By Jussi Adler-Olsen; translated by Lisa Hartford
Few colleagues welcome homicide detective Carl Mørk’s return from sick leave after being injured in a shooting that left one colleague dead and a second paralyzed for life.
As one co-worker describes him, Mørk is “indolent, surly, morose, always bitching, and he treats his colleagues like crap, so the team is about to fall apart. He’s a thorn in our side . . .”
The department is scrambling to deal with several major crimes and barely surviving with Mørk in the mix.
Then a brilliant solution opens up: Parliament members have been ranting about unsolved criminal cases and build the support to fund a special department, “Q,” to exclusively handle cases “deserving special scrutiny.”
Police higher-ups realize they can promote Mørk to head Department Q, get him out of his colleagues’ hair and funnel several million kroner of funding into the Homicide Department budget.
Left to his own devices, Mørk leisurely sorts through old, unsolved cases. The case that snags his attention, in part because it has a large and well-organized case file, is the supposed drowning of Parliament member Merete Lynggaard.
She was on a ferry with her disabled younger brother Uffe for a short vacation trip to Berlin, when she vanished. People had seen the two struggling at the deck rail at one point. Uffe had wandered off the ferry when it docked in Germany and was eventually picked up. He was unable to provide additional details.
This story weaves back and forth between 2002 when Lynggaard disappeared and 2007 as Mørk investigates. With some crafty manipulation, he gets his boss to approve an assistant, a Syrian refugee named Assad.
Mørk’s opposite in temperament, Assad is able to charm resources and help from secretaries and gate-keepers who wouldn’t exchange the time of day with Mørk. While he refuses to talk about what led to his leaving Syria, he knows his way around a police report.
Readers get a split screen view of this story as chapters alternate from Lynggaard’s fate and Mørk’s and Assad’s efforts to find leads in a seemingly impossible case.
- THE ABSENT ONE (2012)
- A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH (2013)
- THE PURITY OF VENGEANCE (2013)
- THE MARCO EFFECT (2014)
- THE HANGING GIRL (2015)
- THE SCARRED WOMAN (2017)
- VICTIM 2117 (2020)