press along the way what a wonderful job we're doing together - making sure we don't offend anyone at the Norwegian embassy, or relatives, - and otherwise enjoy a break and send a card or two to your dear Chief Constable."

Harry is not the focus of the first part of the book. Instead we are introduced to Aussie detective Andrew, who has a sense of where he wants the investigation to go. Andrew was a strong personality and I felt slightly overwhelmed by this character. Nesbo weaves much Aboriginal history and lore into the narrative, which I found really interesting. It also added much to the plot.

Harry and his personality begin to emerge slowly as the book progresses. I was hoping that Nesbo would allow us some insight as to where Harry's tortured psyche springs from and I wasn't disappointed. And, as the case develops, the Harry that I've come to enjoy so much emerges. The character of Harry has been refined and darkened and sharpened over the course of the next eight books, but in The Bat we meet a raw, wounded version of the detective to come. One with "a weakness for living."

But, what hasn't changed is Nesbo's plotting.
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145 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry makes himself vulnerable September 25, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first fell a little in love with Harry Hole with the first Nesbo book I read, The Snowman. Ever since then, I've been devouring all his books. This one, The Bat, was not available in the US, so I had it shipped to me from the UK. I'm so glad I did! This story takes place Down Under, where a Norwegian woman on visa in Australia has been murdered. Harry is sent there to "observe", which is made clear to him by the Sydney police chief. This, of course, Harry takes to mean get right down in it. His Aboriginal "partner", Andrew, shows him around town and brings him to all the particular places involved in the investigation. Something is not quite right, Harry discovers. At the bar where the murdered girl worked, he meets a Swedish woman and immediately clicks. After interviewing her, he can't help but turn himself around, go right back in and ask her to dinner! Loved the tender scenes between these two. And, Harry reveals things about his "first love" as well. Bodies turn up and Harry turns on the heat, as well. His mind works far faster than any of the other investigators and he is soon laying a trap. But, will the trap backfire on Harry and his new love?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, Complex, Engaging, Hard to Put Down
Although this is Nesbo's first Harry Hole novel I ended up reading it almost last after reading all of the others. Like the rest, this first story is hard to put down. Read more
Published 1 day ago by R Young
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Very disappointing!
Published 1 day ago by Paul Barns
5.0 out of 5 stars a story that requiers a certain devotion of attention.
This is a a novel, with a deeper thought process that makes it a excellent story, always expect at least 2 or 3 twist of the plot. Read more
Published 2 days ago by William Tiewater
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Convoluted story line
Published 2 days ago by Stephen K. Jacobson
1.0 out of 5 stars Unimpressed with this bat
Warning: some spoilers.
Well, with this one one learns a lot about Australian legends and myths and a bit about the tribulations of the aborigines under White rule; but the... Read more
Published 4 days ago by sid1gen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Needed it to complete the series.
Published 4 days ago by Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I definitely enjoyed this first Harry Hole book. Jo Nesbo is a terrific mystery writer.
Published 7 days ago by Rickie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read
Published 10 days ago by rj bird
2.0 out of 5 stars Early Harry Hole.
Very entertaining.
Published 10 days ago by James Giraldez
4.0 out of 5 stars Harry's evolution, phase one
Having read this series out of order, I made allowances the embryonic Harry Hole in this story, the flow of dialogue that wasn't always smooth, and the twists I sometimes saw... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Carolyn J. Rose
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