The Absent One

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The Absent One

Department Q, #2

Detective Carl Morck is the official head of Department Q, a department dedicated to solving cold cases in Copenhagen, Denmark. So he is initially confused as to why an already solved case has made its way to his desk. As he begins to delve into the case, he soon discovers a decades long crime spree that will lead him straight to the doorstep of some of the most rich and powerful in Denmark. People who will not blink at making humans pawns in their sadistic games.a group of rich psychopaths obsessed with the perfect hunt. Except this time two of the pawns are more than ready to fight back- and they just may win.

Strong characterization, strange sense of humor, and a tightly wound plot recommends this fantastic crime thriller by Jussi Adler-Olsen. What may seem like a fairly uncomplicated plot becomes, instead, a fascinating study of characters and interactions. Morck and his team are unique individuals who do not respond in conventional ways, which makes this series a more compelling read than many others in the genre.

I was a little turned off at how the killers are revealed to the audience and, at times found it to be too pathological and so over the top that it became implausible that the villains could have gotten away with so much. I wish that the depraved acts were juxtaposed with normal interactions with the "normal" people in their lives. But, even with these issues, I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next book in the series. To get full enjoyment out of The Absent One, I'd suggest reading The Keeper of Lost Causes, where you are properly introduced to Carl's irascible personality and troubled personal history. If you are into Scandinavian crime thrillers then you will be more than pleased with the Department Q series.


Book Blurb for The Absent One

New York Times bestseller Jussi Adler-Olsen returns with the second book in his electrifying Department Q series.

In The Keeper of Lost Causes, Jussi Adler-Olsen introduced Detective Carl Mørck, a deeply flawed, brilliant detective newly assigned to run Department Q, the home of Copenhagen’s coldest cases. The result wasn’t what Mørck—or readers—expected, but by the opening of Adler-Olsen’s shocking, fast-paced follow-up, Mørck is satisfied with the notion of picking up long-cold leads. So he’s naturally intrigued when a closed case lands on his desk: A brother and sister were brutally murdered two decades earlier, and one of the suspects—part of a group of privileged boarding-school students—confessed and was convicted.

But once Mørck reopens the files, it becomes clear that all is not what it seems. Looking into the supposedly solved case leads him to Kimmie, a woman living on the streets, stealing to survive. Kimmie has mastered evading the police, but now they aren’t the only ones looking for her. Because Kimmie has secrets that certain influential individuals would kill to keep buried . . . as well as one of her own that could turn everything on its head.

Every bit as pulse-pounding as the book that launched the series, The Absent One delivers further proof that Jussi Adler-Olsen is one of the world's premier thriller writers.


Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2013 4.00