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

4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton; Reprint edition (July 31 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452297907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452297906
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #53,823 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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Top Customer Reviews

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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By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE 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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Format: Kindle Edition
Excellent combination of story, plot and character. I typically find the crime story genre lacks the ability to grab my attention. However Adler-Olsen has created two really interesting characters is Morck and Assad. The first, a disgruntled police detective (Morck) ostracized by his co-workers for being difficult to work with. He's saddled to a wife who wont divorce him, sleeps around and lives in the pool house. He has a quirky downstairs tenant who rents a room and is an excellent cook. The second is Morck's assistant, Assad, who has demonstrated some curious investigative prowess despite being hired to clean and make coffee. Assad has a mysterious background and a compelling personality. Together they form the kind of dynamic that I just didn't tire of.

The story is certainly extraordinary but doesn't go so far as to be unbelievable. The series of events are not predictable and that gives the story a drama and suspense that kept me turning pages.

The Keeper of Lost Causes is a good story with interesting characters and a very easy read. I highly recommend this.
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Format: Kindle Edition
My Review: One of my informal 'Reading To Do's' is to read more Scandinavian authors. I've read Stieg Larsson but there are so many other authors from that area that I routinely see on the shelves at the library where I work whom I find intriguing -- Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell and Camilla Lackberg to name a few. After reading some great reviews about The Keeper of Lost Causes I thought I'd jump back into the Scandinavian suspense genre with this series.

I was not disappointed. This was a great read with the author doesn't waste any time throwing the reader into the suspenseful story line and unique, engaging characters. The story is told using the alternating viewpoints of police detective, Carl Mørck and the victim, Merete Lynggard, a controversial politician. This method of storytelling keeps the reader actively involved in the police search as well as what is happening to the victim. I found both viewpoints equally engaging. Merete's struggle was emotional and, at times, hard to read but Carl Mørck really stood out for me as a solid main character. He was the epitome of a curmudgeon who has a real talent for solving crimes but also has his own demons to battle and a lot of emotional baggage to bear. His assistant, Syrian refugee Assad, added light comic relief which brought some levity (and some additional mystery due to his own mysterious past) to a story which, without it, could have been a little too heavy. Truth be told, Assad was my favourite character.

Without giving anything away I did have a bit of a negative feeling about the story line which was a little unbelievable.
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