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The Keeper of Lost Causes: The First Department Q Novel Paperback – Jul 31 2012

24 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (July 31 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452297907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452297906
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Plan on putting everything else in your life on hold if you pick up this book.” — The Oregonian

“The pages fly by as the twisty puzzle unfolds. Stieg Larsson fans will be delighted.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Far from being just another morose Nordic crime writer, Adler-Olsen creates a detective whose curiosity is as active as his soul is tortured.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“Adler-Olsen's prose is superior to Larsson's, his tortures are less discomfiting, and he has a sense of humor.” — Booklist (starred review)

“The new ‘it' boy of Nordic Noir.” — The Times (London)

The Keeper of Lost Causes is dark, atmospheric, and compelling. Those who loved The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will devour this book.” — C. J. Box, New York Times bestselling author of Cold Wind

About the Author

Jussi Adler-Olsen lives in Denmark.

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Most helpful customer reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Sept. 12 2011
Format: Hardcover
Yes, there is a plethora (I love that word) of Nordic and Scandinavian authors making their names known in North America lately, but here's one you want to take note of and write down - Jussi Adler-Olsen. Adler-Olsen is the author of the "Department Q" series featuring Carl Morck. The Keeper of Lost Causes is the first in the series and newly released in North America.

"Twenty-five years on the police force and ten in the homicide division has hardened him. That's how things had gone until the day when a murder case pierced his armour." Both figuratively and literally.

Carl has just returned to the force since a situation gone terribly wrong leaves his partner paralyzed and Carl seriously wounded. His usual inability to get along with others gets even worse as he attempts to come to terms with his guilt. His superior, under pressure to deal with cold cases, see a win-win situation. Assign Carl to head up what will be the new 'Department Q'. And the department consists of only Carl until he demands an administrative assistant. Assad is assigned to work in the basement with Carl. Assad is a bit of a mystery as we come to discover.

The interplay between these two characters is fantastic. Carl's skills as a detective really are unparalleled in the department. Assad's myriad set of skills are revealed as the two work together reopening the case of a missing politician, gone for five years and presumed drowned.

The politician's fate is slowly revealed in flashback chapters as Carl and Assad uncover more and more that indicates the case was never properly investigated the first time.

"She was going to look after herself. For them she was the woman in the cage, but she was the one who decide how far apart the bars would be.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 3 2011
Format: Hardcover
Reason for Reading: The plot just screamed "read me!" and I'm a fan of Scandi Crime.

Outstanding! The first chapter had me hooked on the case and the second chapter had me fascinated with the main character, Copenhagen detective Carl Morck. Usually I'm into the serial killer type of crimes but this case involves a kidnapping/missing persons case that is incredibly taut and gripping. Carl Morck has just come back to work after being in a shoot-out where he was injured and each of his two partners were either killed or seriously impaired for life. Carl has never been a lovable guy and this emotional event has not helped matters. He is sent to the basement, given his own department, Department Q, where he will work on cold cases. The first one that he and his Syrian assistant choose is that of the missing persons case of a prominent young female politician who has been missing, presumed accidentally drowned, five years ago. But Carl and Assad find out that many things were not properly investigated at the time. Everyone assumes that she is dead, but Merete isn't dead and won't be until her kidnapper's appointed time of execution.

Carl is a flawed character with many problems but one that the reader routes for and agrees with as he fights against the establishment. His Syrian assistant, Assad, is both comic relief and a very intriguing character as he demonstrates great insight into detective work and has amazing contacts and capabilities which provoke interest in his mysterious past. Carl and Assad make a great team, their opposing characters bounce off each other as each gains great respect for the other.

The case was fabulous! Everything one can want in a thriller. Full of twists and turns and fantastic descriptions of the victim's suffering.
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By Heather Pearson TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 4 2015
Format: Audio CD
Deputy Detective Superintendent Carl Morch has seen a lot in his 25 years on the job. Upon returning to work after a deadly shooting that left one of his partners dead and another paralysed, Carl is promoted to head of the newly created Department Q which has the objective of solving Copenhagen's cold cases.

The first case he examines is that of Merete Lynggaard, a politician who disappeared without a clue five years earlier. With the help of his assist Assad, Carl dives in to the case and finds more than a few loose ends.

Carl is a top notch detective but he is tired and worn down. Sitting at his desk with his feet up and newspaper is not a bad way to spend his day at the office. His assistant Assad has different ideas. He wants to get to the cases and prods Carl along.

As the case proceeds, we learn that Carl is a stickler for following up every single possible lead even when he figures they won't lead anywhere. This is the type of dogged determination that I want to see in my fictional detectives.

Carl's story follows the day after day investigation while Merete's story runs along side, starting on a path more than five years ago and progressing quickly to converge with Carl's present day.

I found both Carl and Assad to be very likable characters. Carl's life is far from perfect. This makes him human, he is disgruntled with being shuffled to the basement, but once he starts an investigation he has to carry it through to it's conclusion. He can't skip steps or overlook leads to create an expedient end. Assad is a willing assistant. He want to learn and be helpful, at times pulling Carl along with him. He undoubtedly has many secrets in his past. I want to see both of these men again in future cases.
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