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'll start with the negative, which is pretty simple and straightforward. The crime and the motive are far fetched (which actually do not actually reveal themselves until late in the book).
If you can get past that and accept the premise of the crime, then the book is put together quite nicely. The characters are interesting, and overall the book is entertaining.
The narrator did a fine job. If you don't mind hard to follow names, cities and the accents, you'll enjoy the listen!
I am not sure I'll seek out another Adler-Olsen book. I gave this one a try as a change of pace. I've been trying Norway, Sweden and Denmark based authors lately as I really liked the Stieg Larrson books, and have enjoyed the diversion - This one is one of the better listens of the bunch so far. Overall recommended!
This book may have wonderful characters and a terrific moody, dark plot but the narration ruined it for me. The reader sounded like Arnold Schwarzenegger with a cold. The characters were so hard to follow--they all sounded exactly the same and monotone. This is a long complex book and if you can't follow or understand the narrator it's a waste and you will be lost. Listen to the sample carefully to be sure you will be ok with it. I was not.
It sounded like a terrible Arnold Schwartznegger (sp?) imitation. I couldn't even stand to listen.
This is a great story and I look forward to more translations of the author's work. That said, the Danish accent the narrator uses is so annoying and unnecessary that it almost ruined the book. I will definitely read more of Adler-Olsen's books, but it will be in print only if they continue with this narration in the audio format.
Carl Mørck doesn't work well with everyone. The two men he did work well with have met disastrous ends in a homicide call that went horribly wrong and Carl is the only survivor. Oddly Carl and his recently paraplegic partner have no interest in pursuing the people responsible for their wounds and the third partners death.
Since Carl is unpopular in his precinct, a political solution is found where the police unit will get a lot of money and be able to stuff Carl in an office in the basement. They create a Department Q to handle cold cases and only give over a pittance of the money allotted to them by the politicians for this. So Carl gets a janitor/jack of all trades helper named Assad. Assad proves to be very capable and gets Carl out of his funk and into the case of a missing/presumed dead politician named Merete Lynggaard
I loved the accents that Erik Davies employed for Carl and his Syrian helper, Assad. Also, Jussi Adler-Olsen did not make Carl the super sleuth who solved everything. Assad contributes great detective skills to compliment Carl's investigator insights and together they work wonders on this very old case.
I have been on a run of quality science fiction purchases and tried to counter balance them with a good detective novel. Reykjavik Nights, was good, but it did not motivate me to write a review. But, this quality mystery and great character development supplied by the author and this talented narrator who breathed life into the final production is all you can ask for in an audible book. I have to share!
The book blew me away and I will hot on the trail of the next listen in this series.
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 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.
Narrative makes the world go round.
I try to not repeat the content of other reviews; also I don???t usually review books that I haven???t completely finished. HOWEVER! The narration in this is so annoying, I feel I need to continue the refrain warning listeners away.
I've listened to this narrator in other books, mostly non fiction, and he was quite competent; so whoever was responsible for the direction of the audiobook also made questionable calls about how the characters were to be delivered in those atrocious and distracting accents.
I think? this is a good mystery -- The three stars for the story is arbritary: I can't concentrate on the story enough to decide if I would download a version by another narrator or try a print copy. Usually I can grow accustomed to odd narration styles and eventually get into a novel -- but so far am unable to with this one---not worth the annoyance!
This may have been a great mystery, but I honestly wouldn't know because the narrator's attempt at a Danish accent was so bad that I could hardly concentrate. But either way, I could zone out for minutes at a time and was still able to keep up with this slow-paced, predictable book. I will avoid this author and ESPECIALLY this narrator from now on.
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