You need to read/listen to the first book in the series to be able to follow the main characters since, like in any series they develop in relation to one another. I loved this book. It was well read and the plot flowed very nicley.
Retired "Okie" librarian & happy to have found Audible for good stories & staying in touch with new authors & books.
Titles can tell much about a book. The Danish title is "The Pheasant Killers", the U.K. title "Disgrace" is apt, and the U.S. is "The Absent One". If you listen to this story, you may see the relevance of each version. I so enjoyed "Keeper of lost Causes", (Danish "The Woman in the Cage", U.K. title "Mercy"), that I bought the 2nd in the series as soon as it was available on Audible and saved the "listen" for a rainy day. Sorry I did!
I usually relish international crime and especially British & recently Nordic Noir. In the first novel the author avoided brutal violence. But "The Absent One" is a big disappointment with detailed & repetitive sadistic brutality to humans and animals. Senseless! Few reviews I have found, warn of the explicit ruthlessness. For me this is beyond rating XX. Be forewarned neither the author nor translator glossed over the violence.
Only Steven Pacey's narration has any redeeming feature & even it is brought low by the unpleasantness. The British & other accented Danish characters are not a distraction for me because I can accept some Danes do speek this way & if they were speaking in Danish I would not be able to understand them. If the characters spoke in American accented English, the book would seem much less international to me!
The storyline is more a police (Dept. Q) procedural with a 3 way search for individuals. We know who the perpetrators are from the beginning. The interaction between Morck, the Dept. Q staffers, other officers & Danish public is the only relief from the depravity of the story of the pheasant killers. It shows humor & binds the 2 novels together. The next installment "A Conspiracy of Faith", (Danish "Message in a Bottle", U.K. "Redemption") will have to wait while I recover & buy another Karin Fossum mystery.
I seldom detest or do not finish a book but.... This one was so sickening and depraved that I could not help myself. Thinking that he could surpass Stieg Larsson's books for violence (whose books I loved) the author traded an actual plot for repeated animal killing and torture, gang rapes and termination of a pregnancy by a brutal beating.
*Sarcastic spoiler alert* What's not to like- There once was a group of very mean boys and a mean girl. They were bad and evil. So very bad and evil that they maimed and killed over and over throughout the entire book. Then the mean girl got tired of getting raped and left. The mean and bad boys- they were really really bad and evil -looked and looked for her to no avail. I won't ruin the ending because I did not have enough Dramamine left to actually finish it. The plot of the book was - The main characters were really mean bad evil people- that's it!!. My guess is that the mean girl did get the mean boys in the end but who knows? Maybe one of the tortured animals escaped and ate them. One could only hope.
Oh- and by the number of people that rated this trash 4 and 5 stars- I'm changing my career to psychiatry because these raters were either the author's close friends or there are a lot of people out there in definite need of some time on the couch. I liked his first book in this series but will nevedr read one of his books again after painfully slogging through most of this book because I naively thought it might get better or a plot would eventually be revealed.
I love audio and ebooks but only give them a 5 if they hold my attention. An avereage story gets a 3 . Thrillers & Crime are my favorites.
This story was very engrossing. As you learned more about the "bag lady" who truly was one of the bad guys of the story you can't help but root for her to get revenge against the other baddies of the story.
The main charaters are stong as well and the story was very engrossing.
I completely enjoyed it and can't wait of another book in the series.
3.5 stars. Awh, my high from book one in this series has come down. There was no mystery in this one. You knew the culprits from the beginning so it was more a revenge story but just ok not great at all. Looking at reviews from the country of origin this book stumbles but book three picks it all back up so I will definitely try when it's released in the states. It's not bad at all just a let down after reading the near flawless first book.
I loved being introduced to the characters in "The Keeper of Lost Causes" and Erik Davies portrayal of each one was great. I did not enjoy Steven Pacey's acting nearly as well and thus did not enjoy this book as much as the first one in this series.
Thrills and suspense continue in Department Q, where closed cases come to light in a new way. Detective Carl Morck, and his office staff, a pesky Muslim, and mouthy Ruby, work in the basement of a Denmark police station. As the laughing stock of the station, they find themselves working against the system most of the time.
A case file mysteriously finds it's way on Carl's desk. Strangely, it's not a cold case, but a closed case. So why is it on his desk. As his department Q starts checking it out, it becomes obvious that there are a number of very rich and powerful people involved in numerous assault and murder cases. There is also a mysterious bag lady, Kimmie, that everything seems to revolve around. Many people seem to want to find Kimmie, but she's successfully kept under the wire for most of her life.
The thrills and suspense driving this case bring up more and more past murders, but the rich and powerful main players are cunning and sadistic in keeping their secrets. Without giving anything more away, you will grow closer and closer to Kimmie, who has a tragic and terrible story of her own---will you become more and more sympathetic to her or more and more disgusted by her?
This second department Q mystery keeps the thrills going at a frantic and psychological pace that leaves you hoping that book three will be translated into English immediately!
The characters are fabulous. You can't help but love Carl Morck and his assistant, Assad.
Not Erik Davies. I don't want to complain about Steven Pacey... he's a talented narrator with lots of range in his reading. However, after listening to "The Keeper of Lost Causes" narrated by Erik Davies, it was jolting to hear a different voice. Yes, that's how good Erik Davies' reading was.
So, please bring Erik Davies back with his excellent understanding of Adler-Olsen's humor, as well as his Danish accent and wide range of other accents.
No disrespect to Steven Pacey, but there is a certain cadence to stories, and you get used to how a person sounds. I was comfortable with Carl Morck's voice as portrayed by Davies. But, Davies really gets the book and all of its subtle cleverness.
Jussi Adler-Olsen is a great author for suspense, intrigue and unbelievable gruesomeness. I've read several of his books. This was a bit more disturbing than some. I love how intelligent Jussi's books are. Smart. Characters are both serious and funny. The narrator did a fine job switching roles.
The first of this series is a really fascinating book, somewhat surreal but also touching and human. The reader uses a scandinavian accent at times, and an american one at others; it worked. The next two have degenerated. I'm not sure if its the sneering BBC uppercrust voice that the new narrator gives the lead character, the fawning and almost racist portrayal of Assad, or the writer. But I'm out of love with these books.