Guest Review: The Bat by Jo Nesbo

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Today’s guest reviewer, Sally Fallon, talks about her most recent book club read – Jo Nesbo’s The Bat.

What the blurb says:

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.”

First published in Norway in 1997 but only recently translated into English, fans of Jo Nesbo’s books may find this first Harry Hole novel slightly slower paced than his others.  Since the success of The Snowman stormed the UK in 2010, and subsequent best sellers, fans will see how Jo Nesbo’s writing has progressed since this debut novel.

It introduces Harry to the reader and gives some background to his heavy drinking character.  The novel blends a pacy thriller with “aboriginal stories” however, for me, there is a lack of the subtlety which appears in his later novels.

Harry arrives in Australia to investigate the murder of a Norwegian girl, Inger Holter.  It becomes clear that Inger’s death is just one of many young, blonde women scattered along the eastern seaboard.  It retains the usual Nesbo plot elements and keeps you reading.  The second Harry Hole book (The Cockroaches) will be UK published in November.

Recommended.

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