In the heart-pounding new installment of the No.1 bestselling Department Q series, a terrifying international investigation reveals the complex backstory of one of the department's own - the enigmatic Assad.
The newspaper refers to the dead body only as Victim 2117 - the two thousand, one hundred and seventeenth refugee to die in the Mediterranean Sea.
But to three people, the victim is so much more, and the death sets off a chain of events that throws Department Q, Copenhagen's cold cases division led by Detective Carl Mørck, into a deeply dangerous - and deeply personal - case: a case that not only reveals dark secrets about the past, but has deadly implications for the future.
For a troubled Danish teen, the death of Victim 2117 becomes a symbol of everything he resents and is the perfect excuse to unleash his murderous impulses. For Ghallib, a brutal tormentor from the notorious prison Abu Ghraib, the death of Victim 2117 was the first step in a terrorist plot, years in the making. And for Department Q's Assad, Victim 2117 is a link to his buried past and to the family he assumed was long dead.
In bestseller Adler-Olsen's suspenseful eighth Department Q novel featuring Copenhagen's cold-case division (after 2017's The Scarred Woman), journalist Joan Aiguader hopes to revive his reputation with coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis by focusing on an unidentified woman whose corpse washed up on Cyprus; the victim was the 2,117th person to drown in the Mediterranean that year. Those aspirations are dashed when Joan's editor reveals that the woman was actually fatally stabbed, a missed detail that embarrassed the newspaper that ran his story. Photos of those nearby at the time the body reached land leads Department Q mainstay Assad to believe that family members he thought dead are still alive. Meanwhile, a recluse has fixated on an image of Victim 2117 and begins calling the squad to announce that, once he's killed his 2,117th person in his violent online game, he will murder for real, triggering a desperate race to avoid bloodshed. Series fans will relish Assad's gripping backstory. Adler-Olsen does a masterly job juggling plotlines.