A six-year-old girl found dead and hanging from a tree in the woods. She is wearing doll’s clothing and has an airline tag hanging around her neck with words reading, “I’m traveling alone”. Enter seasoned police investigator, Holger Munch. He takes it upon himself to motivate the brilliant Mia Kruger, who has been off dealing with her personal demons, back to the force to help on the case. As they investigate, it soon becomes clear that both Kruger and Munch have a connection to the case; will they be able to stop the perpetrator before another girl is taken?
I’m Traveling Alone, the debut novel by Samuel Bjork, is a Scandinavian police procedural novel following Detective Holger Munch and Detective Mia Kruger. This novel is dark, twisted and fast-paced. From the initial moments of this book, I was hooked.
The novel opens with the discovery of the first girl. Holger Munch decides to call his ex-partner and protégé, Mia, to help him. Mia is holed up in isolation, contemplating suicide after the death of her twin sister. After Munch presents her with the facts, Mia begins to see patterns in the killings and decides she must help stop this psychopath before they strike again. As the plot thickens, we are introduced to a religious community living on the edge of the woods who seem to be involved in some sinister undertakings and the murderer’s ties to a missing baby from years ago. There are plenty of plots and subplots happening in this one, but they all become interwoven to create a stellar, suspenseful story.
As mentioned, this novel is made up of several moving pieces and many different major and minor character arcs between people on the police force, members of the religious cult and bystanders. At first, they all appear to be unrelated but then Bjork combines all of these flawlessly to create a story that is intricate and full of never-ending twists and turns. The main characters, especially Mia Kruger, are well developed and complex. I loved the development of her character. She was both hardened and vulnerable.
If you want a police procedural filled with a multitude of red-herrings to keep you on the edge of your seat, then you’ll want to start I’m Traveling Alone right away!
I can’t wait to see more from Samuel Bjork!
Viking/Penguin Random House Publishing