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
I like intellectual fiction with ideas, knowledge, technology, art, crafts, history, politics, & mystery, not violence or insipid romance
The best part about this book for me was the look into Danish society -- how its parliament, criminal justice, mental health service, and economic systems work, how its mass media function, how its families have problems just as ours do, and how traditional White Danes are experiencing workplace life as more People of Color with different religions move in from the southern latitudes. I loved hearing the Scandinavian accents of the narrator in all his voices. The protagonist and his sidekick were great characters. Those are the same reasons I am a fan of MHZ's International Mystery series on TV. I am hooked on this genre and can't resist reading it -- even when there are negative aspects to a particular story.
That was the case with this book. The torture performed on the victim in this book was so gruesome, detailed, and prolonged that I had to avoid listening to it before bed or I would experience really unpleasant thoughts. It was as if the author was trying to exceed the shock value of all previous works. That did not raise its value in my mind. On TV, I turn torture off. Unfortunately this book roped me into listening to it all the way through. It's depressing to know that the best minds of our society, the ones who still think and read, are being marketed with such -- I don't know what to call it -- evil. What will happen to our society in the future? Where is the redeeming value of our literature? No wonder there are people in the Third World who hold us in such disreguard! I am beginning to feel very old.
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.
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