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Jussi Adler-Olsen, author of The Absent One , is Denmark's premier crime writer. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in northern Europe, and he's won just about every Nordic crime-writing award, including the prestigious Glass Key Award-also won by Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, and Jo Nesbo. Now, Dutton is thrilled to introduce him to America. 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. Because she isn't dead . . . yet.
Jussi Henry Adler-Olsen was born in 1950 in Copenhagen. After graduating from the state school in Rødovre, he studied medicine, sociology and film making. In the late 1970s, he worked in various areas of publishing including cartoon-scripting, proof-reading and journalism. He went on to write two books about Groucho Marx (1984-1985). His first successful novel, Alfabethuset (The Alphabet House), followed in 1997. It tells the story of two British pilots on a secret mission who are shot down in Germany during World War II. It was followed in 2002 by Og hun takkede guderne (The Company Basher), a thriller set in Iraq in which an Indonesian specialist in destroying large corporations is persuaded to bring down an oil company. In 2006, Washington Dekretet (The Washington Decree) begins with the assassination of the Democratic front-runner on the eve of an American presidential election. His first novels in the crime-thriller series about Department Q, Kvinden i buret (The Woman in the Cage, US title -The Keeper of Lost Causes) and Fasandræberne (Disgrace) were published in 2007 and 2008. Both are set in Denmark where they increased his popularity, appearing at the top of bestseller lists. Then followed Flaskepost fra P (Message in a Bottle) in 2009, and Department Q book, Journal 64, was published in 2010. His title Absent One made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2012 and in 2014 his title The Purity of Vengeance made the list again. (Bowker Author Biography)
*Starred Review* Since a shooting left him injured and his partner paralyzed, Copenhagen detective Carl Mørck has lost his way. His difficult personality, formerly tolerated because of his skills, has made him a liability. So his boss puts him in charge of Department Q, a cold-case Siberia that consists of Mørck and a genially obtuse assistant, Assad. There Mørck becomes intrigued by the file of Merete Lynggaard, a beautiful politician lost at sea five years ago. Here's the kicker: We know that Lynggaard is still alive, imprisoned in horrific circumstances. Adler-Olsen deftly advances both stories simultaneously. As Mørck uncovers the truth about Lynggaard's fate, Lynggaard learns why she has been singled out for an elaborate revenge. The reader's desire for the narratives to meet is so painful it's palpable. Given the Stieg Larsson effect on Scandinavian literature, it's surprising that it's taken even this long for Denmark's top crime writer to make his American debut. Comparisons are inevitable and, while he may lack a Salander, Adler-Olsen's prose is superior to Larsson's, his tortures are less discomfiting, and he has a sense of humor. Without The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, this might not have seen print here, but some will prefer it to its benefactor.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publisher's Weekly Review
Adler-Olsen, Denmark's leading crime writer, makes his U.S. debut with the superlative first in his Department Q series. In 2007, Copenhagen homicide detective Carl Morck narrowly cheats death when he and two colleagues are ambushed while checking out a crime scene. Morck is shot in the head, but one of his brother officers is killed, and the other left paralyzed and suicidal. When Morck finally returns to work, friction with his colleagues leads his boss to transfer him to head a new unit, Department Q, tasked with resolving "cases deserving special scrutiny" from across the country. While the purpose of the assignment is to get the difficult detective out of the way, Morck, who's initially content just to kill time, finds himself revitalized by a once high-profile mystery-the 2002 disappearance of a prominent and attractive female politician, Merete Lynggaard. The pages fly by as the twisty puzzle unfolds. Stieg Larsson fans will be delighted. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Following the success of other Scandinavian authors, Denmark's best-selling crime writer makes his American debut with this first novel in the Glass Key Award--winning Department Q series. Department Q is a new section of the Copenhagen Police, dedicated to resolving Denmark's most notorious unsolved crimes. A political solution to a bureaucratic problem, Department Q is further hampered by its only detective, Carl Morck, who has lost his friends, his health, and his spirit in a recent shooting. His first case is to investigate the disappearance of a popular politician. After five years, everyone assumes she is dead, but Morck and his assistant, Assad, who has his own political past to protect, begin to unravel her secrets. VERDICT Far from being just another morose Nordic crime writer, Adler-Olsen creates a detective whose curiosity is as active as his soul is tortured. The villain is a monster and the crime horrendous, but readers will root for the victim and for the belabored Department Q. This absorbing psychological thriller is recommended not only for fans of Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo, and Stieg Larsson but for true crime aficionados who might like to try fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 2/14/11.]-Cathy Lantz, -Morton Coll. Lib., Cicero, IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
She was going to look after herself. For them she was the woman in the cage, but she was the one who decided how far apart the bars would be. She would think thoughts that opened out onto the world and kept madness at bay. They would never break her. That's what she decided as she lay there on the floor, her shoulder throbbing fiercely and the swelling around her eye forcing it closed. Someday she would get out of here. Excerpted from The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.