Hello everyone and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. Today I’m going to be posting my review of Samuel Bjork’s fantastic novel, ‘The Owl Always Hunts At Night’. I was sent an ARC of this, so thanks very much to Becky from Transworld Publishers for that! This book is part of a series, and I haven’t read the first in the series, so I’m going to be approaching this review the same as I would any standalone book. So, to find out my thoughts on this novel, keep reading…
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 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 an unofficial 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.
‘The Owl Always Hunts At Night’ in the second instalment in the Munch and Kruger series (due to be released tomorrow – 9th March 2017), following on from ‘I’m Travelling Alone’. Samuel Bjork is the pen name of the Norweigan novelist, playwright and singer/songwriter Frode Sander Oien. Both novels in this series have become bestsellers across Scandinavia and the rest of Europe.
The series has received lots of positive praise. For example, Heat called it “Tense, thrilling and genuinely scary”, The Guardian said it contains “Plenty of intrigue”, and The Times pinned it “Terrific…Intelligent and gripping”. ‘I’m Travelling Alone’ was also loved by many, such as The Wall Street Journal: “Tense and smartly constructed”, Publishers Weekly: “Harrowing and enthralling” and Booklist: “This is thoroughly chilling and an excellent read”.
As somebody who has not read the first in the series, I still felt able to give ‘The Owl Always Hunts At Night’ an excellent four stars. The novel is creepy and gripping, with plenty of suspense thrown in. The novel is based around a suspicious crime, in which the female body is posed in some sort of satanic ritual. As the detectives work towards solving the case, they discover that things are not as they seem.
Both of the main characters are equally intriguing and both bring something different to the novel. Detective Mia Kruger is still struggling after the death of her sister Sigrid, and really isn’t in a fit state to come back to work and start solving crimes again – but Holger Munch is desperate to have her back on the team. Mia is anxious and depressed, and the crime forces a lot of unpleasant past memories back to the surface. Mia is trying her best but deep down inside she’s struggling; something that I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to. Mia was my personal favourite character in the book, as I really saw parts of myself in her.
Lead detective Holger Munch seems a cold, cruel character at first – but upon reading, it’s clear to see that he’s just flawed, and is also struggling with his own personal demons. He’s divorced and is suffering after seeing his ex-wife with another man, and he vows to spend more time with his children. However, when presented with this troublesome, exciting new case, he quickly neglects his family and becomes self-absorbed again. He is confident, intelligent and an excellent leader; but there’s definitely more to him than first meets the eye.
The body that is found is troubling. The victim is a teenage girl, who is posed on a bed of feathers wearing nothing but a blonde wig, and is surrounded by a pentagram of candles. Upon examining the body it’s clear to see that she suffered greatly for a period before her death, and was subject to some truly gruesome and horrific ordeals. As the detectives continue to work on the case, they soon discover that the killer could strike again – but can they get him before it’s too late?
Bjork has a clear skill when it comes to writing gripping, harrowing crime fiction. He has this brilliant ability in feeding clues to the reader to make them feel as if they know where the story is going – but then something unexpected happens, and the reader is left disorientated. It was genuinely impossible for me to guess where the story was going to go, and I definitely could not have predicted what actually happened. Bjork lures the reader away from the culprit in a sophisticated, intelligent way.
So, let’s talk about the ending. The ending was truly fantastic! There’s a dramatic final scene which contains a very narrow escape indeed. The ending is jam-packed full of action and suspense, and I physically couldn’t have put the book down if I tried! I was truly sucked into the world of the novel. The ending was extremely unexpected and I could never have anticipated what happened; in fact, I’d be very surprised if any reader could predict it correctly! I loved the finale to the novel: it was shocking, scary and truly mesmerising.
Overall, I guarantee you’ll love this novel if you’re into Crime/Murder Mystery novels. Bjork is an excellent writer of the genre, and I’m definitely going to go back and read the first in the series now! This novel contains a gruesome crime, plenty of action and suspense, brilliantly constructed characters and a shocking ending – what more could you want from a crime novel?! The only criticism I have with this is it took me a while to get into it, and also I got a bit confused with some of the characters (named Marion, Mia, Miriam and Marianne) at first, but this didn’t last long. I highly recommend this novel to all you crime lovers out there!
Happy reading 🙂