The Bat, Jo Nesbo, 1997 

Translated in 2012, this was Nesbo’s very first Harry Hole novel and it shows.  A thin story about a 30 year old Hole being sent to Sydney, Australia to help investigate the murder of Norwegian woman, the book shows little of the fine writing and detail that characterize the later books.  As Nesbo finds his way, there is over-writing and a repetitive set of dark and sleazy details that detracts from an already sketchy plot.  As in later books, Hole falls in love and his love interest is murdered, in this case by an Aboriginal boxing champion and serial killer.  Oy!