41bCxzTsx9LWhen a young Norwegian girl on a gap year is found brutally murdered in Sydney, Australia, Detective Harry Hole is sent from Norway to assist with the investigation. It soon transpires that this is not an isolated incident as the case is linked to a series of murders and disappearances across the country. It’s not long before Harry finds himself more involved in the case than he ever imagined.

Having dabbled with some of Jo Nesbo’s books in the past, I decided that it was time to start reading them from the start of the series after receiving ‘The Bat’ as a gift. It also seemed apt as this year marks the 20th anniversary of its publication. After reading it, I can understand why it’s had mixed reviews.

The premise of the story is a good one with an overseas detective being drafted in to assist in an investigation that seems to have stalled.  I did find, however, that, at times, the plot became lost amongst what I can only describe as ‘filler’. A fair chunk of the book is taken up with Aboriginal legends which did not really offer anything to the plot. I also found the numerous characters a bit confusing and found it hard trying to keep track with who was who.

That being said, I did like the lead character and ‘The Bat’ gave a good introduction to his back story. I found the second half of the book much more exciting than the first half, mainly because there was a little bit more investigative work taking place and there became more of an attempt to solve the murder.

I know the series gets better and I will be reading the next one.