• The Keeper of Lost Causes

  • Department Q, Book 1
  • By: Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Narrated by: Erik Davies
  • Length: 15 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (5,455 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Get to know the detective in charge of Copenhagen's coldest cases in the first electrifying Department Q mystery from New York Times best-selling author Jussi Adler-Olsen.

Carl Mørck used to be one of Denmark’s best homicide detectives. Then a hail of bullets destroyed the lives of two fellow cops, and Carl - who didn’t draw his weapon - blames himself. So a promotion is the last thing he expects. But Department Q is a department of one, and Carl’s got only a stack of cold cases for company. His colleagues snicker, but Carl may have the last laugh, because one file keeps nagging at him: A liberal politician vanished five years earlier and is presumed dead. But she isn’t dead...yet.

Darkly humorous, propulsive, and atmospheric, The Keeper of Lost Causes introduces American listeners to the mega-bestselling series fast becoming an international sensation.

©2011 Jussi Adler-Olsen (P)2011 Penguin

What listeners say about The Keeper of Lost Causes

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Dark, Cold, and Danish

Nice sense of Danish culture surrounds a dark procedural noir detective tale. After listening to Stieg Larsson, thought I'd try Jussi Adler-Olsen. And now I'm thinking that the paucity of daylight and heat up there near the arctic's resulted in writers who lurk in murky rooms. If I outline the plot and story arc... this will sound like... like... depressing. BUT... BUT... it's not. Look, if your seeking a hair-brained romp, go to the Disney section. But if you like puzzles and mazes bathed in challenging grimness.. Hey, this is an interesting trip.

And Erik Davies? I don't agree with some who found him weak. On the contrary, he acts the parts well with clear definition and emotion... at least the emotion you'd expect in those grim, cold, dark places... Brrrrrrrr....

96 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic New Scandinavian Series!!

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.

93 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Maximum Thrill and Fabulous Characters

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.

91 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The narration almost ruins the experience...

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.

85 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

over-rated

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.

66 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Narration Issues

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.

56 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Let's Start at the Very Beginning...

This is book one of the Department Q series.

Dept Q is an underfunded department specializing in cold cases. The government has given it top priority, but the police chief gives it litte thought. The department is manned by 3 misfits.

Carl Mork is the lead man, by far the best detective on the entire force, but he is also insubordinate, impossible to work with and impulsive. No one likes him or wants to work with him. So his chief puts him the newly formed Department Q.

Assad is a real mystery figure. He's Syrian, speaks poor English, (this was translated from Norwegian.), and no one seems to know how he came to be employed at all. They don't have a personnel file on him, no one has ever seen the family he speaks of, and no one seems to know where he lives.

Rose is another strange character. She works when she feels like it, is at least Morks equal with insubordination, she wears her emotions on her sleeve, and is just maybe a bit mentally ill.

Carl Mork , Rose and Assad have a charisma and synergy that makes you want see them go at it for years to come. They are smart, resourceful, mysterious, ruthless and hilarious.
I love the entire series.

53 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

ditto

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!

51 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Confusing Accent, Classic Scandinavian thriller

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.

42 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Skandanavia does it again-pure excellence

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.

35 people found this helpful