I really wanted to like this first Harry Hole novel, but I'm afraid I found it rather far fetched and dull.
For me the best thing about Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole novels is their dark and moody Norwegian setting, so perhaps I didn't like The Bat because it's set in Sydney.
A Norwegian girl is found brutally murdered, and the Australian police send for a Norwegian policeman to pacify the country's Embassy.
What follows is Australia through the eyes of a damaged, t-toal, young Norwegian policeman. There are several long passages explaining the multiculturalism, and the racial relations, in Australia. At times it felt as if the Australian tourist bureau had paid for the translation of this novel.
Harry, the foreigner, is teamed with another outsider, a senior aboriginal detective, and together they make inroads into the mystery killing. But it seems his fellow policeman knows rather more than he is willing to reveal.
Harry, who himself is struggling to come to terms with already a checkered police career at home, tries to make sense of murder mystery down under. As usual he first fails, but his doggedness pays off and in the end, he finds the solution and the murderer.
But before we get to this, there's a love affair, several wrongly accused people, more bodies and so many characters that in the end I started skimming the text instead of reading each word. I just wanted the book to end.