Tag Archives: scandinavian thriller

Book Review: The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

29 Aug

Genre: Crime fiction

Series: Series Q #1

Publisher: Penguin Group USA (Dutton)

Pub date: 18 Aug 2011

Source: Publisher via NetGalley


Carl Mørck was one of the top homicide detectives in Copenhagen. But when he loses two colleagues and is almost killed on a case, Mørck loses his edge and is guilt ridden at not having been able to protect them. So when he comes back to work, a promotion is the last thing he expects. Mørck is asked to head a new Department Q and solve cold cases. But when he sees his new basemnet office, it becomes clear that all this promotion is supposed to do is keep Mørck out of the way and out of trouble. But when he starts looking into a 5-year old case of a missing politician Merete Lyngaard, Mørck might just have stumbled onto something important.


The Department Q series is another brilliant crime thriller in the Scandinavian thriller genre. When Carl Mørck is relegated to the basement with a bunch of cold cases that no one cares about, he is quite happy to do nothing. But his assistant, Hafez el-Assad, is enthusiastic enough for the both of them. Mørck starts looking into the Merete Lyngaard disappearance case just to keep Assad busy, but soon gets interested in this cold case.

Five years ago Merete Lyngaard was traveling to Germany on holiday with her brother Uffe. She disappeared from the boat and Uffe was later found in Germany. The investigation revealed the Uffe was mentally challenged and was a suspect in her disappearance. When the case was abandoned, questions about her disappearance remained unanswered – did she fall overboard, did she commit suicide, did her brother kill her? Is she still alive?

The page turning and tension in The Keeper of Lost Causes (UK title Mercy) comes from the Lyngaard case and the need to find out what happened/will happen to Merete. But it is the interaction between Mørck and Assad that gives it a brilliantly humorous twist and will keep the reader invested.


Highly recommended for all fans of crime fiction. I’m looking forward to the next book in the Department Q series.

Rating: 4*

*See my Rating policy

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