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Gripping story-telling (Guardian)
This pitch-black novel will have readers hungry for more (Independent) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
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This book begins with a case file that appears inexplicably on Carl's desk. Strangely, it's a closed case, with a conviction already in place. Two siblings were murdered, and a student at a prestigious boarding school confessed. So why should Carl bother with it? But he gets intrigued and discovers that the supposed killer was part of a rich kids' gang. The more he digs, the more he suspects the whole gang. But by now they've made their own millions and are roaming the upper echelons of Danish society.
No one wants Carl Mørck going after these financial demigods.
We know who the villains are, so the plot evolves around Carl's attempts to get evidence against them. In the background is a dangerous woman who used to be part of the gang and is now out to get them. Kimmie is a fascinating creature, part villainess, part victim; a rich girl turned bag lady.
I found the criminals and their doings a bit unbelievable, but I enjoyed the book anyway. I loved Carl's oddball team (a mysterious Muslim and a fierce feminist). And I was amused by Carl's lustful attraction to the woman shrink who's assigned to fix his personality disorders.
I definitely recommend Jussi Adler-Olsen's Department Q mysteries, especially to fans of Scandinavian Noir.
The case concerns a group of friends whose relationship goes back to prep school. Most have become immensely successful in the two decades since then. One is the owner of sixteen hospitals, one is an internationally recognized designer, one is a stock market analyst, and one, now deceased, has been a shipping magnate. Yet another, now in jail for confessing to a serious crime, has amassed a stock portfolio of incredible value. Rumors have swirled about this group from the time they were in school, since beatings, mayhem, and disappearances seemed to follow in their wake, but no one has ever been able to pin anything specific on any of them, and most have now become leaders of the community. The only female member of this group disappeared long ago.
That female, known as Kimmie, is now a street person, a violent woman with serious mental illness who spends her life trying to avoid people. Still angry about her treatment by members of the group more than twenty years ago, Kimmie, spurred on by her demons, has started to attack some of them, and when she is eventually spotted in Copenhagen, the group hires a private detective to find and eliminate the threat she represents to them all. Realizing that she is being followed, she decides she will take down those involved, and she amasses an arsenal which includes grenades, automatic weapons, and silencers. With no conscience, she is clearly the "absent one," but the author makes her a remarkably sympathetic character despite her sadistic behavior, and few readers will fail to respond to her pathetic neediness.
With half a dozen members of the gang, and Morck, Assad, Rose, and numerous police all involved in the story, what may seem like a fairly simple, straightforward plot becomes, instead, an intricate study of characters and interactions. The life of each member of the gang is described in detail from school to adulthood, adding to the tension and preventing them from becoming stereotypes. As the author slowly reveals the many and varied crimes they have all committed, including those against Kimmie, the novel becomes filled with dark psychological twists and turns. The novel is enhanced by the fact that Morck, Assad, and Rose are also unique characters who do not respond in traditional ways, and moments of humor accompany much of the horror. (Note: This novel was published in the UK as Disgrace.)
The current case fell into their hands, so to speak. Someone left the file and then one by one odelicious clues fall into their hands. A gruesome killing of a sister and brother turns into many killings, one more gruesome than the last. This is not a whodunit, we already know. The story is told crime by crime via one of the perpetrators, Kimmie. A group of four wealthy public school friends started drugging and beating. This all leads to savagery. Each member of the group becomes more wealthy, and lives exemplerary lives, at least on the surface. Carl and his team ferret out each clue and tell the rest of the story.
This novel was too pathological and gory for my tastes. Much of it, 'way out there'. The characters are nasty, without any remorse. I olike Carl and his team's efforts, but the mystery needs to be a little less complex in its savegery. It didn't live up to the first book in the series. Here's hoping for a real thriller in number three.
Recommended. prisrob 08-25-12
The Keeper of Lost Causes: A Department Q Novel