Sunday, July 24, 2016
"The Marco Effect", by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Book # 5, in the Department Q series
Detective Inspector Carl Morck, the tarnished star in the police department takes his squad of two, Assad and Rose, once more on a roller coaster ride through Copenhagen’s seedy underbelly.
It opens with a chase in Africa where a worker has just enough time to dash off a text on his cell about local corruption before his murder. The deed leads to crooked officials all the way to Copenhagen…..and the first plot to follow. The storyline diverts focus in a second plot where a fifteen year old Marco, member of a gypsy clan ruled by the tyrannical Zola roams the streets picking pockets, begging and doing petty crimes….Mr. Adler doesn’t stop here he added a third plot, a cold case in which a woman was killed in an explosion of a houseboat and these gripping tales intersect, connect and become the paramount interest to keep turning pages.
These tightly crafted and suspenseful plots can be hard to follow if you are newcomers to this series. The drawback is mainly the lack of a recap of the series recurring characters and their backstory although as a standalone “The Marco Effect” is overall quite enjoyable. All the books in the series comments on the Danish society and in this latest the author combines crime scenes with how Scandinavian society views immigrants. This is an engrossing thriller with multiple points of view, dramatic action and wonderful characters. We know who the villains are and whether or not Carl can catch them. The perfect cat and mouse game to thrill us and the perfect scenario to excite and captivate us. Mr. Adler has found his perfect formula and he is sticking to it.