Start reading The Bat: The First Harry Hole Case on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Add Audible Narration
The Bat: A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 1 (Unabridged) Narrated by Sean Barrett £21.99 £7.49

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

The Bat: The First Harry Hole Case [Kindle Edition]

Jo Nesbo , Don Bartlett
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (756 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £5.26 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £2.73 (34%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Audible Narration

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £7.49 after you buy the Kindle book.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £5.26  
Hardcover, Large Print £21.86  
Paperback £3.85  
Audio Download, Unabridged £19.25 or Free with 30-day free trial
Audio, CD, Audiobook £16.04  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description


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.


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.


Appearing in English for the first time, The Bat is the legendary first novel from the worldwide phenomenon Jo Nesbo.

Books In This Series (9 Books)
Complete Series

  • Product Description


    "As Harry tracks down the murderer of a Norwegian TV star reduced to living in desperate circumstances, he is fully formed as the difficult, vulnerable personality we have come to know. The evocation of Australia itself has the customary Nesbo expertise" -- Barry Forshaw Independent "The Bat appeared in Norway in 1997, and it's a fascinating book, filling in the gaps in Hole's biography and telling the story of the murder case in Australia that cemented his reputation as a brilliant investigator... It is a stunning opening to the series" -- Joan Smith Sunday Times "Every book in the series is a fantastic standalone novel but each refers to some element of a previous novel and all mention this, the first case that brought Harry to prominence at home in Norway ... Nesbo, also a singer and songwriter with Norwegian rock band Di Derre, is a terrific writer who knows how to build a story, taking you slowly to the top of a rollercoaster before sending you hurtling towards a solution that you never see coming" -- Andy Hoban Sunday Express "Scandinavian noir goes Down Under... what's fascinating is seeing Hole already equipped with all the obsessional attributes that would merge so brilliantly in subsequent novels" -- Marcel Berlins The Times "Even with this first book Nesbo's command of the idiom is completely in place - there is no sense that the writer was finding his feet and aficionados will be very pleased to slide this onto their bookshelves alongside the other Harry Hole novels" -- Barry Forshaw Daily Express

    Book Description

    The thrilling first book in the bestselling Harry Hole series, never before published in English

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 1064 KB
    • Print Length: 386 pages
    • Publisher: Vintage Digital (11 Oct. 2012)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B008AX1HD8
    • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (756 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,044 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
    •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

    More About the Authors

    Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

    What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
    A strange book and a strange time of publication. It was written in 1997, 16 years ago. It is the first Harry Hole book and, indeed, appears to be JN's first published book. I have taken the liberty of including the Wikipedia chronology of the HH books at the end of this review. It will be seen that the 2nd HH book, The Cockroaches, is to be UK published later this year (November). It is not apparent why the 1st and 2nd HH books are published in this way - I think one reviewer opines that The Bat is so bad that had it been published in 1997 the whole HH schtick may not have survived.

    Nevertheless The Bat is essential reading for all HH fans. But it is not a great book if compared to the later books. HH is sent to Australia to assist Sydney police investigating the murder of a Norwegian girl. It starts well with HH being teamed with an Aboriginal detective. However, the narrative soon descends into a series of Aboriginal allegories the purpose of which escaped me, I'm afraid. These allegories did not serve as exposition nor did they appear to assist HH as he went about investigating the murder.

    My 2nd criticism is that HH spent too much time navel gazing and reflecting on the past. I appreciate that JN was establishing and developing the HH character but I felt there was just too much morbid and disconsolate reflecting by HH. JN properly introduces a number of characteristics which define, and continue to define, HH in later books, but I felt they took up too much of the book.

    I make these points about the allegories and self reflection because there is actually a cracking criminal investigation buried away in this story.
    Read more ›
    Was this review helpful to you?
    315 of 335 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The first Harry Hole 13 Jun. 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition
    i am a huge fan of Jo Nesbo and I have been waiting for a long time for this book to be translated.
    so long I have already read it in my native language, French.
    it is very well written and we can recognize Jo's style straight away.
    lots of suspects, twisted plots in Australia where Harry has been sent to solve the killing of a young Norwegian woman.I strongly recommend this book
    which won the 1997 Glass Key Award.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as his others 17 Jan. 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    It was good to get some extra background on Harry Hole. The story was a bit too much if a history lesson on Australia, and it wasn't as gripping as his previous books.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Ace in the Hole 13 Sept. 2013
    By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
    I was late in discovering Jo Nesbo's Inspector Hole series. I also started off with his most recent books in the series and have finally made my way to the newly republished "The Bat" the story that introduced Inspector Hole to the world. I would not recommend that anyone read a series from new to old but, nonetheless I'm glad I pick this up.

    Set in Sydney, Australia, Hole travels from Norway to assist the Australia police investigate the murder of a modestly prominent and Norwegian celebrity. Apart from an interesting digression into Aboriginal culture and history the plotting and developments are fairly straight-forward. I'll leave details of the plot to others as with any detective story sometimes revealing too much of the plot just spoils the intrigue for other readers. That said, the primary enjoyment I got from the book was seeing Hole "from the beginning". As with most long-running series each volume builds upon the character development and `history' of the previous volumes. By the time a series gets going a lot of details and developments are presumed to be known to the reader. These sorts of gaps don't particularly bother me if each book is strong enough to stand on its own. And these books do stand up. However, I think my enjoyment and understanding of the books that followed are now enhanced by discovering how and where it all began.

    All-in-all this is a good mystery standing on its own. For those not familiar with Nesbo this is an excellent place to start, although I'd note that I think the books get better as they go along. For those who already know and like Nesbo and Inspector Hole I think it is good to complete the series!
    Comment | 
    Was this review helpful to you?
    45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars Hard work 26 Oct. 2012
    By JMAC
    Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
    As someone who has read and enjoyed the Harry Hole novels, I was really looking forward to the publication of 'The Bat'. All the usual Nesbo plot elements are there, but with a lack of subtlety. There are long passages about Australian aborginal culture and beliefs, that read as though they come straight from a travel guide. There were several points where I put the book away and decided not to finish it (the opposite experience from the later novels, that demand to be read to the end). The only reason I finished it was that I was on a long journey and had no alternatives. Not recommended.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars A great disappointment 10 May 2013
    I have read all the other Nesbo books and in the words of the old cliche " couldn't put them down".
    About half way through this one I couldn't be bothered to pick it up again. Lost interest in who fun it. A poorly plotted book but I guess Nesbo was learning his trade. All his other books get 5 stars from me.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Meet dark detective Harry Hole, Down Under... 8 Dec. 2013
    "The Bat" from Jo Nesbo is first of author's thrillers I read, so I can't compare it to the others for which I saw he received better critics.

    When Norwegian minor celebrity is found murdered in Australia, the Norwegian police send their officer Harry Hole to aid in the investigation conducted by their Australian colleagues. Initially set aside as an outsider, Harry will become central to the investigation of many unsolved rape and murder cases around the country...

    While main character being a good and smart detective, one of his decisions near the end of the book seems uncharacteristically unwise and proves to be the one mistake which will probably haunt him for the rest of his life. Considering that Harry was invited into the investigation as an observer only, more for political reasons than real need, he will somehow manage to make some major decisions but also fatal errors without getting pulled into line.

    During the book, Harry and his personality will start to emerge slowly and reader will realize there are some heavy burdens in the past, something which makes his character dark.

    This is not regular thriller, rather I would classify it as "who-dunnit" type of book. In the first part, from lot of different angles and drop of cultural background plot is slowly developing. Toward the end the book will pick up the pace reaching climax with pretty much expected although unbelievable end.

    Author narration is good while Nesbo introduces plenty of red herrings and twists. Although I didn't read his other books violence is this ever-present motive but what is little bit odd for this kind of book, reader can learn lot about Australian culture.
    Read more ›
    Comment | 
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
    Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

    Customer Discussions

    This product's forum
    Discussion Replies Latest Post
    No discussions yet

    Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
    Start a new discussion
    First post:
    Prompts for sign-in

    Search Customer Discussions
    Search all Amazon discussions

    Look for similar items by category