Not since Denise Mina‘s “Garnethill” trilogy have I enjoyed crime fiction quite so much!
Scandinavian novelists have rarely disappointed me, and Jussi Adler-Olsen is one of the best. The winner of a myriad of literary awards, he has been touted as Denmark’s premier crime writer.
His superb Department Q novels feature Detective Carl Mørck of the Copenhagen police. A protagonist who is deeply flawed (they are always the most interesting ones) by his having survived a shoot-out which left one of his fellow officers dead and another paralyzed. Since he failed to draw his weapon he is riddled with ‘survivor’s guilt.’ He has an ex-wife who doesn’t live with him and a teenage step-son who does.
Carl has been ‘promoted’ and selected to run Department Q, a new special investigations division that turns out to be a department of one. Once a well respected member of his department he has now been relegated to the basement where he is given copies files of cold-cases to pursue. Thus he is the “Keeper of lost causes“.
What makes Carl Mørck so fascinating is his keen intellect and his dry wit. The cases he works on are unique and hold the reader spellbound until their conclusion. His assistants/colleagues Assad and Rose move the plots along with interest and humour. Both have hidden depths that Carl avails himself of, making sure that all credit is his. This makes him sound unlikeable, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The Dept. Q novels pictured above feature their North American titles. The have also been published in the English language under other titles.
“The Keeper of Lost Causes” aka “Mercy”
“The Absent One” aka “Disgrace” aka “The Pheasant Killers”
“A conspiracy of faith” aka “Redemption”
“The purity of vengeance” aka “Contempt” (due to be released in Canada on Dec. 31, 2013)