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The Bat
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The Bat
The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel
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Available in English at last! The first book in the remarkable, bestselling Harry Hole series from Jo Nesbo. Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman...
Available in English at last! The first book in the remarkable, bestselling Harry Hole series from Jo Nesbo. Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman...
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Description-

  • Available in English at last! The first book in the remarkable, bestselling Harry Hole series from Jo Nesbo.

    Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman tried to take everything he held dear, he went to Australia. Harry Hole is sent to Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a young Norwegian girl who was working in a bar. Initially sidelined as an outsider, Harry becomes central to the Australian police investigation when they start to notice a number of unsolved rape and murder cases around the country. The victims were usually young blondes. Inger had a number of admirers, each with his own share of secrets, but there is no obvious suspect and the pattern of the other crimes seems impossible to crack. Then a circus performer is brutally murdered, followed by yet another young woman. Harry is in a race against time to stop a highly intelligent killer who is bent on total destruction.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    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 NESBO is a musician, songwriter, economist and author. His first crime novel featuring Harry Hole was published in Norway in 1997 and was an instant hit, winning the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel (an accolade shared with Peter Høeg, Henning Mankell and Karin Fossum).

Reviews-

  • 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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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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