The Bat by Jo Nesbo

The-Bat-Jo-NesboFinally, the first Inspector Harry Hole book has been released in the states and I couldn’t resist reading it.  I have read this series completely out-of-order,  but I must admit I was really excited to read the first Harry Hole book.  I believe “The Snowman”,  book #7,  was the novel that really got people in the US reading Jo Nesbo and Harry Hole in a big way. At least that’s the one I started with and then I went backwards looking for Nesbo’s Harry Hole earlier work and forwards when he had new releases! 

Inspector Harry Hole, of the Oslo Crime Squad is sent to Sydney, Australia to observe the murder investigation of a 23-year old Norwegian woman, Inger Holter.  Harry befriends the lead detective and together they discover that Inger’s murder is only the latest in a string of unsolved murders. Harry is determined to solve the murders despite  how much it may cost him personally. 

The pacing of this book seemed a little uneven to me.  The first part of the book Harry is very passive and seems mostly to follow his Australian counterpart’s lead in how the case should be handled.  I was surprised  because this wasn’t the Harry Hole I was used to and the urgency I had come to expect from Nesbo’s Harry Hole wasn’t evident.  However, mid-way through the book the pace of the plot  kicks into high gear. As the story races to its conclusion,  it quickly  becomes clear  how the first part of the book has set-up the the  fast paced action in the last part of the book.   I liked the ending and really enjoyed seeing Harry Hole emerge as a character.

There will be a new Harry Hole  book called “The Police”  released this fall in October  2014- I can’t wait. In the meantime, catch up with Harry’s early exploits in “The Bat” which is now currently in processing at our library and should be on the shelf soon. 

If you want to read Harry Hole novels in order here it is:

#1″The Bat”,#2 “The Cockroaches”(not currently available), #3″The Redbreast”,#4 “Nemesis”, #5″The Devil’s Star”, #6″The Redeemer”, #7″The Snowman”, #8″The Leopard”, and #9″The Phantom”.  I believe “The Police” will be #10 and that #2 “The Cockroaches” is to be released in the US in December 2014.