"The Bat" is the first thriller about detective Harry Hole from the Norwegian police. Buy the book here
A young woman has been brutally raped and murdered in sunny Sydney Australia and Harry Hole is sent there to be the Norwegian assistant on the case, but as soon as Harry arrives he get told not to meddle in things and to take some time off and enjoy Sydney instead. Harry on the other hand decided that he didn't want any vacation and linger himself into the case. He becomes partner with the Aborigine cop named Andrew Kensington.
Andrew shows Harry around in Sydney and in other part of Australia that is in some strange way connected to the case. Harry sometimes wonder why Andrew takes him to this places and makes him meet so strange people. On the way Andrew and others educate him about the Aborigine culture and Australian culture. Andrew enjoys this and part of him wonder if the stories has something to do with the case, that they are more than just stories.
The murdered woman worked in a bar and in there Harry meets the beautiful Swedish woman Birgitta and he quickly falls in love with her. They start a romance even if they know it can not last with her in Sydney and him soon going back to Norway. It don't matter and Harry open himself up to her and tells her about his past. It's a very dark past that soon will be more present then he wish.
Harry has no idea who the murder is and even if he knew there is no evidence. this makes it very complicated and he is sure there are thing in the investigation he has missed and isn't sure what or how to find the murder, but he has a feel that the murderer is close to him. someone around him, and he is the only one who can catch him.
I love dectective stories and have done my whole life even if I now, with age, has started to realise that the more of them I read, the easier it is to pick out the murderer. I have read so much about this book and finally decided to give it a chance and it is nothing I regret. I was hooked straight away.
There are a number of things I like with this book. One of them is that the story is very good and very well written. there is a red thread and there is a lot of stories around the main story and that makes it more real. It is deep and there is a lot of feelings going into it.
I like that it is very hard to pick out the murderer and I must confess that I was wrong on who I thought was the murderer but I got it right on my second guess, but this was far in the book when "my" suspect was eliminated. Books where the murderer is well hidden, is very rare but it is books like that you remember and recomment to others.
I am from Sweden and one of my favorite authors are Henning Mankell and when I read "The Bat" I saw a lot of similarities between how they write and how the story is build. I dont know if Nesbo is a fan of Mankell but I think he is. No matter what they are alike and maybe that is one of the reasons I enjoy their books so much.
I didn't read the Norwegian or the Swedish version of the book but the English one due to it is the language I can buy books in here. The language in the book was easy, almost to easy from time to time and there are plenty of translation mistakes and missed translations in this book, and that is a shame. It destroys the book a bit. For me who knows the language can "translate" the words on my own but a person who don't speak a Nordic language will have plenty of trouble.
So in the end I must say that I really enjoyed this book and has already bought a few more books from Nesbo about Harry Hole. This is a good sign that the book is well written with a good story line. I must say that I without a doubt would recommend this book to others. It is a very well written book and I have big hopes for the others in the series. If you like well written crime stories, this is a book for you and you will be educated to.