An old man is driving through the night on a lonely wintry road. Suddenly his headlights catch a creature he thinks is an animal crossing the road. But when he gets closer, he realizes it´s a small boy running through the night with a set of deer antlers strapped to his head. This is the opening scene of The Boy in the Headlights – and as a reader you are immediately hooked.
Years later, the body of a young ballet dancer, dressed in her dance costume, is found in a mountain lake. Soon there are more murders and each time, the killer leaves a clue, inviting Special Investigators Holger Munch and Mia Krüger to play a game with him. They are set against a dangerous and terrifying serial killer, who chooses his victims completely at random. Holger and Mia have to use all their cleverness, but also to look deep into their own pasts to find the killer before he strikes again.
The Boy in the Headlights can definitely be read as a stand-alone, because it gives a slight back story, but I would recommend reading the previous two books, because it will give you a much deeper understanding of the main characters. Besides, they are absolutely worth reading
The three books in the Holger Munch and Mia Krüger series are written by Samuel Bjørk, who has an amazing ability to set the atmosphere in the first sentences and directly draw you into his chilling and suspenseful universe. Samuel Bjørk is the pen name of Norwegian novelist, playwright and singer/songwriter Frode Sander Øien, who made an immediate success with his debut novel I´m Travelling Alone, an intriguely plotted story with many twists and turns. When the body of a young schoolgirl is found hanging from a tree, the only clue the police have is an airline tag around her neck. It reads “I’m travelling alone”. Veteran investigator Holger Munch and his special homicide team are called into the case. And soon his sharp-witted partner, Mia Krüger, finds something important – a thin line carved into the dead girl’s fingernail: the number 1. They understand that this is only the beginning.
In The Owl Always Hunts at Night, a troubled teenager disappears from an orphanage and is found murdered, her body strangely arranged on a bed of feathers. The scene is challenging and there is almost no forensic evidence to be found. Mia Kruger dives headfirst into the case: just in time to decode the clues in a disturbing video of the victim before she was killed, being held prisoner like an animal in a cage. The crime leads them to nightmarish events in the past and yet links to a modern technology.
The books by Samuel Bjørk are not just suspenseful crime novels, but many layered stories about human beings, where the investigators are at least as interesting as the victims and the offenders. Munch and Krüger are an unexpected pairing, but they make up a brilliant team. Their personal stories are complex and interesting – and their characters continue to evolve throughout the novels. They are smart and professional, but at the same time wonderfully human, sometimes mislead by their own emotions and making mistakes. Their “humanness” is loveable and leaves you wanting to see them in many more books to come.