Do you think you are smart enough to create the perfect crime?
Commit murder and get away with it? Well, this may be the case if you are starring in a movie or series. But what happens if you are part of a book? If you have Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and his little gray cells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole or Camilla Lackberg’s Erica and Patrick after you, then you simply don’t stand a chance! In crime fiction books, there is no such thing as the perfect crime.
Moving on to the new generation of crime authors and exploring the Scandinavian noir! I must confess that I am a big fan of the Scandinavian authors and I am reading them quite a lot in the past years. But what is Scandinavian noir? It is a crime fiction genre as seen from a police point of view. Its main characteristics are the slower plot, the darker vibe which comes in contrast with the idyllic Scandinavian landscapes. It has also led to the creation of the “Nordic Noir”, which applies to films and tv-series based on books. Examples are the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Killing, the Bridge and Trapped. I highly recommend watching the original versions of these and not the US/UK versions. The most known representatives of the Scandinavian Noir are Jan Arnald aka Arne Dahl, Åsa Larsson, Camilla Läckberg, Jo Nesbø, Arnaldur Indriðason and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir.
I have decided to review “The Bat” by Jo Nesbø. This is the first book of the Harry Hole series. Harry Hole, a Norwegian police officer, is sent to Sydney, Australia to assist the Australian police investigation on the murder of Inger Holter, a Norwegian female celebrity. Harry works together with Andrew Kensington, an Aboriginal policeman to find the murderer which they believe is a serial-killer interested at young blond women.
Harry Hole is a different type of a fictional character. He is an alcoholic police officer, who through his own mistakes and while fighting his own personal demons, manages to solve crimes. He doesn’t mind using unconventional methods to get the answers to his questions and find the killer. On the other hand, one can understand how appealing this character is to the readers by considering the buzz around Harry Hole’s latest book, “The Thirst” which came out in the summer 20 years after “The Bat”, and “the Snowman”, the movie which is out in the cinemas now with Michael Fassbender as Harry Hole.
Even though “The Bat” is not considered the best of the Harry Hole’s books, I really enjoyed reading it and I would recommend it. It has some twists and turns in its plot which I liked. Also, we are introduced to the character and learn about his past. Even though Harry Hole’s books can be read independently, it is good to read them on the order Nesbø wrote them as he makes references to the previous books.
I find Jo Nesbø also an interesting person. In his teens, he was dreaming of becoming a football player but due to an injury, he went on and became a stockbroker while playing in a popular Norwegian rock band. On a flight to Sydney, he came across the idea of Harry Hole, quit his career and focused on writing. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages and he has sold 30 million copies worldwide.
Written by Nefeli Mintilogliti