Title: The Bat
Author: Jo Nesbø
Genres: Mystery Fiction, Crime Fiction
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 highly intelligent killer, who is bent on total destruction.
As someone who rarely reads crime fiction, I only picked up Jo Nesbø for the Colour Me Read Challenge after he was recommended to me by fellow bookstagrammers from Instagram. I was quite intimidated when I read the synopsis for some of Nesbø’s books, so I thought I’d take baby steps and begin with the first book in the Harry Hole series. I was not disappointed! Nesbø’s writing makes me think of being intimidated by a stranger only to find they’re one of the most easygoing people you’ll ever meet. Nesbø’s work is very readable which makes The Bat a great pick for people who want to try crime fiction for the first time.
It does take some time for the story to pick up but when you look back at it in hindsight, I can appreciate how Nesbø laid things out so he could tie them nicely later. This book had me guessing constantly! I doubted a lot of the characters and still didn’t see the reveal coming.
I liked how Nesbø handled his characters as well. From Harry to Joseph, Nesbø manages to add depth and personality to multiple characters that pop up in the story. I don’t find many authors able to do this, so that was a plus for me.
I had such a satisfying experience with Nesbø that it makes me look forward to reading The Snowman! It won’t be my next read, but I do plan to go through books in the Harry Hole series. If you’re new to crime fiction and want to try it out, I recommend starting with The Bat. It’s an easy read that will keep you curious and entertained, just enough to entice you in reading more books in this genre!