Book Review: I’m Travelling Alone (Munch and Krüger Book 1), by Samuel Bjork

Publisher: Random House/Transworld  |  Publication date:  31st December 2015  |  Edition: Kindle (Netgalley)

I was utterly spellbound by the quality of this Nordic narrative, which was Im Travelling Aloneengrossing to the point of addiction. It’s one of those books you can really lose yourself in, snatching your attention from the first chapter and refusing to loosen its grip.

The main crux of the story concerns a devilishly unhinged child killer who is on the loose. A six year old girl is discovered in the woods, her body hanging from a tree as part of an intricately staged scene. With this, a signature of mayhem has already made itself known to the officer in charge, Holger Munch: if he has any chance of solving the case, he knows he must assemble the best team of investigators in the Country. But they have been separated following an ‘error of judgement’ on a previous case.

His ‘chosen one’ is Mia Kruger. After some coaxing to leave her isolated home, where she exists day to day with her own deadly agenda, Holger convinces her to re-join him. Mia is renowned for her instincts and she grasps the severity of this case immediately. Only her keen eyes see the number that is etched on the victim’s fingernail. That number was ‘one’ – this child is only the first.

As Holger and Mia make the sinister connections I could almost hear the mental cogs clicking into place, but are they being led merry dance called manipulation, as someone enjoys pulling their strings from the side lines (and everyone else’s too).

When a story is brimming with psychosis, from religious ‘fanatics’ who worship in the woods, others whose mental health is questionable, plus the entire population of Norway who decide to call the crime hotline as the parents have put up a reward for information, how could the exhausted team ever have a hope in hell of conquering the case? The crimes are abhorrent, but things start to get personal for the team and it seems the murderer is heading off on a tangent that no profiler could have guessed.

The clues are mulled over by Mia as she applies her unique, repetitive thought process. Snippets of these are offered to us on the page making it easy to follow along, as if you’re witnessing the revelations as they happen – now THAT was very cleverly done. Despite her quirky knack of solving oddest cases, the author has succeeded in making her human – her connection with her boss  is priceless. In fact, the interaction within the entire team was extraordinary.

I must mention the bravery of Tobias, the lad who found one of the victims, as this was portrayed superbly and I loved the role his character played later in the story. The writer had a gift of making sure all characters are relevant, no matter how brief their initial involvement.

There’s a couple of unanswered questions, but nothing to spoil the stunning plot. In fact, I’d simply urge you to read this as soon as you can – in the words of the killer, ‘Tick-Tock’…    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

Rating: 5/5

(My sincere thanks to the publisher @TransworldBooks for providing a copy of this stunning title via Netgalley.)


Footprints final

(Extract taken from Netgalley)

A six year old girl is found hanging from a tree. Around her neck is an airline tag which says ‘I’m travelling alone’.

A special homicide unit in Oslo is re-opened with veteran police investigator Holger Munch at the helm. He must convince his erstwhile partner, Mia Kruger, an extremely talented but eccentric investigator, to leave the solitary island to which she has retreated in order to take her own life.

When scrutinising the murder files, Mia spots the number One carved into the dead girl’s fingernail. She returns to duty to prevent more little girls falling victim to a terrifying, revenge-driven serial killer…

 

Death Falls, by Todd Ritter

Publisher: Avon | Publication date: 29th January 2015 | Edition: Kindle (Via Netgalley)

 Ruth, who was sixty but looked at least a decade older, lived down the street. She and Maggie were friends, but not friendly enough for Ruth to be in her house, holding her child, at almost eleven o’clock at night. Yet there she was, trying to hush the baby in the grey glow of the television…

Death Falls

Death Falls is a pacey crime thriller. Highly recommended.

Pacey and full of surprises, this is a real a gem of a book.

I had absolutely no idea where the finger of suspicion was going to point next! The story had more twists than a tornado and the finale was spectacularly tense.

The story begins in the town of Perry Hollow on the night of the first moon landing in 1969. Ten year old Charlie disappeared whilst his mother and baby brother were asleep. Charlie’s bike was discovered, discarded in the notoriously fast running creek, and was ready to hurtle toward the dangerous falls. From that moment on, nothing would ever be the same again – a killer would make sure of that.

Decades later, following a promise he made to his mother, it fell to Charlie’s little brother, Eric, to try to piece together what happened that fateful night. Soon, he stumbles onto the path that other boys could be missing. But along the way he finds that some of the townsfolk are hiding a few skeletons in their cupboards.

You think you know what is happening, but scrub that – I challenge myself to try and guess the endings to books and films, but the outcome in this one was a complete – oh my…whaaaat?

I won’t elaborate any more, as it’s best to unravel this story for yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense and would highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5

(Special thanks to the Publisher for the Kindle copy I received from NetGalley.)

 

The Dying Place, by Luca Veste

The Dying Place 05.12.14

Wow – what a read!

Publisher: Avon | Publication date: 4th December 2014 | Edition: Paperback

Wow. Simply, wow.

Read it in two sittings (that’s only because I had to sleep, or risk passing out!).

Such an excellent, if somewhat grim story. Yet, it’s scarily plausible given the breakdown of our justice system on occasion and the low opinion that today’s ‘yoof’ appear to have earned themselves. A brilliant take on both sides of the argument: ultimately, should victims rebel against the menaces on the streets of Liverpool, aka teenagers? Even if the authorities appear to have failed them, both sides of them? Well, read this book and judge the consequences for yourself – it makes for a breath-taking read.

Gripping, suspenseful, brilliant pace – all the usual words appear weak in comparison to how truly marvellous this storyline is. And the partnership between the investigators Murphy and Rossi is spot on.

When I reached the end (which I didn’t want to get to!), I kind of knew where it was heading, but wasn’t expecting it to quite turn out the way it did, so a shock ’til the last.

A full gas mark 5 for this one. I’ll certainly look forward to reading more from this author in future – great writing.

Rating: 5/5

(My thanks to @CrimeFix (Avon) for providing a copy of this brilliant book from a competition run via Twitter.)


You can follow the author on Twitter: @LucaVeste