I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the story and writing. It began to fall apart in the middle but was redeemed by a very good conclusion. Harry is certainly a flawed hero. The intersection of a Norwegian in Australia is very interesting. I am looking forward to more stories about this antihero.
Fans of Nordic Noir fiction like "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" won't want to miss Jo Nesbo's series featuring Harry Hole. "The Bat" introduces Harry - a clever but flawed investigator battling internal demons while tracking down murderers. Intriguing characters populate this fast-paced thriller, with surprises to the very end. Think you've solved the case? You'd better think again...
The novel starts out fine for me, but it seems to take 3/4 of the novel to get some progress on Harry Hole's solution to the murder of the blonde Norwegian woman in Australia. Again, females involved with Harry must fear for their lives, but Harry is a teflon man.
The first book in the Harry Hole series
A thrilling debut novel featuring Oslo police detective Harry Hole. Along with being a well-crafted thriller, the reader is also introduced to aboriginal culture and folk tales interwoven in the plot, as well as a good overview of Australia and Sydney life. An exciting, satirical, engaging read! Although Harry is a flawed character, I felt sympathy for him, and this first thrilling novel made me want to rush to read the second title in the series.
good thriller with surprises around every corner. a flawed hero which is always attractive.
"awkward prose" says Publisher's Weekly. I agree and would add 'painful' to the description. Did not finish.
The first Nesbo, my first Nesbo. The book is slow going, peppered with stories inside the story. Until the unraveling of the plot, I felt it was like a pool game. The ball was heading straight to the side pocket, but ricocheted off the board or another ball and went in another direction just to be again ricocheted in another direction. In the end I was lost in all the players, all the inner stories. When, at last, we knew who the culprit was and the chase was on, things started to be more interesting. Is it only me or was the fact that Harry's flame was dead properly mentioned and detailed?? Hope his second book is better structured.
Not a bad book, but I wouldn't say the author is the next Larsson. Full review here: http://www.671books.net/fiction/the-bat/
It is interesting to read this first book and compare it to the later and significantly better books. The second half is better written than the first - you can see Nesbo improving as a writer as the ideas and sentences become more complex and nuanced. The characters, even Harry, are a bit flat and cliched, but there are foreshadowings of his trademark double and triple twists in the plot. I have yet to read the second book (The Cockroach), but by his third (Redbreast) Nesbo had become an excellent craftsman of plot and character.
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