File Size: 3863 KB
Print Length: 386 pages
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard; Original edition (July 2, 2013)
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Doctor Lee, Published in 1997, The Bat was Jo Nesbo's first Harry Gap novel and it shows.
Harry's in Australia, assigned to help the Sydney police find the killer of Inger Holter, a young and beautiful Norwegian female.
We are going to introduced to Harry's addiction to alcohol, which he gamely will try to control, but succumbs to several binges when things don't go well. We're also treated to many "down under" words by the local police who also seem to be of talking in frequent cliché t. Who knew?
I've read a number of Nesbo's Harry Gap novels and, in a rather perverse way, I'm pleased I read this one. I will see how Nesbo's plotting, writing craft and characterization has improved through the years and I'm now anxious to read the next one he publishes., THE BASEBALL BAT is the first in the series, but was only recently made available in English and for Kindle. I was delighted to read it, as the subsequent books in the series refer to Harry's investigation of any serial killer in Australia. But as I gobbled it upward, literarily speaking, one thought kept surfacing: this is an unfamiliar way to start a detective series.
The guide introduces Harry Hole as an Oslo detective sent to Sydney, Australia to assist in the analysis of the murder of any Norwegian woman who was a moderately successful Norwegian TV star. His guide throughout the investigation is an Australian detective known as Kensington that is of Radical descent. Kensington's boss is not thrilled to possess Harry there and wants to closed him out even as Kensington keeps introducing Harry to strange folks in the outback as well as in bars in Sydney's red light district called King's Cross.
Now, We have been to both Oslo and Sydney (including a night of clubbing in King's Cross) and both cities have a lot in common. They are both vibrant and modern with an athletic feel and a well-educated populace. Lots of tall white people in rock strap tees. Just like Harry.
But Nesbo makes the differences really speak to the reader by using the murder investigation to expose the lifestyle, history, and integration difficulties of Australia's Aboriginal population. We discover pain and passion through Harry's eyes in a way that neither the Norwegian detective nor you expect to do so.
The serial killer will bad stuff, the finishing is full of suspense, a romance goes awry, and the roots of Harry's self-destructive behavior--more of a key issues in later books--are revealed. But overall, I can't shake the sensation that this was an odd way to start a mystery series, because at no time do we see Harry as specifically Norwegian or in his natural element. We avoid meet his colleagues or understand the context for any continuing series. I recognized places in Australia, and loved the great descriptions, easy dialogue, and twisty plotting. But I'm not sure I'd be compelled to read more in a series set in Norway basically only had this story to go on.
Bottom collection? Read THE BAT by Jo Nesbo, although not as your introduction to the Harry Hole series., TYPICALLY THE BAT - the first inspector Harry Hole story - is about a Norwegian cop who travels to Australia to look at the grisly murder of any Norwegian women living abroad in Sydney. Harry, working together with the Sydney police, soon realizes that he's hunting a serial killer and individuals on the police force and the community know far more than they're willing to talk about.
This was my first time reading Jo Nesbo and to be honest the initial half of the guide moved kind of slow and appeared to drag on. There was a lot of backstory on various topics: racism in Australia against aborigines, the gay and lesbian population and neighborhoods in Sydney, and tidbits from earlier times about Harry and several other characters that he meets - but there wasn't much progress or action regarding the murder analysis. However, about halfway through the book the pacing suddenly covers and the author melds all those backstories into one strong story that finishes as a good mystery / thriller.
There are a lot to like in this book - the writing is outstanding, the discussion is sharp (especially considering it's a translation from the original work), and there's some great insight into human nature and inspirations. It's a very desapasionado book - the protagonist, flaws and all, challenges against his demons besides making some serious mistakes along the way, but he doesn't good fortune or back into a solution. It's not a neat and tidy, everything comes miraculously into place type book with a happy ending - it's darkish with plenty of twists that lead Harry to observe: "Human nature is a vast, dark woodland. "
All in all, it's a great book and I anticipate reading the other books in the series.
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