I had convinced myself that the bat in the title of this book would be a flying bat as that seems sinister and this is a crime fiction novel. I was completely wrong as the bat referred to is a cricket bat.
I have read several Jo Nesbo books having been given the author recommendation by my nephew. I read the Oslo Trilogy while we were overseas, (The Redbreast, Nemesis and The Devil’s Star). After listening to the Book segment on Arts Daily I only then realised that I had not read the first Harry Hole novel. Apparently it has only recently been translated into English. Publishers pick and choose which novels they want translated and the publishers didn’t think the first novel would have appeal. This novel is set in Sydney so it was particularly enjoyed by me.
As I said, this is the first of Jo Nesbo’s novels and he wrote this while he was having a year’s holiday in Australia. He certainly has included many aspects of the Australian character in this novel and the settings are authentically Australian.
From the book jacket:
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.
There is a great article in the Sydney Morning Herald telling the story of the Jo Nesbo/Harry Hole birth.
You can also listen to a podcast of an interview with the author Jo Nesbo here.
I love the character Harry Hole and I am looking forward to reading The Police which is book ten in the Harry Hole series.