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Publisher's Summary

In The Keeper of Lost Causes, Jussi Adler-Olsen introduced Detective Carl Mørck, a deeply flawed, brilliant detective newly assigned to run Department Q, the home of Copenhagen’s coldest cases. The result wasn’t what Mørck - or readers - expected, but by the opening of Adler-Olsen’s shocking, fast-paced follow-up, Mørck is satisfied with the notion of picking up long-cold leads. So he’s naturally intrigued when a closed case lands on his desk: A brother and sister were brutally murdered two decades earlier, and one of the suspects - part of a group of privileged boarding-school students - confessed and was convicted.

But once Mørck reopens the files, it becomes clear that all is not what it seems. Looking into the supposedly solved case leads him to Kimmie, a woman living on the streets, stealing to survive. Kimmie has mastered evading the police, but now they aren’t the only ones looking for her. Because Kimmie has secrets that certain influential individuals would kill to keep buried... as well as one of her own that could turn everything on its head.

Every bit as pulse-pounding as the book that launched the series, The Absent One delivers further proof that Jussi Adler-Olsen is one of the world's premier thriller writers.

©2012 Jussi Adler-Olsen (P)2012 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,178
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    916
  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    59
  • 1 Stars
    34

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    669
  • 3 Stars
    227
  • 2 Stars
    65
  • 1 Stars
    39

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • 4 Stars
    787
  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
    33
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  • JAB
  • MATTHEWS, NC, US
  • 09-25-12

New favorite author

Where does The Absent One rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 25 percent

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Enjoyed the story development. Enough "I didn't see that coming" to keep me on my toes.

Have you listened to any of Steven Pacey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. At first I missed Erik Davies but then fell into step with Pacey and enjoyed his narration as well

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Pretty much

Any additional comments?

Anxious for Adler-Olsen's third book translation. This is a lot like I felt reading Steig Larsson....but Adler-Olsen is a little less graphic!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story done justice by a great reader

Would you listen to The Absent One again? Why?

Yes! Steven Pacey does a great job of bringing to life the world of Department Q.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot is smart and twisted and brought to life by quirky and complex characters.

Have you listened to any of Steven Pacey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first Steven Pacey book.

Any additional comments?

Erik Davies read the first book in this series, Keeper of Lost Causes. It was an adjustment to switch to Steven Pacey, but he did the book justice. I think you really have to read the first book to truly appreciate the second one.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 12-12-12

Into Withdrawal...Can't wait for the next Dept. Q!

Weirdly haunting. Carl Mørck is strangely intriguing. His dank character interplays with the grayness of Jussi Adler-Olsen's Denmark. He peers about the culture like a flashlight into murk collecting pieces for us to support his finely plotted tale. This is the second chapter in Merck's tale and ideally you should start with "The Keeper Of Lost Causes" to fill in the background - and enjoy an entirely different storyline. Warning... Merck's not for the squeamish... this is adult stuff, but stuffed into a satisfying treat.

Beginning to shudder now... waiting for the next Dept. Q investigation. Soon?

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Who knew?

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.

30 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Please, Audible, get the next in the series.

If you could sum up The Absent One in three words, what would they be?

Not another Swede

Any additional comments?

Not that I have anything against Swedist detectives. In fact, I have listened to most of them and like the genre, but try the one from Denmark! Like all Scandinavian detectives, Adler-Olsen's hero is a little broody, but the cast around Detective Carl Morck is a kick. His villians are the worst and they are always plural. You do just have one bad guy to hunt down but rather a cast of evil, very twisted characters. <br/><br/>I wish the narrators had been the same for both books and I might favor Erik Davies who did The Keeper of Lost Causes over Steven Pacey who performed this one, but both do a more than credible job. <br/><br/>There are two more in the series that have been published but am not certain they have been translated. I fervently hope that Audible will make then available when they are.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Kate
  • Saco, ME, United States
  • 03-10-13

Incredible Charaters

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Not as good as the first.

Slightly depressing story. Ok characters. Solid writing.

The narrator was good, except perhaps some of the female characters. However, an English narrator with occasional Scotch accents felt all wrong for this Scandinavian thriller.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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I'm totally hooked on Departmenr Q.

I just gave a brief review of The Purity of Vengeance. In it I referred to a special relationship between the head of the dept, Carl Mork and his sidekick, assistant detective Assad. Mork is seasoned, smart, grouchy, demanding. On the surface Assad acts like and is treated like an intern. He's a wanna be, a guy who makes up titles for himself. He doesn't have the language skills needed and he doesn't understand local sayings. (Such as "go over it with a fine tooth comb.) In short he exasperates his boss while we get to sit back and enjoy the ride.

This relationship alone makes this book a 4 star listen. So much so, that I really can't remember the ending. To be fair though, I listened to this months ago.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Deep nastiness

Would you listen to The Absent One again? Why?

I'm not sure I will listen to this book again, since the characters are so evil and the life of Carl Morck is such a downer I can't really say that reading it is a pleasurable experience. In fact, after the first book, I didn't think I wanted to tough out another one, but now I can't wait for the next book to come out. It looks like, based on the pace of producing the first two, maybe it will be another year? I've marked my calendar, Audible.

What other book might you compare The Absent One to and why?

I think Jussi Adler-Olsen has a unique style, so the only comparable book would be Keeper of Lost Causes. His depiction of villains is uncompromising; nothing comic or in any way redeeming or even distracting. Of course, in this book one of the villains saves the day in the end, but that was really kind of an accident. He doesn't let anyone off the hook.

What about Steven Pacey’s performance did you like?

Steven Pacey did well enough that I didn't really have to pay any attention to him. I'd say he did a solid professional job

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Everything that happened in that menagerie made me want to throw up. I would prefer that authors confine themselves to human victims, since humans at least have some hope of control, and have laws to protect them as well. I would prefer that animals and small children be off limits, but it's not like your overgrown schoolyard bully is going to pick on anyone that can defend him/her/itself, so I guess we just have to accept the realism of the plot.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH CHOICE OF NARRATOR

If you could sum up The Absent One in three words, what would they be?

Would've been better

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Absent One?

My disappointment upon hearing the narrator. I couldn't get past it although I tried. I kept thinking of a skinny little Englishman not a big brooding dane

How could the performance have been better?

The first book narration set the mood for me. The narrators accent seemed more fitting for the subject matter this narrators Kings English accent is would be better suited for a different series.

Any additional comments?

I thought the book was great, I liked the writers style and the characters. I will read/listen to more of this authors books as I notice there is a different narrator for the rest.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful