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The Bat
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The Bat
Harry Hole Series, Book 1
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The electrifying first installment of the Harry Hole series. Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has...
The electrifying first installment of the Harry Hole series. Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has...
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Description-

  • The electrifying first installment of the Harry Hole series.

    Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has firm instructions to stay out of trouble. The victim is a twenty-three year old Norwegian woman who is a minor celebrity back home. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Harry befriends one of the lead detectives, and one of the witnesses, as he is drawn deeper into the case. Together, they discover that this is only the latest in a string of unsolved murders, and the pattern points toward a psychopath working his way across the country. As they circle closer and closer to the killer, Harry begins to fear that no one is safe, least of all those investigating the case.

Excerpts-

  • Excerpted from Chapter 1 Excerpted from Chapter 1



    Sydney



    Something was wrong.

    At first the female passport official had beamed: "How are ya, mate?"

    "I'm fine," Harry Hole had lied. It was more than thirty hours since he had taken off from Oslo via London, and after the change of planes in Bahrain he had sat in the same bloody seat by the emergency exit. For security reasons it could only be tipped back a little, and his lumbar region had almost crumbled by the time they reached Singapore.

    And now the woman behind the counter was no longer smiling.

    She had scrutinized his passport with conspicuous interest. Whether it was the photograph or his name that had initially put her in such a cheery mood was hard to say.

    "Business?"

    Harry Hole had a suspicion that passport officials in most places in the world would have added a "sir," but he had read that this type of formal pleasantry wasn't especially widespread in Australia. It didn't ­really matter; Harry wasn't particularly accustomed to foreign travel or snobbish—all he wanted was a hotel room and a bed as quickly as possible.

    "Yes," he had replied, drumming his fingers on the counter.

    And that was when her lips had pursed, turned ugly and articulated, with a pointed tone: "Why isn't there a visa in your passport, sir?"

    His heart sank, as it invariably did when there was a hint of a catastrophe in the offing. Perhaps "sir" was used only when situ­ations became critical?

    "Sorry, I forgot," Harry mumbled, searching feverishly through his inside pockets. Why had they not been able to pin a special visa in his passport as they do with standard visas? Behind him in the queue he heard the faint drone of a Walkman and realized it was his traveling companion from the plane. He had been playing the same cassette the whole flight. Why the hell could he never remember which pocket he put things in? It was hot as well, even though it was getting on for ten o'clock at night. Harry could feel his scalp beginning to itch.

    At last he found the document and placed it on the count­er, to his great relief.

    "Police officer, are you?"

    The passport official looked up from the special visa and studied him, but the pursed mouth was gone.

    "I hope no Norwegian blondes have been murdered?"

    She chuckled and smacked the stamp down hard on the special visa.

    "Well, just the one," Harry Hole answered.

    The arrivals hall was crowded with travel reps and limousine drivers, holding up signs with names on, but not a Hole in sight. He was on the point of grabbing a taxi when a black man wearing light blue jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, and with an unusually broad nose and dark, curly hair plowed a furrow between the signs and came striding ­toward him.

    "Mr. Holy, I presume!" he declared triumphantly.

    Harry Hole considered his options. He had decided to spend the first days in Australia correcting the pronunciation of his surname so that he wouldn't be confused with apertures or orifices. Mr. Holy however, was infinitely preferable.

    "Andrew Kensington. How are ya?" the man grinned and stuck out an enormous fist.

    It was nothing less than a juice extractor.

    "Welcome to Sydney. Hope you enjoyed the flight," the stranger said with evident sincerity, like an echo of the air hostess's announcement twenty minutes earlier. He took Harry's battered suitcase and began to walk ­toward the exit without a backward glance. Harry kept close to him.

    "Do you work for Sydney police?" he initiated.

    "Sure do, mate. Watch out!"

    The swing door hit Harry in the face, right on...

About the Author-

  • Jo Nesbø’s books have sold more than eighteen million copies worldwide, and have been translated into forty-seven languages. His Harry Hole novels include The Redbreast, Nemesis, The Devil’s Star, The Snowman, The Leopard, Phantom and The Redeemer, and he is the author of Headhunters and several children’s books. He has received the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel. He is also a musician, songwriter, and economist and lives in Oslo.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 6, 2013
    First published in 1997, Nesbø’s inaugural Harry Hole novel, finally translated into English, takes the Oslo homicide detective to Sydney, Australia, where he displays all the brilliance and angst that Harry’s fans have come to expect, after reading Phantom and other later entries already available in English. Harry, who’s helping the Sydney police investigate the murder of pretty 23-year-old Inger Holter, a Norwegian citizen and minor TV celebrity, partners with a bluff, friendly cop of Aboriginal descent, Andrew Kensington. Still haunted by past personal and professional troubles, he begins a new relationship with another Scandinavian expat, Swedish barmaid Birgitta Enquist, while evidence emerges linking Inger’s death to a serial killer. Despite some awkward prose, this debut effort shows Nesbø as an already confident genre craftsman, striking sparks from the familiar genre material of Harry’s fish-out-of-water experience in a foreign land and odd-couple pairing with a mismatched partner. Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden).

  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2013
    Inspector Harry Hole's 1997 debut finally follows its seven successors into English translation. It's an unusual debut since the very first page finds Harry clearing passport control in Sydney, half a world away from his native Oslo, from which he's improbably been sent to observe the Australian investigation into the probable rape and undoubted strangling of Inger Holter, who once hosted a Norwegian children's TV show but had been working in a Sydney bar when she died. Neil McCormack, head of the Surry Hills Crime Squad, explains to Harry that although he's been paired with Aboriginal detective Andrew Kensington as a professional courtesy, he's not to take a leading role, not to make any inquiries on his own, and not to interfere with McCormack's chain of command. Right. Fans of Harry's later adventures (The Redeemer, 2013, etc.) will wait with bated breath to see how long it takes him to break every rule in the book. Nor does Harry disappoint. He converts a key witness, Inger's fellow barmaid Birgitta Enquist, into his bedmate. He starts drinking again. He adds a local prostitute to his list of conquests. He gets into a series of increasingly violent brawls. As it becomes more obvious that the cops are dealing with a serial rapist who has no reservations about killing, Harry brushes elbows (and more) with Inger's new boyfriend, Evans White, a drug dealer in New South Wales; with Teddy Mongabi, the baddest pimp in Sydney; and with transvestite clown Otto Rechtnagel, whose status as the most likely suspect is canceled for the best possible reason. Harry is already every bit as volcanic as in his later cases. The big difference is Australia, which Nesbo, seeing it through the eyes of both a tourist and a cultural pathologist, makes you wonder how much different it is from Norway after all.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from July 1, 2013
    When Nesb's Harry Hole novels began appearing in the U.S., the Oslo police detective was well into his spiral of alcoholic self-destruction. With the recent appearance of earlier books in the series (The Redeemer, 2013), fans have been able to catch up on the backstory that put Harry in such a bad way. With the U.S. publication of this series debut, we see still more of the detective's evolution. In Australia as a consulting detective on a murder case in which the victim is a Norwegian native, Harry does what will eventually become his signature: spotting the signs of a serial killer at work and following a convoluted trail with an obsessiveness that puts not only himself but all those around him at risk. Reading this wrenching, emotionally charged tale, which features a fascinating take on the lives of Aboriginals in contemporary Sydney, with full knowledge of what awaits Harry in succeeding, similar cases over the years, we find ourselves wanting to scream, No, Harry, not again! But, in fact, this is the first time he loses himself in the chase, inflicting lasting, self-administered body blows on his fragile psyche, and while the chronological confusion is disconcerting, it adds a layer of dramatic irony to the tale and enhances its tension and power. With the future of the series still up in the air after Phantom (2012), this is an absolute must for devotees of the riveting train wreck that is Harry Hole. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Any Harry Hole novel is big news in the crime-fiction world, and this retrospectively published series debut will thrill its built-in audience.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

  • Booklist (starred review)

    "This is an absolute must for devotees of the riveting train wreck that is Harry Hole. . . . While the chronological confusion is disconcerting, it adds a layer of dramatic irony to the tale and enhances its tension and power."

  • Kirkus Reviews "Harry is already every bit as volcanic as in his later cases. The big difference is Australia, which Nesbø, seeing it through the eyes of both a tourist and a cultural pathologist, makes you wonder how much different it is from Norway after all."
  • Publishers Weekly "This debut effort shows Nesbø as an already confident genre craftsman, striking sparks from the familiar genre material of Harry's fish-out-of-water experience in a foreign land and odd-couple pairing with a mismatched partner."
  • The Daily Express "Even with this first book Nesbø's command of the idiom is completely in place--there is absolutely no sense that the writer was finding his feet and aficionados will be very pleased to slide this on to their bookshelves alongside the other Harry Hole novels."
  • Scottish Express "It is fantastic to see a younger Harry, a more loquacious Harry. . . . [Nesbø is] a terrific writer who knows how to build a story, taking you slowly to the top of a rollercoaster before sending you hurtling towards a solution that you never see coming."
  • The Independent (London) "Nesbø is already taking on the clichés, ruthlessly tearing them apart and coming up with new riffs. . . . Most satisfyingly, we can now see the organic shape that Nesbø always intended his work to take."

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