>> Friday, September 21, 2012
The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Genre: Crime Fiction / Mystery
Series: #2 in the Department Q series
Publisher: G.P Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: 2012 (Originally published 2008)
Source: e-galley provided by publisher. I also received a copy of the UK Edition titled Disgrace which is why I posted both covers.
The Short Version:
When a case lands on the desk at Department Q it’s supposed to be a cold case and although their latest has a man in prison who confessed to the crime it appears that he may not have acted alone.
Why I Read It:
I read the first book in this series and liked it a lot so I’d been on the lookout for the US release of the second in the series.
Department Q is the recently established cold case unit of the Copenhagen Police. Carl Morck is the grouchy yet wily head and only real detective. His one employee Assad is both useful and a thorn in his side. When Morck is informed that he has a new is assigned another assistant and learns that Rose has a history of being difficult the basement office may not be big enough to hold all the tension.
A file shows up on Carl's desk that initially doesn't seem right for Department Q. It's a 20 year old double murder that has supposedly been solved and the man who confessed to the crime is securely in jail.
It turns out that this old murder may not be so solved after all. Carl and his team find themselves investigating a group of powerful and well known businessmen who have a connection going back to their boarding school days. They and a long missing woman named Kimmie were all friends with the man who confessed to the murders but clues indicate the he might not have acted alone.
Kimmie isn't missing. She's very much a part of the story and she's messed up. She's also out for revenge.
Although I thought this was very good my reading of it was a bit scattered. I picked a time to read it when I had a lot going on and only small amounts of scattered reading time. So while it took me a while to read this book, that was my fault and not fault of the story. That said, I'm kind of glad that I consumed this book in small increments because these are some seriously twisted characters.
As with the first book in this series (Keeper of Lost Causes) the story shifts between the investigation, Morck's personal life and the goings on in the basement headquarters of Department Q. I was hoping that the second book might fill in a bit more of the history of Assad (because he's still got secrets). What I got was a few more hints of a mysterious past but no real answers. That's OK though because his malapropisms and general approach to things that bug the stew out of Morck provide an occasional light touch in an otherwise dark and disturbing story.
As the new addition to Department Q, Rose was a fun character. I'm enjoying the way that she works with, around, and despite Morck. I hope she's in this series for the long haul.
The cold case investigation that becomes the primary story in this installment of the series features some disturbingly twisted stuff that had me remembering exactly how much the movie A Clockwork Orange bothered me for days and weeks after I saw it.
This one is perhaps not as smoothly done as the first book in the series but it was still good. I will be looking forward to the next book in the series to be translated and released in the US.