• The Marco Effect

  • Department Q, Book 5
  • By: Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 15 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2,397 ratings)

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The Marco Effect  By  cover art

The Marco Effect

By: Jussi Adler-Olsen
Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
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Publisher's summary

All fifteen-year-old Marco Jameson wants is to become a Danish citizen and go to school like a normal teenager. But his uncle Zola rules his former gypsy clan with an iron fist. Revered as a god and feared as a devil, Zola forces the children of the clan to beg and steal for his personal gain. When Marco discovers a dead body - proving the true extent of Zola's criminal activities - he goes on the run. But his family members aren't the only ones who'll go to any lengths to keep Marco silent - forever.

Meanwhile, the last thing Detective Carl Mørck needs is for his assistants, Assad and Rose, to pick up a missing persons case on a whim: Carl's nemesis is his new boss, and he's saddled Department Q with an unwelcome addition. But when they learn that a mysterious teen named Marco may have as much insight into the case as he has fear of the police, Carl is determined to solve the mystery and save the boy. Carl's actions propel the trio into a case that extends from Denmark to Africa, from embezzlers to child soldiers, from seemingly petty crime rings to the very darkest of cover-ups.

Please note: This book has also been published under the alternate title Buried.

©2014 Jussi Adler-Olsen (P)2014 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Marco Effect

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

Funny, Sharp Witted, Dept Q Worth The Wait!

In some series the characters and settings make the mystery secondary. Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness mysteries and Cotterhill's Dr. Siri are two excellent examples. But with his Department Q series, Alder-Olsen delivers his unforgettable characters in equally riveting thrillers.

Marco is a 15 year old boy trapped within his own family of European gypsies. He hates his life and when he rebels against his father and uncle, his fate seems sealed. Learning he will be permanently maimed to set an example for the others in the family, he escapes to seek a new life. During his escape he unwittingly uncovers a murder which if discovered, will expose extremely rich and powerful people.

Carl, Assad and Rose are back in full force with the same comic genius, synergy and sterling detective work that marks each of the books in the series. Only there's an additional member of the team who just may prove to the straw the breaks the camel's back for lead detective Carl Mork.

We also learn a bit more about the mysterious Assad's background and why he's in Dept Q in the first place. Of course, Rose rounds out the trio with her high heels, black eyes and bad attitude.

Graeme Malcom is the best possible choice as narrator. His work here and throughout the series is outstanding.

I give this 5 stars because of its humor, great characters, stellar narration and unique story line.

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35 people found this helpful

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

Chasing Marco - could have been a better title

I really like this series. Great character development, witty and well written.

This book starts out with a gripping storyline that made me want to listen straight through. However, about 3/4 into it, the chase scenes started. Everybody wanted to get Marco for a potential reward, and he seemingly had no place to hide. There were different groups hunting him around every corner of the city, and his escapes were nothing less than remarkable. These chase and escape episodes I thought were really overdone and I got tired of them to the point of using the fast-forward button through some.

The underlying story is very intriguing and I enjoyed the book overall. Of course the narration is first rate--Graeme Malcolm is perfect for this series.



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21 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

So Well Written, So Well Narrated

I'm an unabashed fan of all the Department Q series of books and this one is another winner. The story is perfectly told from several perspectives and Graeme's narration is wonderful.

Rose and Assad have to be the most hilarious assistants in all of the thrillers I've read/listened to in a long time.

You can pick up and listen to really any of these books in any order and fully enjoy them. If you love Jo Nesbo, you'll also love this series.

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18 people found this helpful

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

Great Entertainment!

Simply put I love the reader and I love the characters. They make me laugh yet I still enjoy the mystery. Marco's storyline could have used a little tightening up as it dragged on too long and was a bit over the top but as soon as Rose and Assad are back in the picture - well they are just great fun! This is a series which should DEFINITELY be read in the order they were written to appreciate the dialogue and personalities of the main characters.

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10 people found this helpful

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

You like Adler-Olsen? Get This.

Start this Department Q series from the beginning with "The Keeper of Lost Causes" so that you can track the path of the world's most burnt-out Detective, Carl Mørck along with his assistants, Assad and Rose.

Mørck, who is bright and experienced is almost clinically depressed from the weight the world's plopped onto his back. He's now lazy, petulant, and relatively insensitive to the needs of others. It's not that he's a villain, just a world weary cynic. And yet... all of this results in a Hamlet like magnetism to these people in a place where the sun goes away for a lot of the year.

This time though, Adler-Olsen creates a parallel plot to Mørck's challenges in the guise of young Marco who is a gypsy-like child with the sort of dreams that Carl no longer fantasizes over. And Adler-Olsen assisted solidly by Graeme Malcom's acting kept me listening and imagining each next step in this epic.

Start the series at the beginning and if you still enjoy the woes of Mørck - then buy this book.

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6 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

One more great title in series

I have listened to all these books in this series. This is as good or perhaps better than the earlier books. Set in Copenhagen Denmark, it is a detective thriller featuring Department Q. Three misfits lead by Inspector Carl Mork occupy the basement of police headquarters and are in charge of cold cases. Besides Carl are Assad from Syria and Rose. Assad is a rather mysterious character with a less than adequate grasp of the native language. He is always mixing up his metaphors and creating analogies revolving around camels. Rose dresses and acts like a punk rocker. Both are good detectives in their own right. The series reminds a little of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the really good series by Jon Nesbo.

This plot is more complex than earlier books in the series and involves corrupt bankers, gypsies, hired African assassins, corrupt civil servants and of course Department Q. Marco is one of the gypsies who leaves the clan and must make his way on the streets of Copenhagen while being chased by just about everyone. At 15 he uses the skills he learned as a pickpocket and thief to allude his pursuers.

Good 13 hours of listening enjoyment.

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6 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

I love Department Q!

These are such wonderfully complex stories about Department Q by Jussi Adler-Olsen. This is the 5th one and now that's I've finished it I am sure ready for #6.

Jussi Adler-Olsen always satisfies and Graeme Malcolm is a wonderful narrator. Does a variety of voices so well. Highly recommend, but you need to start with the first one, The Keeper of Lost Causes. I wish there were more writers like Jussi Adler-Olsen. You know the ones? When you see "new book by..." and your heart races because you KNOW it is going to be a great read.

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5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Perhaps jumped the shark here

I have been following Dept Q in all the novels and especially like the fact that these are not one dimensional characters. However in The Marco Effect we are asked to believe that a 15 year old boy could be captured, escape, almost captured, escape, surrounded, escape. After too many of these close calls you want the story to switch away from Marco. The opening was intriguing and there are some surprises. The narrator is wonderful and the established characters keep the story going somewhat. But I do think the reparteeis getting tired and perhaps they need a good and well deserved rest before the next adventure

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4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just a Bit Over the Top

I still love Dept. Q and its band of misfits, but I found this story a bit much.

The lead characters grow and become more finely drawn - wonderful. The main "new" character is fantastic and memorable. But ... the twists and turns of the plot are so outrageous that - if this were a movie - I would laugh. ("Oh come on! Really?" sort of reaction.) Everything that could happen to Marco does. I was waiting for a swarm of grasshoppers to attack him. Or the plague.

Meanwhile, yes, I still love Carl and Assad and Rose, and the narrator is perfect, so yes I recommend. And I will keep reading the series.

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

wordy and over-long -- bad translation?

This book seemed rather wordy and overly long, but since I haven't read the original Danish, I don't know if that's the result of this translation, or of the original writing. The book starts out really well, but things seem to repeat and the timing of the chase scenes made me feel like I was watching at TV movie ("oh, it's 80% finished, time to put in the chase scene") -- more like they were supposed to be put there, rather than actually making much sense from the way the story had been revealed.

I was enjoying the African angle and the general story, then it devolved into a TV cop movie-of-the-week. Disappointing. I"m glad I bought it on a BOGO sale. I suppose if you're already a Dept. Q fan it's probably good, but this is the first book I've "read" by Adlere-Olsen.

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3 people found this helpful