I have come into possession of the Hary Hole series by Jo Nesbo. Jo Nesbø is an Edgar Award nominated Norwegian author and musician. As of September 2008 more than 1.5 million copies of his novels have been sold in Norway, and his work has been translated into over 40 languages.
The Bat is the first Thriller in the series about a Norwegian police officer Harry Hole. And who better to introduce the book to you all than the author himself.
A young Norwegian woman, a minor celebrity who went to Australia to do bar work, is found washed up from the sea at the foot of a cliff. All the evidence points to murder. Harry Hole, of Oslo Crime Squad, goes to Sydney to assist with the Australian police investigation. He is meant to act as an observer, and one of the reasons for him going is that his superior thinks he could do with a break. Not only from his alcohol problems. He was in a car which crashed and a colleague was killed. However, being a passive onlooker is not a role Harry plays naturally; he gets involved and in the end is drawn into the case, also on a personal level, as he falls for Birgitta – a friend of the dead girl.
Harry’s stay in Sydney leads him to seamy King’s Cross and the company of pimps, strippers, transvestites, pushers and backpackers. His mental and physical journey across the fascinating continent of Australia is set against the background of a traveling fun fair with boxers and the age-old tradition of clowns. The story seems to follow the – at times irrational – plot of an old aborigine tale about the Bat Man, a human-like creature with bat wings brought to life by crime. As the Bat Man awakens, Death appears in the lives of mortals.
The Bat was awarded with the most prestigious crime writing award in Norway, The Riverton Prize (Rivertonprisen) 1997 for Best Norwegian Crime Novel of the Year, as well as the premier crime writing award in Scandinavia, The Glass Key (Glasnyckeln) 1998 for Best Nordic Crime Novel of the Year.