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Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen
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Mercy (original 2008; edition 2011)

by Jussi Adler-Olsen

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1,6231184,463 (4.05)204
Member:bfister
Title:Mercy
Authors:Jussi Adler-Olsen
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (UK) (2011), Perfect Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Danish crime fiction, Department Q, imprisonment, revenge

Work details

Mercy / The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (2008)

2012 (17) 2013 (9) Carl Morck (11) cold cases (15) Copenhagen (40) crime (59) crime fiction (78) Danish (20) Danish fiction (10) Denmark (124) Department Q (22) detective (28) ebook (31) fiction (94) kidnapping (15) Kindle (15) missing persons (12) murder (9) mystery (133) novel (12) police (15) police procedural (25) read (22) read in 2011 (12) revenge (12) Scandinavian (10) series (18) suspense (15) thriller (96) to-read (62)
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» See also 204 mentions

English (94)  Dutch (14)  German (5)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (120)
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
Very enjoyable, but unfortunately, the ending was easy to predict. ( )
  ScribbleKey | Jul 1, 2014 |
I don't as a general rule read police procedural or gritty crime novels. I watch them on TV but usually I don't read them. My attention is prone to wander when a crime novel gets bogged down in details that don't interest me. Having finally gotten around to reading the Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy last year, I can see where some novels of this type has a certain appeal. While Larsson and Adler-Olsen each place their own stamp on the crime novels they have written, they do have similarities that made it easy for me to make a side-by-side comparison of their first books. One characteristic both books share is the focus on the person and not the process. My preference is to read about complex characters and not the actual nitty-gritty of police work. Adler-Olsen provides my psychologically-driven mind with enough information to keep my mind in analysis mode regarding Carl's very dark and moody persona and his damaged past while at the same time providing a rather entertaining assistant in Assad, a political-refugee immigrant with a mysterious past of his own.

Adler-Olsen takes his time in framing his characters and the crime for the reader. The reveals are gradual, one piece of information at a time, and the story progresses at a more moderate, dare I say, sedate pace. Now, I like a story that has a slow build and takes it time with me. It makes it a lot easier for me to read the book in intervals spread out over time and not feel as thought I have to backtrack and refresh my memory when I do come back to it. I also like stories that are a bit of a mental puzzle to figure out. If I were to compare book one of the Larsson trilogy with this first book in a series I would have to say that while I prefer Larsson's characters, in particular the enigmatic Lisbeth Salander, Adler-Olsen has provided a better crime puzzle, IMO, to mentally analyze and figure out. For me, reading [The Keeper of Lost Causes] fit into my comfort zone as a read because I found it to be an interesting blending of the Larsson books with one of my favorite British TV series New Tricks, a cop show that follows the work of the fictional Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad for the London Metropolitan Police as they investigate old unsolved crimes.

For those of you who haven't already read this one, the ending makes the rather slow pace of the story worth while. Adler-Olsen has also left a lot of unfinished business as it relates to Carl Mørck, a character I admit to having difficulties to warm up to. While I wasn't riveted to the story, I found it to be a very satisfying read and I will continue with the series as I want to see how things progress in Department Q with Carl and Assad.

Best of all, this one contains the following fantastic book quote:

"She'd been lying on the floor thinking about books. That was something she often did in order not to think about the life she might have had, if only she'd made different choices. When she thought about books, she could move into a whole different world. Just remembering the feeling of the dry surface and inexplicable roughness of the paper could ignite a blaze of yearning inside of her. The scent of evaporated cellulose and printer's ink. Thousands of times now she'd sent her thoughts into her imaginary library and selected the only book in the world that she knew she could recall without embellishing it. It was not the one she wanted to remember, not even the one that had made the greatest impression on her. But it was the only book that had remained completely intact in her tortured memory because of the liberating bursts of laughter she associated with it.

A great big smile came to my face when the I discovered what book was being referred to by this quote. ( )
1 vote lkernagh | May 10, 2014 |
I liked this book. The writing was descriptive and fast paced. As far as thrillers go, this was a good one. ( )
  janismack | Apr 8, 2014 |
Entertaining. If you like police procedurals and mysteries, I recommend it. ( )
  pmackey | Mar 19, 2014 |
I picked this book based on the rave reviews it had received - "The new 'it' boy of Nordic Noir" from The Times of London, among many others.
I have to say that the writing did not disappoint. It was well written and the characters were well drawn. The story was a compelling, a real page turner. The reason for the four star review as opposed to five stars is due to the fact that I found the premise behind the story to be too far fetched. It's hard to go into more detail without giving away the ending, but I felt that it was unbelievable that some of the characters would go to such great lengths. ( )
  Bookishhorseygal | Mar 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jussi Adler-Olsenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
D'Avino, Maria ValeriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Vries, KorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hartford, LisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krogstad, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mendizábal, Juan MaríaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thiess, HannesÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Kor deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
Opgedragen aan Hanne Adler-Olsen.
Zonder haar zou de bron opdrogen.
Dedicated to Hanne Adler-Olsen. Without her, the well would run dry.
First words
Ze krabde haar vingertoppen tot bloedens toe open op de gladde wanden en sloeg met haar vuisten tegen de dikke ruiten tot ze haar handen niet meer voelde.
She scratched her fingertips on the smooth walls until they bled, and pounded her fists on the thick panes until she could no longer feel her hands.
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Information from the Danish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark's premier crime writer. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in northern Europe, and he's won just about every Nordic crime-writing award, including the prestigious Glass Key Award — also won by Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, and Jo Nesbo. Now he's introduced to America.

The Keeper of Lost Causes, the first installment of Adler-Olsen's Department Q series, features the deeply flawed chief detective Carl Mørck, who used to be a good homicide detective — one of Copenhagen's best. Then a bullet almost took his life. Two of his colleagues weren't so lucky, and Carl, who didn't draw his weapon, blames himself.

So a promotion is the last thing Carl expects.

But it all becomes clear when he sees his new office in the basement. Carl's been selected to run Department Q, a new special investigations division that turns out to be a department of one. With a stack of Copenhagen's coldest cases to keep him company, Carl's been put out to pasture. So he's as surprised as anyone when a case actually captures his interest. A missing politician vanished without a trace five years earlier. The world assumes she's dead. His colleagues snicker about the time he's wasting. But Carl may have the last laugh, and redeem himself in the process.

Because she isn't dead... yet.

Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Chief detective Carl M?ck, recovering from what he thought was a career-destroying gunshot wound, is relegated to cold cases and becomes immersed in the five-year disappearance of a politician.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141399961, 0718156889

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