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The Keeper of Lost Causes: The First Department Q Novel (A Department Q Novel) Paperback – July 31, 2012
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“The pages fly by as the twisty puzzle unfolds. Stieg Larsson fans will be delighted.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Far from being just another morose Nordic crime writer, Adler-Olsen creates a detective whose curiosity is as active as his soul is tortured.” — Library Journal (starred review)
“Adler-Olsen's prose is superior to Larsson's, his tortures are less discomfiting, and he has a sense of humor.” — Booklist (starred review)
“The new ‘it' boy of Nordic Noir.” — The Times (London)
“The Keeper of Lost Causes is dark, atmospheric, and compelling. Those who loved The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will devour this book.” — C. J. Box, New York Times bestselling author of Cold Wind
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Top Customer Reviews
Everything changes when Carl demands an assistant. He gets a lot more than he bargained for--a Muslim named Assad who is a jack-of-all trades: Assad dons rubber gloves to clean thoroughly, makes bad coffee, drives like a madman, and acts like a Syrian Sherlock Holmes. Carl is content to put his feet up, smoke cigarettes, and do little or nothing, but Assad digs into the case files. He shows an amazing aptitude for locating valuable nuggets of information, gaining cooperation from secretaries and bureaucrats, and goading Carl into acting like a detective. This unlikely duo soon become obsessed with an extremely challenging cold case--the disappearance five years earlier of Merete Lynggaard, a beautiful, talented, and dedicated up-and-coming politician. Did Merete fall overboard while she was a passenger on a ferry? Did she commit suicide? Or did someone abduct her?Read more ›
I don't know what is in the water in Scandinavia, but it sure seems to produce stellar writers. The story line may not be unique-- rough, gruff police detective who alienates everyone around him and is sent off to pursue and close 'lost cause' or cold cases that nobody expects him to actually solve. Of course it proves impossible to put Carl down and keep him down.
The main murder case in the book is absolutely chilling. It's not your standard predictable and gruesome serial killer. This is some bent and twisted stuff and it took me until about 3/4 of my way through the book until I started to put things together. The book is told from both Carl's and the victim's perspectives and the change of voice from chapter to chapter is incredibly well done.
Carl's character alone would have been enough for me to give this book 5 stars (or 6 if I could have!). But the book abounds with interesting, humorous, and 3-dimensional minor characters. From Carl's kind-of-ex-wife Vigga to his new assistant Assad, there is no shortage of fun to read interaction and dialogue. Of course the political situation in Denmark is also fresh (to me, at least) and interesting.
Like so many other American mystery readers I've been searching for other authors in the vein of Stieg Larsson. I think this book by Adler-Olsen is not only as good as the Larsson books, it may actually be better. I like Carl's personality and found his cynical (yet still oddly optimistic) style very engaging and frequently laughed out loud. I have my fingers crossed that all of Adler-Olsen's books will make it into the English language. If not, I may actually be compelled to learn Danish....
Copenhagen Police Detective Carl Morck is an emotional mess. One of his partners was killed in a recent incident in which Morck was shot, and the other now lies hospitalized, paralyzed from the neck down. Described even on a good day as "lazy, surly, morose, always bitching, and [constantly] treating his colleagues like crap," Morck, upon his reluctant return to work, has not been welcomed back by anyone. When a new department, called Department Q, is created to work on "cases deserving special scrutiny," especially unsolved cases, the Chief of Homicide appoints Morck to run the one-man department--from the musty basement of the station.
His assistant is the ingenuous and charming, Hafez el-Assad, from Syria, who surreptitiously begins to investigate on his own. As time goes on, and Assad magically pries out information from the grumpiest of the secretaries "upstairs," he often yields remarkable new insights, eventually reawakening the professional curiosity of Carl Morck. Front and center is the case of Merete Lynggaard, vice-chairperson of the Social Democratic party, who was accompanying her mute and handicapped brother on a ferry when she suddenly vanished. After nearly five years, no trace of her has ever been found, and her brother, institutionalized, remains mute.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First of the Department Q series. Loved the book and the interaction between the characters. Great plot and character descriptions. I got really involved in these characters. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Ms
Very interesting as the focus changes to keep the reader wondering what is going on in the other frame of reference.Published 8 days ago by W. K. Kennedy
I love reading fiction set in other countries because I learn about the geography and culture of that area, but given the abundance of stories that take place in... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Ddorena
The quirky humor surrounding the life circumstances of the main character are sometimes black, but always present and entertaining, as the investigations progress. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Richard L. Brown
I was looking for something to read and this was the book I randomly chose after looking up a list of the best 50 crime novels of the past 5 years. Read morePublished 1 month ago by E. Vessal