Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review: The Keeper of Lost Causes

The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q, #1)

The Keeper of Lost Causes
Jussi Adler-Olsen

Carl Mørck, a Danish police detective has been through a lot lately. He and his partners were involved in a shot out that left one partner dead and the other paralyzed. When Carl gets back to work he finds there has been a reorganization at the police force that has left him the head of a new department called simply Q, located in the basement. As head of this department which has one “assistant” who also serves as a cleaner, Carl is expected to look into old unsolved cases. The first one on his list is the disappearance of a well know politician Merete Lynggaard. Five years previously she disappeared from a ferry without trace. Many had come to the conclusion that she had committed suicide but Mørck decides to have one last look into the case before closing it for good.

The story that follows the investigation is dark, gripping and unnerving. It alternates chapters between Carl's world, ie. his home life and his office life and Merete Lynggard's world. I found the chapters dealing with Merete's disappearance at times difficult to read, they were so unnerving. Luckily, the chapters dealing with Carl's attempts to come to grips with this investigation and his own personal problems give the reader a reprieve from overwhelming darkness. So the back and forth of the chapters was a good structural development.

This is an absorbing and gripping novel that will be best enjoyed by those who like dark, nordic thrillers. 

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