Sunday, April 28, 2013
"The Keeper of Lost Causes", by Jussi Adler Olsen
It seems to be at top bestseller in Northern Europe your mysteries have to feature a deeply flawed detective as a protagonist and it works. Put into the mix one of the most intriguing story and you have a hit.
This first instalment is very character- driven and centers on a physically and emotionally damaged Copenhagen police homicide detective, Carl Morck who was once one of Copenhagen’s best till a bullet almost took his life and left his two colleagues not so lucky. He never forgave himself for not drawing his pistol ever since. He isn’t one to stick to the rules and soon finds himself “punished” and put to pasture in the basement to run the new formed department Q, a special unit investigating cold cases of missing persons long forgotten. With his one assistant Hafez el- Assad, political refugees from Syria, the duo makes a strangely detective pair. Their first case is a high profile one, the disappearance of Merete Lynggaard, a politician who vanished without a trace five years earlier. The preliminary investigation reveals elementary omissions from the original team and sloppy detective works and opens a ton of questions they want and need answers for…..
The aspect of their investigation is excellent, well-paced and few characters to keep track of which made it easier to place the pieces of the puzzle together as the plot moved on. Different chapters are devoted to Merete from the time before her abduction through her ordeal of being a captive. The story is highly captivating and I was hooked immediately and spellbound till the end. The characterization is dynamic and brilliant, painting the perfect odd couple (Carl and Assad) with all the funny moments that goes with it. A little humour served to create breathing room where the tension is too high, combine to it is a good portion of satire and self-irony and you have all the important components to set you characters into a most gripping of plot.