The Bat (Harry Hole #1) Review



Title: The Bat
Jo Nesbo
Paperback, 369 pages
Goodreads Page


Harry Hole is a Norwegian detective that is sent to Australia after a minor Norwegian celebrity is murdered. Even though Harry is instructed to stay on the sidelines, he quickly befriends the lead detective, Andrew, and becomes wrapped up and drawn into the case. As the investigation continues, they discover this is just the most recent in a string of murders.

My Review

This is the first book in Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series. It was originally written in 1997 but wasn’t translated to English until 2013. Most people consider this the worst book in the series so I went into it with minimal expectations. This book definitely reads like it was written 20 years ago but overall it was enjoyable.

What I Liked

  1. The mystery itself was definitely well done. Nesbo weaves information and hints throughout the entire novel. I wasn’t necessarily surprised by the reveal, but that was mostly because I suspected everyone at some point.
  2. This was really dark! I’ve never read a detective mystery that was this dark and gritty. If you’re squeamish there are definitely some parts that may not be for you.
  3. I’m very intrigued to see where Harry Hole goes as a character. He is crazy flawed and sometimes unlikeable but I find him and extremely interesting character to read.

What I Didn’t Like

  1. This read like it was written 20 years and there were a lot of uncomfortable/offensive comments by all the characters. About half way through the book I actually went and looked up the original publication date because I was so taken back by all the offensive comments about race, sexuality, and gender. So I’m really hoping this goes away as the series continues..
  2. This got really long winded.. The characters keep telling these fables or metaphorical stories over and over. And around the 4th or 5th one I started getting annoyed. Adding in something like that can be really interesting but after awhile I found myself rolling my eyes.
  3. This was too long. In my opinion there were too many misdirections and bout 100 pages from the end I was just ready for this to be over.

Overall this was okay. I can see why this is most peoples least favorite so I’m really hoping I enjoy the rest of the series more. I already own the second book so I’m looking forward to picking that up next month (hopefully). Let me know if you’ve read this series before and if you enjoyed the rest of it more!

2 thoughts on “The Bat (Harry Hole #1) Review

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