What’s it about?
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 is the second novel by Norwegian author Samuel Bjork and my introduction to Holger Munch and Mia Kruger. This can be read as a standalone but there were quite a few references to Mia’s sister Sigrid who died in the first novel. Her death is something Mia still struggles to come to terms with, so maybe I did wish I read that one first even if it’s not a necessity.
I liked the two main characters, they’re both flawed and intriguing. Holger Munch is still struggling when he sees his ex-wife with another man. He feels guilty for not seeing his daughter and granddaughter more but when a new case of a 17 year old girl found murdered under mysterious circumstances lands in his lap, old habits spring to life and he quickly forgets his good intentions of getting more involved in their lives. When his daughter Miriam struggles with her relationship and reaches out to him, he doesn’t even have time to get back to her.
The Jane Doe’s identity is quickly established as being one of the girls staying at Hurumlandet Nurseries, an institution for troubled teens. She didn’t like being told what to do so when the head received a text message saying she was ok and they should stop looking for her, nobody was very worried.
Even though Holger is the lead detective and the more experienced one, it seems Mia is predestined to steal the show. She seems to have a special sixth sense that made her crack the case in the previous novel and everyone is anticipating she will force a breakthrough here too. Her previous victory has put her on a pedestal apparently among her co-workers but at the same time she is still silently struggling with demons of her past, the death of her sister and her addiction to pills. I have to admit that this bothered me a little bit because I simply couldn’t understand why she was given so much credit.
The way the body was positioned seems to mean something, as was the fact that she was found surrounded by owl feathers. Someone with a very twisted past and an unhealthy obsession for owls seems to be at work again. The prologue gives a little teaser but I was left guessing about the person’s identity in the present day. I was practically changing my idea every time a new male character was introduced and was searching for ties with the Hurumlandet Nurseries, where she was staying. Once again I found in the end I was completely off the mark. Mr. Bjork made some very intelligent choices in the way he wrote this story.
There were plenty of red herrings in this novel, it was wonderfully twisted and unclear how all the puzzle pieces would fit together. This novel was highly entertaining and had a dark twist. This was my first introduction to this Scandinavian author and I was pleasantly surprised I liked it this much. I will certainly keep an eye open for his next novel.
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.