Danish Homicide Detective Carl Morck has never been on the
best of terms with his superior, even though Morck is one
of Copenhagen's best cops. Now, he's recovering from a
bullet wound gotten in his last case. But he's luckier than
his two partners; one is dead, and the other paralyzed from
the neck down. Carl is dealing with a load of guilt, since
he didn't even pull his weapon.
Expecting to be reprimanded harshly, Carl is shocked to
actually receive a promotion. He's to head up a new
division, titled Department Q, which is being funded by the
government to look into cold cases. His excitement is short-
lived, however, when he finds that he's the only detective
and his new office is in the grubby basement. His desk is
soon loaded down with stacks of folders of unsolved cases.
Insisting there is too much to do by himself, that he needs
an assistant who can take care of paperwork and cleaning,
he is sent Assad, a Syrian immigrant with some very unique
and useful talents.
Figuring he's been set up to fail, Carl isn't too
enthusiastic about getting started on the case files.
Casually leafing through them, one does catch his
attention -- that of politician Merete Lynggaard, who
vanished five years ago. Presumed dead, her disappearance
still intrigues Carl enough to start looking into aspects
of the incident and interviewing witnesses. With Assad by
his side, as well as running errands for him, Carl starts
building an unusual case. Could Merete still be alive
somewhere after all this time? And, if so, will Carl and
Assad be able to locate and rescue her?
Set in 2007, this first book of a series originally
published in Danish is an outstanding police procedural
thriller. With flashbacks to the victim's circumstances and
her thoughts, it made for an excellent reading experience.
I am hoping Penguin is planning to translate the rest of
the series, as I would love to read more about Carl and
Assad solving cold cases.
The Keeper of Lost Causes, the first installment of
Adler-Olsen's Department Q series, features the deeply
flawed chief detective Carl MØrck, who used to be a good
homicide detective - one of Copenhagen's best. Then a bullet
almost took his life. Two of his colleagues weren't so
lucky, and Carl, who didn't draw his weapon, blames himself.
So a promotion is the last thing Carl expects.
But it all becomes clear when he sees his new office in the
basement. Carl's been selected to run Department Q, a new
special investigations division that turns out to be a
department of one. With a stack of Copenhagen's coldest
cases to keep him company, Carl's been put out to pasture.
So he's as surprised as anyone when a case actually captures
his interest. A missing politician vanished without a trace
five years earlier. The world assumes she's dead. His
colleagues snicker about the time he's wasting. But Carl may
have the last laugh, and redeem himself in the process.