Review: The Owl Always Hunts At Night by Samuel Bjork

300794343 stars

Synopsis:

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.


I sent the man out on a mission a couple of weeks ago: ‘here’s a fiver, pick up a book you think I’ll like’.

It’s a low pressure task: I will read much anything and it gives you an idea about what kind of books your nearest and dearest think you read (thank heavens he doesn’t know anything about the culinary erotic horror one).

So, the hunter returns and presents me with this title.
First impressions: Norwegian crime thriller. Hell. Yes.

Everything about this books sounds good to me. Sure, there’ll never be another ‘Girl with a Dragon Tattoo’ but a lot of the books inspired by the Millenium trilogy are great and there’s something about Scandinavian writing styles that appeals to me.
This book didn’t live up to my expectations, however. Big fat clues were dropped from the very beginning and by the middle of the book, I had it figured out and just followed it to the end to make sure.

The writing style was quite disjointed, which made me wondering if it had been translated. A lot of the emphasis was put on the mental state of the detectives and their backstories rather than scene building, which is usually exactly what I look for in a book but I couldn’t really relate to any of the characters on a meaning ful level.

The crimes themselves were too bizarre and unlikely to be scary or convincing. The police task force assigned to solving the murder seemed entirely comprised of people who shouldn’t be in that line of work – at least 3 of the leading officers suffer from uncontrolled substance abuse, addiction and/or ridiculously contrived personal issues.
I feel that the author was aiming for gritty and dark with his characters and storyline, but the unlikeliness of a lot of the situations counteracted that.
With that in mind, if you like thrillers which are creative but not altogether scary – this may well be the book for you!

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