When a mummified foot, a pile of bones and a split skull are discovered in a Danish bog, is it a case for the police or archaeologists? It becomes a case for Chief Inspector Tobias Lange when it is confirmed the remains are those of a young male, early twenties, beaten to death with a blunt instrument about two decades earlier. Tobias finds himself on the trail of eco-warriors, Sami protesters safeguarding reindeer rights in Lapland and a disaffected young woman estranged from her family. Then another incomplete set of human bones turns up, and then another. The trail takes a turn into a murky world of sex trafficking and illegal immigrants. Tobias starts to fear for his eco-warrior daughter Agnes....
I had this book waiting to be read in my kindle for ages and so first off I would like to sincerely apologise with the author and the publisher for taking so much to get to it. Set mostly in Denmark, I honestly thought that this book was written by a Nordic author - I had never heard of R.I. Olufsen - but then I realised that the name is in reality a pseudonym adopted by a novelist from Northern Ireland - Roisin McAuley.
A partly mummified skeleton, at first suspected to go back to the Iron Ages, is discovered in a Danish bog (another Tollund Man?). Further analysis and the discovery of a watch and other items next to the remains, confirm that this isn't an archaeological discovery, but the body of an unknown young man who died in the 90s - he was murdered. Chief Inspector Tobias Lange and his team from the Criminal Investigations Unit in Aarhus are handed the case. Their aim is to try and identify the victim... and his killer.
"Who are you Bogman?" "Who killed you?" "Why?"
At the same time someone is viciously raping and beating prostitutes black and blue using a very distinctive MO. Tobias and his team soon realise that the trail of battered women left in the wake of this sadistic individual is much more widespread than they thought. Who is doing this? Will they be able to catch this monster before another victim is claimed?
Well I was pleasantly surprised by this book as I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The plot's pace is never sluggish and keeps the reader focused on the case. Tobias is a great character, one that I really would like to meet again in other books. Suffering from an ordering and arranging compulsion, he is a determined, bold police officer who leaves no stone unturned to get the answers he seeks. He is a divorcee who apart from gruesome cases has to deal with his tenacious green activist daughter Agnes who goes about protesting to save the planet. Katrine and Eddy are also capable police officers and interesting characters whom I really liked, however I wished to know a bit more about them and their backgrounds.
Though never confusing, at times I thought there were a lot of unrelated things going on simultaneously in the plot, but when all loose ends started to be tied together and the whole puzzle started to form a clear picture, I thought the plot was actually a very ingenious one.
With a great team of police and forensic officers and an intriguing plot that picks up pace quickly (with golf balls, bones and environmental protests playing an integral part) I really enjoyed reading this book. I hope the author will write more books featuring Tobias and his team as this could very well be developed into another exciting crime series loved by many readers. Would I recommend this book? Well, yes I would!
With thanks to Crux Publishing for sending me a review copy of this book.