Series: Harry Hole #1
Released: January 1, 1997
Politimannen Harry Hole er i Sydney for å bistå australsk politi i etterforskningen av drapet på en ung norsk kvinne. På sin vei gjennom lysskye miljøer treffer han horer og halliker, transer, klovner og pushere. Og noen aboriginer, Australias urinnvånere. Harry Hole har reist så langt vekk fra Norge som det er mulig å komme. Saken er komplisert, og i den blinde nattejakten på morderen har han bare svake ekko å navigere etter. "Flaggermusmannen" er den første boken om Harry Hole, og den ga forfatteren både Rivertonprisen og Glassnøkkelen for årets beste skandinaviske kriminalroman.
Twenty minutes into Flaggermusmannen I was almost feeling sorry for myself – why did I insist on setting out on this mission of being a Jo Nesbø completist? Is it too late to turn back? The book seemed like a bit of a parody – full of cliches, dialog-heavy, and a bit James bond-like in the worst possible ways. Then the book changed. First I found myself not disliking it, then I went over to liking it, and by the last third or so I was properly gripped by it.
The story is set to Australia, and our, at this point up and coming, “hero”, Harry Hole, has gone there to help solve the murder of a Norwegian woman. Of course the scene is set for a bunch of fish-out-of-water kind of stuff, with regard to culture, race, and sexuality. Hole spends most of his time being thrown around from place to place, from one situation to another, by circumstance rather than by choice. For a long while everything that’s going on seems a little arbitrary and pointless, which is annoying at the time. However, eventually the threads start coming together, and the book ends up in an impressive finale.
In between the story of what happens in Australia we also get various flashbacks and stories from Harry Hole which explain his background. These are really good. There is also a really well done sequence which seems almost like a fever dream, making me wonder how on earth those parts of the book could be between the same covers as the, not very promising, first couple of chapters of this book.
It’s easy to see why someone would read this book by an up and coming author called Jo Nesbø and think “Wow, this guy could go places!” It has made me actually look forward to continuing my journey through the Harry Hole series.