Saturday, January 12, 2013
My friend Kristin, who reads more mystery and suspense novels than I do, has been recommending Jussi Adler-Olsen's first book, The Keeper of Lost Causes, for quite a while. When his second novel, The Absent One, was published Kristin once again reminded me that this was a series I would enjoy. With two novels in the series already, I should get started before I fell too far behind.
The Keeper of Lost Causes reminded me a bit of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Jo Nesbo's books. Set in Denmark, it was full of unfamiliar names and places, yet I was instantly drawn in to the story. Department Q is a newly developed unit in the police force where Carl Morck has been newly installed as it's lead (and only) detective solving Copenhagen's cold cases. Carl, a homicide detective, was part of an investigation that resulted in the death of one policeman and the paralysis of another- something Carl blames himself for. He quickly becomes involved in the case of a missing woman. Although it appears that she perhaps committed suicide, Carl and his assistant, Assad, are not buying it. As the investigation continues and as the woman herself alternates narrating chapters, it becomes apparent that someone has been keeping Merete Lyngggaard hostage for the last several years, torturing her, preparing her to die.
The Absent One is the second Department Q mystery, where once again Carl Morck is solving a cold case, this one unique in that someone has already admitted to the murder of a brother and sister. With the culprit already in jail, Carl is encouraged to stop his investigation and work on other cases that haven't already been solved. However, there is something about this case that doesn't quite add up, and once again, Carl and his sidekick Assad, are hot on the trail of the people who not only killed these siblings but also attacked and killed several other people during their time at boarding school.
I love the setting of these books, despite the fact that the names and locations are unfamiliar. I love Carl's sidekick, Assad, who is entertaining and provides a little comic relief. I love that Carl's friend, and ex-fellow co-worker, is still a presence in the second installment and that there appears to be an on-going discussion and investigation into what really happened to them and their friend and co-worker who was killed in an investigation. I love Carl's new secretary who enjoys putting him in his place and is anything but cooperative. I love that Carl also appears to be developing a relationship with his counselor. And, I love that there are only four more months until the next book in this series is published.