The Keeper of Lost Causes

The Keeper of Lost Causes

by Jussi Adler Olsen

Arlene Almas (11/18/12): At first I thought this story moved a little too slowly for my taste, but I hung with it as the momentum built it into a very exciting crime thriller. The writing (in translation, of course) is fluent and contemporary, and often caustically funny. Copenhagen's central police department has created a new division called Department Q to re-investigate unsolved cold cases, and disgraced detective Carl Morck has been appointed director. What this actually means is that Carl has been dispatched to a basement office with a stack of case files to get him out of his colleagues' hair. Although he's perfectly willing to ride out the clock until retirement, Carl surprises himself by becoming involved in one of the cases: a female member of Denmark's parliament disappeared off a ship in the Baltic five years previously, and her body was never found. After investigation, the cause of death was determined to be suicide by drowning. But as Carl interviews people central, and even peripheral, to the case, he becomes convinced that something more sinister occurred. Assisted by Assad, assigned as maintenance man for Department Q but who gradually grows into an invaluable partner, Carl perseveres until the intense, heart-pounding ending reveals the truth.
Rating: *****

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