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'Scandinavian crime novels don't get much darker than Jussi Adler-Olsen's Department Q
police procedurals' New York Times Book Review
In the middle of a 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 at first, but then he receives some shocking news. Carl then 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 hidden cult, where Carl and his assistants must stop a string of new murders by a skilled manipulator who refuses to let anything-or anyone-get in the way.
Praise for Jussi Adler-Olsen's Department Q series:
'Everything you could possibly want from a thriller and much, much more' Kirkus
'Adler-Olsen is the new "it" boy of Nordic Noir' The Times
'Engrossing' Sunday Express
'Gripping storytelling' Guardian
'As impressive as it is unnerving' Independent
The suicide of Christian Habersaat, a recently retired police sergeant from Bornholm, Denmark, kicks off Jussi Adler-Olson's underwhelming sixth Department Q novel (after 2014's The Marco Effect). Det. Insp. Carl M rcks looks into an unsolved case from 17 years earlier that consumed Habersaat's life the hit-and-run death of high school student Alberte Goldschmid. The story becomes more complicated when Habersaat's grown son, Bjarke, kills himself and young women start disappearing from the Nature Absorption Academy, a sun cult. The female characters are gratingly one-note: nearly all their narratives revolve around stealing men or getting revenge on the women who stole their men. Adler-Olsen is evidently relying on readers' knowledge of previous books to understand his characters' motivations, but without such a background, the detectives come off as flat and underdeveloped. It is a truism that good writing follows the rule of "show, don't tell"; unfortunately, when it comes to its characters, this crime thriller neither shows nor tells.