The Boy in the Headlights

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

The Boy in the Headlights is the third novel to feature Norwegian detectives Holger Munch and Mia Krüger.

Having read the first book in the series  - I'm Travelling Alone - I was looking forward to reading this, so I was happy to dive straight in, despite not having been able to get around to reading book two, entitled  “The Owl Always Hunts at Night.”

In winter 1996, an old man is driving home when his headlights catch a deer on the empty road up ahead, but it turns out to be a frightened, scared young boy with a set of deer antlers strapped to his head. Fourteen years later, a body is found in a mountain lake and within weeks, three people have died. Thought to be the handiwork of a serial killer, a clue has been left on each occasion, inviting Special Investigations Detectives Munch and Krüger to play a deadly game. To find the killer they must look deep within their own dark pasts, but how can you stop a murderer when you cannot begin to predict their next move? 

Mia Krüger the inspired, now notorious, investigator is still in a bad place mentally, obsessing over the death of her twin sister. Given to occasional strokes of genius, death and suicide are never far from her thoughts as she continues to wrestle with her alcohol and prescription drug dependencies. Although Mia longs to join her dead twin Sigrid, there are small indications of hope in this novel.  I could identify with her highs and lows and have maximum appreciation for her portrayal. 

Mia's boss Holger Munch, is still, optimistically, hoping to reunite with his ex-wife whom he still loves.

The beginning of this novel perfectly sets the mood and atmosphere for the rest of the story, as does the discovery of a body in a lake – a young ballet dancer still in her dance costume. As the body count grows, Holger Munch becomes disillusioned by the involvement of outside agencies, and his lack of control in the case(s). Samuel Bjørk really keeps the pace rolling and he masterfully embraces all of the members of the team, not just Holger Munch and Mia Krüger. With excellent writing, there was an abundance of clever touches and interesting characters, and I particularly appreciated Curry’s greater participation. With mental illness a recurring theme, there were some troubling scenes of viciousness and an ever-present darkness to this story. Despite the bleak and and nasty subject matter, the book never felt depressing and the action moved swiftly, keeping me enthralled throughout.

The Boy in the Headlights is unsettling, imaginative and well written with characters that are beginning to feel real, as opposed to being mere acquaintances. I look forward to reading more in this series and recommend this instalment highly.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Random House UK via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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This starts off with an elderly man driving in 1990 , at night, who thinks he is going to  hit a  deer but sees a young boy with antlers on his head. The story changes to 2013 where a man and his son out fishing find the body of a dead girl .
Holger Munch and Mia Kruger investigate what turns into a serial killer storyline.
This is a really good Scandi  Noir book, the third in the series  - would recommend going back and reading the other two if you have the chance.
Well written, fast paced thriller. Really enjoyed and would recommend.
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I loved the previous two books in this series, this as an excellent addition. Great characters, gripping storyline. I will be recommending this series to everyone.
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A really good book which has a complicated plot line but stick with it and as the story unfolds it becomes absolutely gripping.  Slowly the many parts merge and develop into an excellent story right to the very last sentence.  Highly recommended.
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And they are back for the third book in the series, Holger Munch is still hoping that he and his wife will get back together, not going to happen, and Mia Kruger is still totally obsessed with her dead twin sister. But aside from that they have another case to solve. Having read the first two books in this series I knew I was in for a good read from Samuel Bjork and I wasn’t disappointed.

A gripping read, beginning in 1999 as an old man is driving home on the cold, icy roads, he had hoped to be home before dark, but this didn’t happen, he is clearly uncomfortable driving In these conditions, and you feel tense for him, all of a sudden there is something ahead in the road, at first he thought it was an animal, but as he slammed on his breaks and stopped he realised it was a young boy with antlers stuck to his head, what a start! But will this be linked to anything later in the book and how?

We jump fourteen years, and a father and son out fishing make a gruesome discovery, the young boy hooks a dead body on his fishing line, that of a young girl, a ballet dancer in full costume, a needle mark on the body but no clue as to how she ended up there. Within weeks, three more people are dead, the killer has left a clue, inviting Munch and Kruger to play a deadly game, but is it a game they have any chance of winning?

This is another tightly plotted book by Samuel Bjork, the story is told through numerous viewpoints. A good overview of police procedural detail, and the brilliant working of the mind of Mia who is always insightful. The atmospheric settings work brilliantly with the story. At times very complex, with characters thrown in as red herrings but threads that bind to knit the plot together with ease.

This is another successful book by Samuel Bjork if you like Nordic Noir. I recommend this book and the two previous books, although this can be read as a stand-alone novel it does help to know the quirks and mannerisms of Munch and Kruger. Gripping from start to finish.

Thank you to netgalley and Doubleday for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.
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First of all, the boy in the headlights is one drop in this ocean of a novel. It’s not  a novel about a missing child, kidnapped boy and he’s certainly not the focus, so take the title with a pinch of salt, open the book and be prepared to be surprised.

Detectives Munch and Krüger have their work cut out here.(work that will be even more fleshed out if you’ve read the earlier novel) This is a story about a very unique team of police investigators who all have a unique talent. Combined, they will hopefully have the mix to solve some really tough cases. This novel has a series of strange killings throughout! The first one is a pretty ballerina found in a remote lake. All very creepy from the off but it’s the scenery and scene setting in and around Oslo with the remoteness and the hinterland that really helps set the atmosphere and pace of the novel to come.

There’s lots of procedural here and lots of inward thinking, investigation processes and characters thinking about what on earth is going on. You really have to read the book before to truly appreciate what the team are coming up with and why.

Holger and Mia  are really an odd couple who shouldn’t work but they do - as they find clues at each scene, they find themselves drawn the killer’s game of cat and mouse. There are some really gripping moment and what a tug of war they go through! This isn’t just their present nightmare either but also has stains on their past and future.

The Scandi elements are there - tight team, interesting back stories, and a truly gripping and icy setting. Mountain paths, lakes, the city of Oslo - it’s all here!
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great book, i am happy to have discovered the series of Munch and Mia investigation. i will definitely catch up with the two other previous ones. great thriller, nice characters and interesting storyline.
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This was an easy 5 star rating for me  as I loved the two previous books in the Holger Munch and Mia Kruger series which started with the outstanding ‘I’m Travelling Alone’ which was a real jaw thunker. Whilst my jaw didn’t hit the decks quite so many times it was still an absolutely amazing read. This was a bit like a symphony with either Mia or Holger taking the individual instrument parts in the action then the full ensemble comes together to reach a crescendo and the storyline rises and falls effortlessly.  This was so cleverly written with twists , turns and misdirections and some incredibly powerful moments that made your eyes pop and your jaw drop. I don’t want to give much away but the plotting and pace was excellent from the first dramatic moments where car headlights caught the antler wearing young boy and  couldn’t put this down. 
I really liked the characters- poor Holger remained in love with his ex wife although the new forensic pathologist Lillian Lund could become a distraction! Munch was struggling with guilt from the injuries his daughter suffered in book 2 - The Owl always hunts at night.  Whilst  Mia was still  suffering many years on with the death of her twin sister Sigrid from a heroin overdose and this became relevant to this storyline.  There was a serial killer who carefully posed his victims in a number of different ways and left a series of bizarre clues which challenged and taunted the brilliance of the unit led by Munch. Mia had to use all her analytical skills, insight and determination ably assisted by the likes of Gabriel Molk whilst Munch worked doggedly to unveil the killer. The storyline had so many intriguing elements to it including links to an Astrid Lindgren book ‘The Brothers Lionheart’ and to a case of arsonist Jon Ivar Salem which made Mia’s reputation. The story reached an exciting climax as yet again Mia was in danger. The book ultimately finished on an optimistic note for both of the lead characters. 
Overall, another terrific book from Samuel Bjork and an excellent translation too. Whilst this book can definitely be read as a stand-alone it helps to have read the previous two.
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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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