The Bat is Jo Nesbo's introduction of Harry Hole. Hole is called to Australia to sit on the sidelines and stay out of trouble during an investigation into the death of a minor Norwegian celebrity named Inger Holter. Holter is only 23 years old when her body is found by a fisherman on the ocean side of Watson's Bay. She is brutally killed and that's all I'll say about that. It appears that she fits the mold for a serial killer who targets beautiful blondes and has been the cause of a string of similar murders across the country.
During the course of the investigation, we see Hole battle with his own demons as well as fall for Birgitta, the victims sister. I liked this romantic element to Hole because for most of The Bat he just seemed like a guy going through the motions. We were never given much depth to his character. The only ideas that were supplied to readers initially is that he's a good looking blond guy. As the story develops, Hole does as well. I imagine in the later books he's featured in there will be more character development.
As far as the writing and the plot goes, I think it's pretty solid. I didn't find the plot to be too thrilling in the sense that I was biting my nails from angst, but overall it is a very quick read. I devoured the first half of this book in a few hours. The true killer's identity was never something I expected and when once revealed it made perfect sense. Although the ending was very rushed, I do appreciate there wasn't an unnecessary moment in this novel. There was no meandering so pay attention.
Although I would say that my first encounter with Jo Nesbo is average, I am still anxious to read the rest of his Harry Hole series. I recommend this novel to lovers of crime fiction or Scandinavian thrillers. Now on to the next...
**I know this is completely off subject but there's a chapter in this novel named Kookaburra and I'm sure it was very interesting... I admit that once I read kookaburra my mind kept wandering off to the wings of the same name on the menu at Outback Steakhouse. I know it's so off topic and has nothing to do with the actual Kookaburra bird, but I just had to say how much I love those wings. Yes!