The idea for the Munch and Kruger series suddenly popped into my head late one night. I got so scared that I actually had to get up and turn on the lights. I’d always wanted to create something a bit different to other thrillers, retaining the pace but combining it with nuanced and interesting characters and their life stories. I certainly feel that the characters are the main draw of my books, combined with the influence of the dark, cold Norwegian climate that does wonders for their temperament, providing a fitting landscape to their loneliness.
My female character, Mia Kruger, has isolated herself on a small island out in a Norwegian fjord when we first meet her and is dead set on taking her own life. This spiral into darkness stemmed from the loss of her twin sister, Sigrid, who died of a heroine overdose. Ever since then Krüger’s bright blue eyes and fierce spirit has dwindled, and she prefers to seek comfort at the end of a bottle rather than in the company of the few friends she has. Krüger is tough and intelligent; a strong character at heart but the trauma she has faced in life has made her weak. I really enjoyed pulling out these melancholic strands in her character, balancing them out with Munch’s more gentle nature.
Private Investigator Holger Munch himself is the antithesis to Mia. Kind, portly and never one to touch alcohol; he loves maths, classical music, crossword puzzles and chess. Yet despite the boring nature of his hobbies, he makes an extremely competent investigator. Munch prefers to pick his colleagues based on intuition rather than based on their resumes, so it was only right that Mia would be the ideal protégé.
But Munch has his own demons to battle; he aged enormously when his ex-wife, Marianne, left him for a new boyfriend, turning his daughter against him in the process. Loss – albeit on difference scales – is something both Munch and Krüger have in common, a likeness amidst their vast differences. I enjoyed writing two such unlikely partners in crime, thinking about what they will do next and how they will react to each other. I love the way that Munch and Krüger challenge each other, whilst also finding common ground in the idea that rules are made to be broken, and we all have a past.
I have yet to tire of spending time with these two characters and won’t stop writing until the day that this happens.
How many of Samuel Bjork’s Munch and Kruger books have you read? Let us know in the comments below!