Book 2 in the Munch and Krüger series, this book follows ‘I’m Travelling Alone’.
From the back Cover:
When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found.
Detective Mia Krüger is a woman on the edge – she has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her a deal.
But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team are unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.
Firstly, the formalities – if you haven’t read book 1 in the series, can you read this one without feeling lost? A resounding yes, you get a substantial amount of information about the characters, while it doesn’t spoil the previous case, the opening of this book really brings you up-to-date with the lives of the characters. As the cases in each book are separate, this book can be enjoyed as a standalone, however, I highly recommend you read book 1 first because it’s awesome!
The plot in this book is not as complex and does not have the same level of subplots as book 1, it is however, equally unsolvable. While I enjoyed this element as it made this book a real mystery, it was so unsolvable, it was almost in the background. The case itself was definitely odd, but when reading a series, I can’t help but compare the book to the one before and here I found this case just didn’t hold my interest like the case in the previous book – I think it was because there wasn’t enough subplots to piece together or wonder how/if they will come together at the end, that combined with the case seeming so unsolvable, no real clues, it ending up taking a back seat…
A back seat to what you ask? To the characters, in particular Mia Krüger, what I really like about this series, and the main reason I would recommend this book is for the brilliant cast of characters, Bjork has made his characters feel so real, their backstories are interesting, you really feel like you get to know each and every one of them. Just like in book 1, Mia is my favourite character, and I would continue to read each and every book she features in. Contemplating suicide but numbing the pain with drink and drugs; she’s still battling her demons, and as much as I want her to overcome this battle, the dark place she’s in, her thoughts, feelings and actions make for great reading. As mentioned in the blurb “the usually brilliant Mia is struggling,” so here we don’t get to see her brilliant case solving skills in full effect (read book 1 for that) but nonetheless, she’s one of my favourite fictional characters, both vulnerable and strong at the same time and I wish her well.
I could write pages and pages if I spoke about each character in depth, as they are all extremely well developed, so much so, you never get confused or forget a character because you feel you know Mia, Holger Munch and the rest of the police team so well. It doesn’t matter that there are lots of characters in this book. This book is all about drawing you into the mind of the detectives.
The Owl Always Hunts at Night has that dark, moody atmosphere Noir is so well known for, a wonderful translation from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund; it’s always a pleasure to return to Norway.
*This book is published by Doubleday, an imprint of Transworld Publishers; my thanks to Becky Hunter for providing me with a copy*
You can find my review of I’m Travelling Alone: Munch and Krüger #1 here.