Book Review: Bogman, by R I Olufsen

Publisher: Crux Publishing   |   Publication date: 1st July 2015

Bogman My Review

Bogman by R I Olufsen CoverA haunting conundrum follows the discovery of a body in a Nordic bog.  Is it a current criminal mystery, or will an anonymous Bogman take his place in history? These questions and more will confound our investigative team and lead them into some very choppy waters indeed.

So, how do you begin to investigate an antiquated murder with no evidence on hand to identify the victim? By combining classic, old-school storytelling our investigating team chip away at following the only vague lead they have under these unusual circumstances.

Tobias Lange is the lead detective. A divorced, amateur golfer with a string of relationships behind him, while being a fairly mild-mannered he’s most certainly a fiercely determined workaholic.

Tobias is soon aware that our unfortunate Bogman is not all that he seems, unless human sacrifices were presented with a wristwatch before being offered into the mire…

This leads him to instruct his team to revive all relevant abandoned missing persons cases, as Bogman is a murder victim and the date of his death may mean the culprit could still be at large.  Following a process of elimination they follow up their suspicions, which introduces them to the more sordid territory of trafficking and the turbulent world of prostitution.

Touching on these grim and violent modern-day realities keeps the tension simmering. Even peaceful green activists fall under suspicion as age old secrets rise to the surface, which is a worry as Tobias’s daughter is wrapped up with the group’s next, big demonstration and his fears for her safety grow throughout.  In addition to the unsavoury sides of life there’s an elusive spy to track down, the murky world of politics, and more skeletal remains make a timely, if random, appearance.

Despite not making the best of his personal life, Tobias makes a good leader. His dedicated team are continually getting their backsides chewed off for failing to solve the case quicker, or for making errors of judgement where they flip a coin who will tell the boss. There’s a great camaraderie there.

But (and this is a little ‘but’), the storytelling technique fell into two camps. First it had a quiet, ‘almost ‘classic mystery voice’ where there’s a sense of calm and it’s plodding along in a methodical way, politely overseeing the evidence gathered so far – all good there then. THEN BAM, followed by WHOAH. A violent struggle would erupt into graphic / violent episodes involving the prostitutes who made a brief appearance. To be fair, I’m used to consistent shocks and a certain amount of vileness in crime fiction, but events did escalate rather rapidly. From the initial style of the writing I would have expected a gentle whodunit to unravel, which is why the darker elements, whilst not the most horrific I’ve ever read, felt like a bolt from the blue at times.

That aside, I enjoyed this brooding mystery. I particularly liked how the chapters were headed with each day of the week over the three week investigation. It offered a sense of being able to follow the clues with the team as they arose until the case arrived at its ‘revelation’ moment, which wasn’t obvious either. More importantly I just loved the moody setting where Tobias and his minor personal failings settled into perfectly, and I’d be interested to see if the author has more in store for this likeable chap.

Rating: 3.5/5

(My thanks to Crux Publishing for providing a paperback copy of Bogman in exchange for an honest review.)

Bogman Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

When a mummified foot, a pile of bones and a split skull are discovered in a Danish bog, is it a case for the police or archaeologists? It becomes a case for Chief Inspector Tobias Lange when it is confirmed the remains are those of a young male, early twenties, beaten to death with a blunt instrument about two decades earlier.

Tobias finds himself on the trail of eco-warriors, Sami protesters safeguarding reindeer rights in Lapland and a disaffected young woman estranged from her family. Then another incomplete set of human bones turns up, and then another. When the trail takes a turn into a murky world of sex trafficking and illegal immigrants, Tobias starts to fear for his eco-warrior daughter Agnes….

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Bogman Author Bio

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

R.I. Olufsen has a background in investigative journalism and broadcasting. She enjoys travel, good food, golf and literary puzzles. Bogman is her first crime novel.

R.I. Olufsen is the pen name of Roisin McAuley and you can connect with the author here:

TWITTER   |   FACEBOOK   |   WEBSITE

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