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The Boy in the Headlights: (Munch and Krüger Book 3) Hardcover – 21 Mar 2019
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About the Author
Samuel Bjork is the pen name of Norwegian novelist, playwright and singer/songwriter Frode Sander Øien. The Owl Always Hunts At Night is the second in his Munch and Krüger series, I’m Travelling Alone was the first. Both have been bestsellers across Scandinavia and the rest of Europe.
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After being very interested in the first few chapters, I felt that this was a bit of a slow burner. Although there were some more advancements in the case, it didn't always feel like it was quite moving quick enough. Adding to this feel was the fact that I couldn't work out what made Munch and Krüger so different from any other detective duo in other crime fiction. Although towards the latter half of the book, I was able to notice individual characteristics and personalities, and also the dynamic relationship between the two of them. Perhaps this is because I haven't read the previous two books in the series that this took me a little longer to connect with.
Each chapter is also only a few pages long so it was extremely easy to fly through the pages in this one. The writing style was also reflective particularly of Mia Krüger's thinking in that it was short, snappy and fast paced, yet extremely informative. You really felt as if you were piecing together everything in line with the detectives.
I liked how the story moved into a state of suspecting even the professional roles Munch an Krüger had to play in this. But part of me had lost interest in who the boy in the headlights was until the very end. One difficulty I did have with the book, having been an English reader, is that some of the character names confused me and didn't feel like a natural read. Despite this, I think the author does a great job on keeping the reader interested!
The final few chapters are gripping to the end! Clarity is revealed through what is a gripping couple of scenes! It was hugely worth the wait for that conclusion!
I felt this was a great crime fiction read, and really enjoyed the writing style. A good solid four star review from me on Goodreads as there wasn't anything in particular that stuck in my mind after having put it down.
When the body of a ballet dancer, in full costume, is found dead in a remote lake the special unit is reactivated. Munch and Krüger have hardly got going when more bodies are discovered. The team is stumped but gradually start to build a picture.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Boy in the Headlights which is a slow burn of a read with an imaginative killer and some surprising twists and turns. The novel opens in 1990 with an old man driving home through remote countryside and finding a young boy with reindeer antlers tied to his head, the eponymous boy in the headlights. How he ties in to the rest of the plot only becomes clear later in the novel but it’s ingenious. The rest of the novel is set in the present, involving the hunt for a serial killer. I found it gripping and compulsive from the unusual killing method and investigative practices to the more mundane than you would guess motive through a series of well drawn vignettes of reactions to the investigation like the reporter and the general. It makes for a cohesive whole.
I like the characters too who are very human and frail. Holger Munch whose life outside work revolves around his family and still hopes to get back with his ex wife even though she’s married to someone else. Hope or delusion? Whatever, his customary good sense evades him on that subject. Mia Krüger is a more complex character. A brilliant investigator given to flashes of genius who always moves the investigation on she is precarious mentally. Suicide and death are never far from her thoughts and she struggles with alcohol and prescription drug dependencies, longing to join her dead twin, Sigrid. There are, however, green shoots of survival in this novel. She has ditched the drink and drugs and her determination to get to the bottom of Sigrid’s death suggest a desire to move on. I found her ups and downs very relatable and have nothing but praise for her portrayal. It is moving and all too human.
The Boy in the Headlights really hit the spot for me so I have no hesitation in recommending it as a great read.