The Boy in the Headlights

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

This book is an actual masterpiece.

The twist in the book made me physically gasp. You cannot put this down even if you wanted to.  It grips you and pulls you deep into the story.  You think you have worked it all out about half way through but you honestly have no Idea how wrong you are. 

The reveal of who the killer is... Its thoroughly shocking.  The crime scenes, the detail, the atmosphere in this novel are truly a work of art.  

What I love about Bjork is there are never any chapters there to simply fill space.  Every word is important even when you think it isn't. 

Wow I honestly can't give this novel enough praise.  A disturbing, thrilling read which will terrify you to your core. 

Absolutely excellent. 

I can't wait for the next installment in this series.
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I didn't work it out either! Keeps you guessing as the police go down blind alley after blind alley with a totally unexpected unraveling right at the end.. Good suspense thriller with a dramatic quickening of pace as time starts to run out.
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Another great story in the Scandinavian crime noir genre, which seems to be the most intriguing genre at the moment.  Look forward to catching up with Munch and Kruga in Samuel Bjork other novels in this series. Well recommended
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How do you stop a murderer when you can’t predict their next move? Special Investigations Detectives Munch and Krüger face the ultimate challenge in Samuel Bjork’s new thriller, as a serial killer is choosing his victims at random. Clever and gripping, with plenty of twists and turns, The Boy in the Headlights is a chilling tale that Jo Nesbo readers will love.
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I am a massive fan of the Munch and Kruger series and this instalment did not disappoint! I will be posting a full review on my blog on Saturday, so will come back and post the link.
Absolutely love this book! I think it may actually be the best in the series so far! I'm eagerly waiting number 4!
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I have not read the previous titles in this series so was unaware of the backstory between Mia and Munch, I found the story a bit disjointed and wonder if the fact that it was a translation was the reason I felt this. Not the easiest of tales to feel totally engaged with.
Many thanks to Netgalley/Samuel Bjork/Random House UK for a digital copy of this title. All opinions expressed are my own.
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The boy of the title and prologue has nearly nothing to do with most of this book, so if you were expecting a ‘kidnapped child / distraught parent’ domestic drama then you’ve picked up the wrong kind of Scandi crime. All the stuff about the young lad who almost gets run over in the prologue is almost irrelevant to the central story – it’s the threads concerning Detectives Munch and Krüger in the synopsis which are significant.

So if you’ve not read the earlier two books in this series then I advise you to go back and start from the beginning. I’d read one of them, ages ago, and my dim memories weren’t extensive enough to make me familiar with the key characters in this Norwegian investigation of a series of strange killings.

The opening chapters are all about getting the band back together; reuniting a special crime squad of unique individuals with specific talents. Each brief summary of their situation wasn’t sufficient to let me connect with the key characters before they were plunged into emotional and professional turmoil in the current case.

This book’s story is expertly told however, from the perspective of the victims and their families as well as the detectives, forensic specialists and IT experts who are pitted against a peculiarly determined killer. The murders start with the death of a beautiful ballerina, dressed ready to dance, but found in an isolated lake in the rural hinterland.

We’re given tantalising glimpses of what might (or might not) be the killer/s, and there’s a satisfying blend of procedural detail mixed with the insightful brilliance of the key female detective – Mia, a deeply troubled young woman who’s barely come to terms with the events of the previous books. If you’re a fan of Saga Norén then you’ll definitely appreciate Mia, although you need to understand what’s happened to her in earlier episodes.

And that’s the biggest problem with The Boy (well, apart from the strange emphasis imbued by the title). Although it does contain a standalone story, the nuances of the plot and the impact of events upon the characters really don’t carry much weight if they’re strangers to you. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more if I’d recently read the other books in the series.

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This is the 3rd book in the Munch and Kruger series by Samuel Bjork. Like the other two books in the series it follows a familiar formula where you're left guessing who committed the crime until the last chapter or so when all is revealed. 

This isn't necessarily a bad thing but it does feel a little predictable if you've read the other books as you know that there will be a twist and it will be near the end. 

The story over all was decent, there's a serial killer on the loose killing people in strange ways (just like the other two stories by the same author) it all kicks off when a ballerina is found in a lake in full ensemble. 

There were a few grammatical errors which I assume is due to translation and also on my kindle it seemed to have the words "The Boy in the Headlights" and "Samuel Bjork" in the middle of every page, this may have been for copyright reasons or it may have been my kindle settings but it was distracting when you're deep into the story and mid-sentence you see one of those randomly slotted in.
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I really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and the plot. It was a very atmospheric thriller. This is the first book that I have read by Samuel Bjork. I will definitely be reading more. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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Third book in the series and for those who enjoy Nordic Noir, this is one writer you do not want to miss out on.

The Serious Crime Squad has been disbanded, all given new and different roles, and Mia, one of the lead characters with Munch, is about to go on a six-month holiday, and then their phones all start to ring, a ballet dancer is found dead by a lake, injected in the heart with anti freeze. She is not the first, the killings are seemingly random.

I really enjoyed this book, actually couldn't put it down. Great characters, good balance between personal life and work, some of the police are flawed but that just makes them human, surely??

Wasn't sure the section regarding the Army was actually needed, I know it was a red herring but still felt very forced, but didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book, just left me a bit puzzled as it seemed out of place in a way.

On the whole a really good read and thoroughly recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK for giving me the opportunity to read the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Having read the first two in the series, I downloaded this book with much excitement and enthusiasm..
I wasn't disappointed.  I enjoyed that the main characters seemed a little more settled in their own lives this time. There is only so much detective angst that I can care about- I want to know about the story itself and how that unfolds.  I know many are not a fan of the seemingly random characters being introduced, but I particularly like to see how all the loose ends tie up to form a rounded story. My only reservation however is the way that the author achieves that in this story. I felt that the ending was a little sudden and slightly weak. It feels like it should have been a longer book, which would have allowed us to 'meet' the protagonist and other characters properly. I'm also not sure that it is sustainable to continue to place the detectives or their family as the main focus of the killer. In the  first book it was intriguing, the second felt a little like deja vue and this third one, boringly formulaic .
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Being a big fan of Nordic noir and having read the last two books in this series, I could not wait to start reading his latest. As I said before this is the third in the Munch & Kruger series and I loved it. A thrill kill serial killer who choses his victims randomly and without any obvious motive. That was it I was hooked, in the zone. This book had my heart racing, mankind the hairs stand up on the back of my neck and I actually read this book with all the lights on. Another book from this author li could not put down.  So many red herrings, plots within plots and a myriad of twists and turns. 
After reading the first two books in this explosive and very addictive series I Am Travelling Alone and The Owl Always Hunts At Midnight both receiving five stars from me, this author has done it again. I eagerly await the next in this riveting and explosive crime series. So highly recommended. 
I would like to thank the author, Random House UK and Netgalley for the advanced copy in return for giving an honest review.
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This is the third in the series featuring Holger Munch and Mia Kruger.  The first book was, “I’m Travelling Alone,” and the second was, “The Owl Always Hunts at Night.”  

I loved, “I’m Travelling Alone,” but was a little more reserved about its sequel, so I was interested to read this.   For those familiar with the characters, there are still the same issues surrounding the main characters.   Holger Munch is still, unrealistically, hoping to reunite with his wife and Mia Kruger is still obsessed with her dead twin sister.   That aside, I did feel this was a much better read than the previous novel, with a strong serial killer story, alongside that involving the members of the team.

The beginning of this novel really sets the atmosphere, as does the discovery of a body in a lake – a young ballet dancer, found still in her dance costume.   As the body count grows, Holger Munch is dispirited by the involvement of outside agencies, and his lack of control in the investigation.  The author really keeps the pace going with this novel and he manages to embrace all of the members of the unit, not just Munch and Kruger.   I thought the writing was excellent -  there were lots of clever touches and interesting characters, such as the rather annoying journalist, who you end up feeling sorry for, and I enjoyed Curry’s greater involvement in this book.

Overall, I feel that the author has written a novel which is easily as good as his debut and, having got past that difficult, second novel, in a series, is back on top form.   I look forward to reading more in this series and recommend this instalment in the series highly.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
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This book is definitely a page Turner. Twists and turns keeps you guessing.  Highly recommended to readers who love thrillers
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Once more I am with my favourite thriller genre.. Scandi noir/crime and I was thrilled to receive the Arc of the third book in the wonderful Holger Munch & Mia Krüger series and woweee it is an absolute  stunner of a book !! I loved the first two and this book certainly lived up to all expectations and was gripping right from the off, dark, atmospheric and compulsive this is a serial killer who doesn’t give much away and likes to play a very nasty and vicious game with Munch and Krüger leaving them struggling with which way to turn. Little by little the clues start to add up but other factors also start to make life difficult for the team as the story progresses. I love the character of Mia (and her lozenges!!) and how she has so much to deal with in her personal life and as both the past and present collide it gets harder. All the characters are so well written as is this amazing book and although it can be read as a stand-alone I would highly recommend the whole series as one not to be missed it’s fabulous so many thanks Samuel Bjork for my total enjoyment in reading it.
My thanks also to NetGalley and Random House UK Transworld Publishers for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This is the third book in Samuel Bjørk's Munch and Krüger series. Having read I'm Travelling Alone last year I thought it was one of the best books that I had ever read in this genre and the second book in the series was a worthy followup. For me this was the weaker of the 3 books but that is probably only because the author set the bar so high with his first 2 books in this series. I felt the story became a little disjointed and there were too many erroneous characters introduced. I would have preferred to delve a little deeper into Munch and Krüger's back stories or relationship rather than having whole chapters dedicated to a new character who was about to get murdered. The ending also felt a little rushed. Having said that Samuel Bjørk is an excellent writer and the characters of Munch and Krüger and the rest of the special unit are so strong and so interesting that I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series  which is Nordic Noir at it's very finest..
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The Boy in the Headlights is the third book in the Munch & Kruger series and it is a series that just keeps getting better and better.  

Seemingly random people are being murdered in Norway, having inexplicably brought themselves to certain death by either walking to the murder scene, going to a hotel room or getting into the boot of a car, with the final act of an injection of antifreeze to the heart being their cause of death.  Munch must reassemble the team to track down this serial killer, however, Mia Kruger is about to head off for six months vacation.  Munch talks her round as the case gets under her skin as she tries to piece together the clues.  What follows is a game of cat and mouse between the killer and the detectives.  A sideline story of a police officer on the take in a heroin importation ring is nicely tied to the story as we learn more about Mia's past and the tragic circumstances of her sister's death. 

This book is a superb read, fast moving, easy reading and characters, while not easy to identify with in a "Criminal Minds" type way, are all portrayed as vulnerable, haunted, and completely human people dealing with horrific incidents and the consequences that has for each of them in their personal lives.  My one criticism is that sometimes the language in the book feels a bit stilted but I imagine it has been translated from Norwegian, quite literally in parts.  An unputdownable read.  Looking forward very much to the next installment.  4.5/5
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Excellent latest instalment in this series of investigations into violent strange murder cases. A heroine to rival Lisbeth Salander and her gruff superior along with a cast of intriguing colleagues all combine in the hunt for the perpetrator in a series of seemingly unconnected killings, plenty of red herrings to keep ones attention all build to the shock denouement. Excellent (again)!
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One of my favourite things about Scandi crime is the atmospheric setting, which normally includes a bleak winter landscape. True to the genre, Bjork manages to set the stage of The Boy in the Headlights very quickly and immediately drew me into the chilling scene of a lonely, wintry country road, where an old man is driving through the night. Suddenly his headlights illuminate a creature he thinks is an animal crossing the road. But when he gets closer, he realises it’s a small boy running through the night with deer antlers strapped to his head. My interest was immediately piqued, even though it wasn’t until the very end that this particular thread came full circle and I managed to slot the piece of the puzzle into its rightful place.

The rest of the story follows more traditional guidelines of a Scandinavian murder mystery. There appears to be a serial killer on the loose, seemingly picking his victims at random and staging them in different locations in the Norwegian countryside. With no pattern or apparent motive to go on, this type of “thrill killer” is a detective’s worst nightmare. Investigative team Holger Munch and Mia Krüger, officers of the elite homicide squad, are pitching their brilliant minds against the devious plans of the murderer, racing against time to catch him before he can strike again – which will challenge even these two brilliant minds.

When I started reading The Boy in the Headlights, I didn’t realise that it was the third in a series featuring the two main investigators Munch and Krüger, and I wished immediately that I had read the other two books first before tackling this one. Whilst it can easily be read as a stand-alone, both Munch and Krüger are complex and interesting characters with a rich backstory. Munch, whose daughter is still recovering from injuries sustained in an attack that was somehow related to one of his investigations, still harbours regrets about his involvement and his recent marriage breakdown. Krüger, who has lost a sister to a drug overdose, is also still struggling with her own personal demons. With a brilliant mind but also very highly strung and prone to anxiety and depression, Mia makes a very clever but also volatile investigator. Her impulsive nature often sends her off on different tangents not obvious to the clue-by-clue detective, and I found her thought processes fascinating.

Bjork makes good use of all the elements that make Scandi crime so enjoyable for me: an atmospheric setting, a brutal and yet imaginative and clever killer and an investigative team whose own personal stories will leave you wanting to see them in many more books to come.

I admit that the final reveal didn’t totally work for me, as I found aspects of it slightly baffling and far-fetched. I am wondering, however, if reading the earlier novels in the series would have filled in those gaps for me and am keen to start the series from the beginning to see what I have missed. All in all, I really enjoyed this original police procedural and think it will appeal to readers who like interesting, complex detectives that don’t quite fit the mould of your average investigator.
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This is the first Samuel Bjork book I've read, but the third in the Munch and Kruger series. It works as a stand alone, but the main characters have complex back stories that would probably be more understandable of you had read the previous novels.

The murder of a young woman in extremely strange circumstances brings Kruger out of exile and reunites the Special Investigation unit. It soon appears that there is a serial killer to be traced. But there doesn't seem to be a connection between the victims.

It took me a while to get into as there were a lot of disconnected points of view at the beginning as the various threads of the story are introduced. But once the main characters are established it is compelling reading.

This is a complex and clever thriller perfect for fans of Nordic Noir.
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