Tuesday, October 4, 2011

{read: Danish crime thriller} The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

I am stingy with my 5-star ratings, but this one deserves it. It's the best Nordic crime thriller I've read and perhaps also the most accessible to the American audience. (OK, so I'm an ordinary reader). Carl is the head of the new Department Q in Denmark, which is assigned the job of investigating cold cases. The first of the 40 or so that they tackle is the disappearance of Marette, a politician who was assumed to have committed suicide after she disappeared from a ferry en route to Berlin five years ago. But no body was ever found, and there was no evidence that she might have been contemplating suicide. With the help of his energetic, mysterious assistant Assad, Carl reluctantly digs into the case. He's more interested in sinking into his own depressive state after a shooting at a homicide scene left one of his partners dead and another paralyzed from the neck down. Carl blames himself and just wants to sleep away the hours to retirement, but he gets drawn into the case despite himself. Assad provides some comic humor and contrast to Carl's gloomy mood and later, some unexpected investigative expertise.

If you've read the Nordic authors (Larsson, Mankel, etc.) and liked them, you'll love this. If you've been hesitant to try them, pick up this one first. You won't want to put it down.

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dutton Adult, 2011)
My rating: 5 stars

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