The Bat (Harry Hole #1) by Jo Nesbo

Book Description:

Published in 1997. Published in  English: July 2, 2013

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 highly intelligent killer, who is bent on total destruction.

Review –

I have a bad habit of reading series books out-of-order due to no fault of my own, so that’s why I’m just getting to the first in the Harry Hole Series.

Harry Hole is a Norwegian police officer and a drunk. His drinking is key in every book I’ve read so far and after what I discovered in this book you’d have thought he would never touch a drop of liquor every again., but that’s not the case.

He has been sent to Australia to help solve the murder of a Norwegian woman now living there. She has been raped and thrown from a cliff. Along the way to solving this crime he meets, Birgitta, a Swedish witness and the two become very close and this becomes a pivotal part of the book. He goes to boxing matches, a gay nightclub, learns about the drug culture, and meets and becomes friends with Andrew Kensington, an Australian Aborigine and a homicide detective with the Sydney Police Department and Robin Toowoomba, a boxing match champion and protégé of Andrew’s.  Both of these men play a VERY important role in this story.

Reading this book is like a roller coaster ride and there are plenty of twists and turns along the way.  I loved it.  Too bad I didn’t get to read it before I read the others because in this one we learn why Harry Hole acts the way he does. He is a great character!