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
Author of Stitch Alchemy
I've been on a Scandi lit bender and each book gets better. I am in love with Department Q and it's two and only sleuths. It's possible that I might have a hissy-fit waiting for the next book to be turned into an audio. Keeper of Lost Causes kept me riveted until the very last five minutes. It was a roller-coaster thrill ride, with no sense that you knew the outcome. A truly unique and twisted plot by an outstanding author. The performance was pitch-perfect. The characters are etched in my mind and my heart, each as sure individuals. This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to. Highly recommended! Fast paced, fascinating and with characters as flawed and wonderful as exist in literature.
Retired book buyer/book manager for wholesale distributor in the 5 largest northeast states. Prolific reader who was inundated with ARCs.
Want a listen that is REALLY a unique thriller? Go for it. From the first few minutes to the end you will alternate between a damsel in distress (tortured for years) and the methodical policeman and his sidekick who are given this cold case (for political expediency) seeking to find her. The damsel does not know who her torturers are and the plodding policeman has little or no help from his police force. Told as well as any excellent thriller with an impeccable sense of timing by the author. Can't wait for his next book.
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 love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
I love Scandinavian mysteries and thrillers. I find that the scenery and culture along with their descriptions about their governments and daily life make for a fascinating background to a story. So when the mystery or characters are excellent, too, it is like the icing on the cake. If you enjoy books by Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbo, Camilla Lackberg and Henning Mankell, you will love Jussi Adler-Olsen's first translated book.
Adler-Olsen has written such a compelling, but unique book, it is hard to compare to others, except for the obvious similaries with background. The main character, Carl Morck, of Copenhagen's homicide squad is transferred to a new "Department Q" that is responsible for investigating cold cases. Morck is a very flawed, but brilliant, criminal investigator. His personality would have held my interest, but every character introduced by Adler-Olsen was three dimensional and not stereotypical. My absolute favorite is the mysterious Syrian immigrant, Assad, that was hired as Morck's custodian in the basement facility. Assad turns out to have an incredible talent for memory and police procedure. I love the interactions between Morck and Assad -- just wonderful writing!
You will find the mystery is so different than any other you may have encountered, that I will let it develop for you. It builds and builds and grabs you in a very strong hold.
Like most Scandinivian writing, there is some melancholy and darkness that dictates the mood of the book. Carl's interactions with his seriously injured former partner will bring tears to your eyes. How do these wonderful authors get me so involved with their characters and stories. I just can't stop with this book. I look forward to reading the new book out by Adler-Olsen. My only worry is that Audible cannot translate his books as fast as I want to listen to them.
The narrator did a fantastic job with the accents, different characters, mood and speed of the story.
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!
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.
worth the hassle
Not really on edge, but I kept thinking about the book when I wasn;t listening to it.
I actually found the accents rather fun, but it was hard to keep certain characters straight because of the similarities of tone.
no - in fact it was how the main character gradually and grudgingly came into the case that held its charm. It was interesting that I cared more about the case at hand than the detective did for most of the book.
I thought it was time to take a break from mysteries for a while - they were all starting to sound alike until I listened to this. The main character and the relationship between him and his assistant were just great. Looking forward to more from Dept Q.
trying to see the world with my ears
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!
Retired "Okie" librarian & happy to have found Audible for good stories & staying in touch with new authors & books.
Adler-Olsen's words & story paired with Davies' narration ranks in my top 5 author listens. The author must be right up with other Scandinavian mystery writers such as Mankell & Larsson who I also enjoy. Imaginative plot twists with missing person and disgruntled detective but the sauce is the glimpse into Danish life.
I am more determined to find more Scandinavian mysteries.
The author uses plot and characters to interest the reader/listener without explicit or graphic sex or violence. Although murder & violence is discribed, it is on the par with primetime TV.
I have no criticism of Davies' performance. His intonations help the listener notice the changes in characters and times. His pronunciation of Danish words & accents is believable. He portrays the disgruntled but wounded Carl Mork in a believable and almost likable way.
I hope Audible produces more of Adler-Olsen. If you liked Larsson's "Girl with Dragon Tattoo", take a chance & buy "Keeper of Lost Causes". You will enjoy it & may find yourself wanting to listen straight through.
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.
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