When a six year old girl is found dead, hanging from a tree, the only clue the Oslo Police have to work with is an airline tag around her neck. It reads ‘I’m travelling alone’.
Holger Munch, veteran police investigator, is immediately charged with re-assembling his homicide unit. But to complete the team, he must convince his erstwhile partner, Mia Kruger – a brilliant but troubled investigator – to return from the solitary island where she has retreated with plans to take her own life.
Reviewing the evidence, Mia identifies something no one else has noticed – a thin line carved into the dead girl’s fingernail: the number 1. Instinctively, she knows that this is only the beginning. To save other children from the same fate, she must find a way to cast aside her own demons and confront the most terrifying, cold-hearted serial killer of her career…
I’m Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjørk
Publication Date: December 31, 2015 by Doubleday
This book is exactly what every crime thriller should be! A complex, multi-layered plot, well-developed characters, and a fast pace despite being over 400+ pages.
I don’t find the main character in police procedural/detective type novels very relatable in most novels. They tend to fit the damaged, middle aged, straight white male stereotype and depth to their personality is often lacking. In I‘m Travelling Alone, Mia and Holger are the main focus (yay! a complex female character in a crime thriller!) and I became absorbed in both of their individual narratives as well as their relationship dynamic. While I believe I would have enjoyed the novel with just one of these characters, it’s their combination that really adds to the novel and is a major reason why I was excited to know there was a follow up novel upon finishing this one.
Samuel Bjork is not only talented at creating multi-dimensional characters, but he can craft a plot like no one else. There is no linear chain of events in I’m Travelling Alone. While many chapters focused on the narration of either Mia or Holger, there were chapters that delved into the minds of several other characters which helped to move along the plot and give insight into the murders Mia and Holger are rushing to solve. Rather than feel like filler, these changes in narration really built on to the already twisted, complex story line and I loved how it made me work harder in trying to fill in all the missing pieces. Sometimes an author’s attempt to build a unique plot can become messy and confusing, but I never lost track of the people or the details I was supposed to know as a reader and I was genuinely impressed with how all the different narrations eventually pulled together for the finale.
This was such a fun, complicated yet still fast-paced read! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves cerebral crime fiction – the kind that makes you just as invested in solving the murders as the main characters you’re reading about.