I purchased this book because the reviews were so favorable and I liked the narrator...at first. But overall this was a disappointing listen. Frankly, I think the print review in the Guardian has fallen victim to the silly idea that if something is European it must be good, and if a mystery story is Scandinavian, then it is superlative. But the fact is, the story here is really implausible and the writing sophomoric. I started counting the number of hackneyed noir-like expressions and then lost count. It almost seems like the author had just taken an adult ed writing class. What the real kicker was was the narration, though. Davies is pretty good until he tries to put on Danish accents. All the characters sound constipated. Danish people do not speak English with a Danish accent; they speak Danish. A far better approach would have been to do what Simon Vance did with the Larsen series, and just speak English like an Englishman. It is WAY more authentic and far less annoying. One last pet peeve: his mispronunciation of the German place name "Schleswig Holstein" makes NO sense, especially when he tried so hard to pretend to be able to put on a Danish accent. No Dane would have gottten that wrong.
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
I am really enjoying this series, quirky perhaps a little far fetched but at least it hasn't veered off into relationship hell with, wives, kids, lovers being killed, kidnapped or otherwise menaced. There is of course some personal life details, thankfully this is more actual investigation less melodrama.
Yay! Is there anything better than finding a great author and series a few years late so you can read one book right after the other? It's all there - great characters, story, writing, narrator, etc. I'm about to start book 2 and a little worried that there's a different narrator. I really liked the way Erik Davies could pull out that Danish lilt and then flip back to yankee. I hear a lot of Danish accents at work and thought he did a great job. Authors and Audible - pair up a great author and narrator for an entire series and you will have us for the duration. Examples: Adrian McKinty/Gerard Doyle; Diana Gabaldon/Davina Porter.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
This is the first of Department Q series and was my favorite. The exception is the narration. Some of the accents are sort of strange. So if you listen to series in order you will notice the change in narration style to the following books in the series. Each one has a different narrator which breaks up the consistency.
However the story line is really good and keeps you guessing until the end. The book starts kind of slow so you have to make it to about hour 2. Although if you listen to this series in order it may be better, but you don't have to. Each book stands on its own and there is not much rehash of old story lines. This is a good alternative to the John Nesbo Series if you like Scandinavian crime thrillers.
It sounded like a terrible Arnold Schwartznegger (sp?) imitation. I couldn't even stand to listen.
The story is gripping and enjoyable, and not predictable nor totally unbelievable. However, the narration significantly detracted from my enjoyment of this book. The narrator portrayed each character as if they were speaking in English with a heavy Dutch or other accent. Thus, each character speaks very slowly and deliberately. This was a continual distraction.
The story is somewhat spoiled by the narrator's attempt to outfit most characters with a deep Danish accent: sometimes you can't tell one apart from another. The good news is that it sometimes sounds like a meeting between Arnold Schwartzenegger and his Saturday Night Live parody.
Otherwise a nice tempo and an entertaining thriller, with all the ingredients we have become accustomed to in Scandinavian stories: political correctness hinders investigations, exceptionally smart criminals, hypocritical politicians, a few obvious clues overlooked by our hero and a climactic ending. Not bad.
Engaging, well-written, good thriller
I read some comments criticizing the performance of the reader. I think these comments do a disservice to this excellent mystery.
Everything about this book was unique. The location, the rhythm, plot and the time sequence. While it was a hard book to get into (it took me about a quarter of it) the rewards of having finished a great crime novel was well worth it.
I cannot wait for more books from this author.
The story is really good and held my attention. Being of northern European origin I enjoyed especially the quite realistic portrait of the danish police force. However, the attempt to use danish accents was very odd to put it mildly, especially since it obviously caused Erik Davies quite an effort to do so, which left him narrating while running out of breath and getting a bit squeaky with the female voices.
On the other hand, the narration made me giggle a couple of times at places in the story that weren't funny, and that wasn't bad at all since the story has otherwise very little humor.