The Bat: The First Harry Hole Case (Harry Hole 1) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading The Bat: The First Harry Hole Case (Harry Hole 1) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Bat: The First Harry Hole Case (Harry Hole 1) [Paperback]

Jo Nesbo , Don Bartlett
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (625 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
Price: £3.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
You Save: £4.14 (52%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 18 Sep.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £3.66  
Hardcover, Large Print £11.89  
Paperback £3.85  
Audio, CD, Audiobook £14.24  
Audio Download, Unabridged £19.25 or Free with 30-day free trial

Book Description

18 July 2013 Harry Hole 1


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.

Frequently Bought Together

The Bat: The First Harry Hole Case (Harry Hole 1) + Cockroaches: An early Harry Hole case (Harry Hole 2) + Phantom: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 7)
Price For All Three: £13.29

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (18 July 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 009952032X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099520320
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (625 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


"Most satisfyingly we can now see the organic shape that Nesbo always intended his work to take, and the canvas stretching out in front of us is a crowded one" (Good Book Guide)

"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... A stunning opening to the series" (Sunday Times)

"Nesbo 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" (Sunday Express)

" fully formed as the difficult, vulnerable personality we have come to know. The evocation of Australia itself has the customary Nesbo expertise...most satisfyingly - we can now see the organic shape that Nesbo always intended his work to take" (Barry Forshaw Independent)

"Whether a hardened Hole addict or a first-time imbiber, The Bat is sure to snare your interest with its tale of this booze-fuelled policeman" (Sunday Sun)

Book Description

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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 63 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?
313 of 331 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?
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh, dear 4 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I am a fan of the Harry Hole series and I couldn't understand why the first book hadn't been published in English until now. Now I know. It is dreadful. Trite and with a meandering plot punctuated by Australian Aboriginal legends I was relieved to finish it . So keen to get to the end that I skimmed through the last 100 or so pages. Only done this previously with a Dan Brown book. The only good thing about the Bat is that if I had started with this book I would have given up on Jo Nesbo. Which would have been a great pity as all other books in this series have been very enjoyable
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 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?
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard work 26 Oct 2012
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?
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Audiobook Review 27 Oct 2012
Format:Audio Download
Synopsis: Harry Hole is in Australia as the representative of the Norwegian police in the investigation of the murder of Inger Holter, a Norwegian national. Upon arrival, he is met by Andrew Kensington, an indigenous Australian policeman who guides Harry through the investigation, despite attempts by the force to side-line him. It soon becomes clear that Inger's death is just one of many of young, blonde women up and down the eastern seaboard.

A number of my friends have been recommending the Harry Hole series to me, and the books keep appearing on (targeted) recommending reading lists. As "The Bat: A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 1 (Unabridged)" was the first book in the Harry Hole series, and it was released in audio format, almost at the same time as the print copy, I downloaded it.

Aside from which, it was a Scandi-Nordic, crime fiction story set in Australia. How could I resist?

I'll begin my review with the narration by Sean Barrett. His vocal characterisation was so solid that just before the perpetrator's name was revealed, I knew who it was by voice alone. General Australian accents are reasonably well done, even if regional differences are omitted. Have to love the various pronunciations of Harry's surname, too; it provided me with giggles. I felt the pacing of the audiobook was perfectly matched to the storyline; and it helped build the tension for me.

It seems as though a considerable amount of Harry Hole's past is revealed in this book, and I think I might have appreciated "
... Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

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