About the Book (by the publisher): In the middle of his usual hard-won morning nap in the basement of police headquarters, Carl Mørck, head of Department Q, receives a call from a colleague working on the Danish island of Bornholm. Carl is dismissive when he realizes that a new case is being foisted on him, but a few hours later, he receives some shocking news that leaves his headstrong assistant Rose more furious than usual. Carl has no choice but to lead Department Q into the tragic cold case of a vivacious seventeen-year-old girl who vanished from school, only to be found dead hanging high up in a tree. The investigation will take them from the remote island of Bornholm to a strange sun-worshipping cult, where Carl, Assad, Rose, and newcomer Gordon attempt to stop a string of new murders and a skilled manipulator who refuses to let anything – or anyone – get in the way.
My review: I am an unabashed fan of Adler-Olsen’s Department Q Series. Adler-Olsen is Denmark’s #1 Crime Writer and I’m not at all surprised that he has earned that title. The head of Department Q, Carl Mørk, is an experienced and rather world-weary investigator who has been saddled with Department Q – a department that handles seemingly unsolvable cases. His mysterious sidekick, Assad, and quirky assistant Rose round out the trio of off-beat, yet devoted investigators.
I love the way the author has developed these characters over the course of the series. They each have an ongoing story that changes as the years go by. They have their demons, making them multi-layered and fascinating. Adler-Olsen writes with a dry sense of humor that is infectious, though the subject matter of each novel is deadly serious.
In this thriller, we learn who one of the perpetrators is fairy early on, and we observe that person’s story as we also watch Carl and his team unearth clues and try to make sense of a twenty-year-old cold case. But the identity of the bad guy isn’t quite that clear-cut, and Adler-Olsen provides us with lots of twists and turns and a very harrowing ending.
The story has a cast of characters that includes a messianic cult leader and his followers, various townspeople on the island of Bornholm, and former students who attended a special Folk school twenty years earlier and who were classmates of the deceased.
The author is a skilled storyteller, gifted at developing a plot that never disappoints. The members of Department Q are fascinating and have become ‘friends’ of a sort for this reader.
I think you’ll love this book and, indeed, all the books in the series.
About the author: Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark’s #1 Crime Writer and a New York Times bestseller. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in Europe and have sold more than fifteen million copies around the world. His many prestigious Nordic crime-writing awards include the Glass Key Award, also won by Henning Mankel, Jo Nesbø, Steig Larsson, and Peter Høeg.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton for the eGalley of this book.