To Read Is to Fly

“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.” 
― Alberto Manguel

 

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The Bat - Jo Nesbø Although I love mysteries and thrillers, and have collected the Harry Hole series, this is the first mystery in the series that I have read. My procrastination meant that I could begin with the first book in [a:Jo Nesbø|904719|Jo Nesbø|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1313316680p2/904719.jpg]'s acclaimed series -- sometimes procrastination does pay off.

In this book, Harry Hole has just arrived in Sydney, Australia, after being assigned by the Oslo Crime Department to liaise with the local police department in investigating the recent death of a beautiful Norwegian citizen. Inger Holter was young, beautiful, somewhat famous, and leading a fairly complicated personal life. As Hole, along with his assigned Australian partner Andrew Kensington, begins to explore Holter's professional and personal life, he is confronted with the possibility that Holter is a victim of a serial killer.

I found The Bat to have some the weaknesses typical in first books in an established series. The pacing and tone are somewhat inconsistent, there are some plot holes and leaps of faith you must make as a reader, and the resolution of the case is rather sensational. However, there are many pleasures to be had from reading the book. Hole is a complicated and appealing protagonist, and newcomers as well as current fans of the series will enjoy reading his back story. Nesbø's choice of setting for the novel surprised me a bit, but Hole's status as a visitor and his pairing with Kensington provide Nesbø with ample opportunity to introduce some local color and background -- he even incorporates some myths and legends in the novel, sometimes awkwardly, but always intriguingly.

In summary, I found The Bat to be a welcome summer read -- engaging and difficult to put down. Definitely recommended for current and future fans of Harry Hole alike. I'm looking forward to reading more books in the series.

I received an ARC of The Bat from the publisher in return for an honest review.

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