Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark's premier crime writer. His books routinely top the best-seller lists in northern Europe, and he's won just about every Nordic crime-writing award, including the prestigious Glass Key Award - also won by Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, and Jo Nesbo. Now, we're thrilled to introduce him to America.
The Keeper of Lost Causes, the first installment of Adler- Olsen's Department Q series, features the deeply flawed chief detective Carl MØrck, who used to be a good homicide detective-one of Copenhagen's best. Then a bullet almost took his life. Two of his colleagues weren't so lucky, and Carl, who didn't draw his weapon, blames himself.
So a promotion is the last thing Carl expects. But it all becomes clear when he sees his new office in the basement. Carl's been selected to run Department Q, a new special investigations division that turns out to be a department of one. With a stack of Copenhagen's coldest cases to keep him company, Carl's been put out to pasture. So he's as surprised as anyone when a case actually captures his interest. A missing politician vanished without a trace five years earlier. The world assumes she's dead. His colleagues snicker about the time he's wasting. But Carl may have the last laugh, and redeem himself in the process. Because she isn't dead....yet.
©2011 Jussi Adler-Olsen (P)2011 Penguin
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.
Every single time the narrator, Eric Davies, speaks in a character's voice, he attempts a Danish accent. And every single one is horrible, and pulls you right out of the experience. His third person narration is fine, clear and crisp and energetic and NOT ACCENTED. But his attempts at Danish accents all have a bizarre hint of Southern America drawls. Very, very disappointing. Strongly recommend reading this one with your eyes, not your ears.
The narration was painful. I hope the other books in the series have a different narrator.
The plot was okay, with a different reader (to reduce my annoyance) I may have considered it good.
I don't blame the reader who is usually good but I was really bothered by the Danish accents which at times seemed almost Danish by way of Atlanta. If you can't do a decent accent just skip it.
Unlike a lot of people I liked the detail and the somewhat slow pace. The story was unusual and disturbing, but I couldn't stop listening. I really liked the character development and the politics of the police department, especially the development of the relationship between Assad and his boss. This is more interesting and more character driven than a lot of police stories and I look forward to more.
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.
This is clearly a copy of Stieg Larssen's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series - too man similarities to list however I felt the story was compelling enough to keep listening, especially the last 30 minutes. The narrator speaks quite slowly and I enjoyed the book at 2x the speed on my iPod. I look forward to the next chapter in this trilogy.
A better alternative to Jo Nesbo
"Lost Causes" is about a detective who is placed as head of the newly minted "Dept. Q" - if only to keep him, and his brash manners, away from everyone else. The Force won't fire him, however, because of his exemplary past...and he knows it.
So, he is instead relegated to a tiny basement office in a such a way that one cannot help feeling a humorous empathy with the aging detective. Cold-case files, and Dead-ends are his company... that, and a Middle-eastern man with fire and talent, and umm, a Transylvanian accent (sorry, couldn't help it).
Detective Carl Morck's past is anything but funny, and serves to bring gravity to the story.
The mystery to be solved leads to a harrowing conclusion, with real-life consequences. The ending is not as happy as most 'western' endings, but not as dark as some Scandinavian books. All-in-all Olsen did an admirable job of eliminating gratuitous and tasteless filth, and what was included was handled in such a way as to not glorify it needlessly.
Det. Morck was a likable protagonist. The Antagonist, when he was discovered, was despicable in equal measure. It was a good versus evil in the end, which can add so much to a mystery. It wasn't the greatest book I've ever read in this genre, but it was enjoyable, and I will likely read another Olsen novel.
Bottom Line: recommended to fans of the genre.
I've not finished this book. That said, the narration is irritating. I don't need characters to speak in accents. I really don't need, or want, Danish characters to sound like Arnold Schwarzenegger. He's from somewhere else. I loved book 3, Conspiracy of Faith. Will take more than faith to get through this one.
The translator overdoes the use of English idioms, which I found distracting. The narrator would do better to use his natural voice than attempt Danish accents.
The plot unfolds in an engaging way, shifting seamlessly between its present and five years earlier.
I looked up some information about Denmark.
The story pulled me in, but then I didn't like the main character, for whom we were supposed to have some sympathy. I felt the narrator did a fine job, but wished he hadn't done the dialogue using a Danish accent. I have no idea whether or not that was a decent Danish accent; it didn't matter to me, frankly. It knocked me completely out of the "fictive dream" every time a character spoke. Why should the narrative prose and dialogue have different accents? To remind us this is Denmark? We know that. Just read it in one voice, one way, with as little distraction as necessary. As to the writing, it was all right. I prefer a well-written literary mystery, but those are hard to find. In this case, though, the story itself was far-fetched and clunky. Not a favorite.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content