Looking for some Scandi-Crime? Set in Norway, this gripping police procedural is the first book in the Holger Munch & Mia Kruger series.
From the inside cover:
A six-year-old girl is found dead, hanging from a tree, the only clue the Oslo Police have to work with is an airline tag around her neck. It reads “I’m travelling alone.”
Holger Munch, veteran police investigator, is immediately charged with reassembling his homicide unit. But to complete the team, he must convince his erstwhile partner, Mia Kruger – a brilliant but troubled investigator – to return from the solitary island to which she has retreated with plans to take her own life.
Reviewing the evidence, Mia identifies something no one else has noticed – a thin line carved into the dead girl’s fingernail: the number 1. Instinctively, she knows that this is only the beginning. To save the other children from the same fate, she must find a way to cast aside her own demons and confront the most terrifying, cold-hearted serial killer of her career…
I’m Travelling Alone has a complex and gripping plot. It opens with the murder of the first girl, with little to go on, Munch, described by his friends as clever and nerdy, realises he needs Mia at his side to crack this case.
In the early chapters, we see Mia Kruger on a deserted island, numbing her pain with drugs and drink, preparing to end her life. I really liked the fact that Bjork allowed us to really get to know Mia (and Munch) at the beginning of the book, an insight into their personalities before we got to the nitty, gritty case, something we don’t often see. By the time the old team was reassembled, I felt like I already knew Mia and Munch, which allowed me to keep up with this complex plot as their thoughts and actions fitted their personalities perfectly, making the plot more believable. Throughout the book, there was a vulnerability to Mia that made her character even more interesting and likeable, I couldn’t help but will her on. To Mia, each case is personal and each case leaves its mark:
“Each case affected her far too deeply. They reached right inside her soul, as if it was her own story, as if she were the victim.”
And can I also add, that she really is brilliant, when Mia was in ‘the zone’, seeing the way she pieced together the clues in the case was so much fun to read, following her thought-process as she connected the dots was one of my favourite parts of the book – the excitement building as Mia gets closer to the solving the mystery. Munch and Mia make a very good detective team, in fact, I liked the whole team and think they gelled together extremely well.
What makes this book all the more intriguing were the sub-plots running alongside the main story, building a complex picture of events that came together smoothly to make for a gripping and suspenseful read. Bjork was constantly upping the ante, a serial killer with a changing MO, twists and turns galore, causing the tension to increase with each chapter.
The dark atmosphere throughout this book was fantastic and made this a compelling read, drawing you in to the mind of not only the villains but the detectives too. I’m looking forward to the return of Munch and particularly Mia in book 2!