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Erbarmen by Jussi Adler Olsen

Erbarmen (original 2007; edition 2011)

by Jussi Adler Olsen

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1,8841303,646 (4.04)226
Authors:Jussi Adler Olsen
Info:DTV Deutscher Taschenbuch (2011), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (2007)


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English (102)  Dutch (15)  German (5)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Danish (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (130)
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
Amazing work. Loved the array of characters and locale. My ancestral homeland. ( )
  Donura1 | May 5, 2015 |
I really want to give this book five stars. It is one of those books that pulls the reader in and and makes him reluctant to close the cover when the last page has been read. The characters are delightful. Carl Mørck is a deputy detective superintendent who has just returned to duty after recovering from a shooting which cost one partner his life and left the other paralyzed. The n antisocial Mørck is promoted to a dingy office in the basement, where his only assignment is to read and work unsolved cases. His only staff is Hafez el-Assad, a janitor who has recently immigrated from Syria and clearly aspires to do more for Carl than mop up. The relationship between Carl and Assad is one of the most entertaining that I have read in fifty years of reading crime fiction.

The crime itself is a brutal one involving kidnapping and torture that is truly painful to imagine. The problem with the book is a minor one but it still prevents me giving it the five stars I'd like to give it is that the mystery isn't all that mysterious. Even so, I still enjoyed the book a lot and will be quick to read more books in the Department Q series. I'm also looking forward to being able to watch the movie version. ( )
  Unkletom | Mar 25, 2015 |
Hooray for a new Scandinavian detective series! This one is set in Denmark, allegedly the happiest country in the world after Bhutan, but it's still pretty dark. The book cover is a blatant ripoff of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but the main character here is a sexist and difficult detective who is in recovery from a shooting where one of his partners was killed and one paralyzed. Carl Morck holds himself responsible for the killer's escape. Because he's impossible to work with but effective, he gets banished to the basement and to a new Department Q for cold cases that remain politically hot. His admin Assad is a man of mystery who proves to have skills beyond cooking spicy MidEastern food and cleaning. Their first case is that of a politician, Merete Lynggaard, who has been missing for almost five years and who also has a dreadful life altering event in her background. The suspense level starts low and ratchets up steadily, building to a most satisfying outcome and to the next in the Department Q series. I can't wait! ( )
1 vote froxgirl | Mar 9, 2015 |
This is the first in a series of "Department Q" Danish police procedurals. Carl Mørck, is a deputy detective superintendent who been is relegated to the basement in an office where it is deemed he'll be no trouble. And at first he wants nothing more than to put his feet up and do nothing. When he learns the department was getting a windfall by creating this department of "lost causes" he uses that knowledge to his advantage to get an assistant and nice digs. Carl has a history of his own. He was involved in a shootout that killed one of his partners and paralyzed the other.

Assad, his assistant, a Muslim and another cast-off, seems to be always one step ahead. He’s a delightful character. They are tasked with investigating the disappearance, ostensibly a drowning, of a prominent political leader. This was the part I found totally implausible: a woman kept in a chamber for five years in which the atmospheric pressure is being gradually increased. She is fed through an airlock and tries to retain her sanity. The story that gradually unfolds concerns an intricate plot to get revenge for something that had happened years before..

It took me a while to get into this book, and I must say it was only the quirkiness of the main characters that kept me going. Perhaps it was the structure I found annoying, but the book became more intriguing as it progressed. I’ll try another in the series, but we’ll just have to see.

Note: AKA The Keeper of Lost Causes. ( )
  ecw0647 | Feb 14, 2015 |
In 2002, Merete Lynggaard, a prominent Danish politician, went missing on a car ferry from Denmark to Germany. She left behind her younger brother, Uffie, who had not spoken for 15 years, since an automobile accident they were involved in took their parents’ lives. Merete hasn’t been heard from since and it is presumed she went overboard and drowned.

In 2007, unpopular Police Detective Carl Morck was involved in a shooting in which one of his partners died and the other is in critical condition, probably paralyzed for life. Upon his return from medical leave, his boss Marcus Jacobsen couldn’t figure out what to do with him. Luckily, Parliament granted the police department an appropriation to create a department to re-examine cold cases, Department Q. Locate it in the basement which would minimize the risk of Morck interacting with other policemen and it would be a perfect place for Morck who can be abrasive at times.

Forced to chose a case to work on, Morck and his Syrian assistant Hafez al-Assad, unintentionally pick the Lynggaard disappearance–high profile and never solved. Morck initially shows no interest in the case but as Assad uncovers interesting information, Morck begins a real investigation.

Of course the officer who handled the initial call was the bumbling Bak. And, of course, Morck and Assad find many avenues of inquiry never pursued during the initial investigation.

Adler-Olsen has created a good detective in Morck and his comical sidekick Assad. Morck is the Danish version of the chain smoking brooding cop we’ve all come to know and love in American crime fiction. He’s estranged from his wife who lives in a cottage next door. His stepson lives upstairs and sponges off Morck and he’s got a finicky tenant who lives in the basement.

The Keeper of Lost Causes has an interesting premise which I won’t tell you about since it will spoil the fun. Adler-Olsen does go back and forth between 2002 and 2007 but that merely enhances the plot. Readers will be guessing until almost the end about ‘who done it’.

Although I enjoyed The Keeper of Lost Causes and would read the next book in this 5 book series, I did find it a slower read than most mysteries, even the other Nordic translations I’ve read. Possibly a little tighter editing might have helped, but all in all, it’s a good series. ( )
1 vote EdGoldberg | Jan 19, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jussi Adler-Olsenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
D'Avino, Maria ValeriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davies, ErikNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Vries, KorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hartford, LisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huttunen, KatriinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krogstad, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mendizábal, Juan MaríaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mendizábal, Juan MaríaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thiess, HannesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Kor deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Danish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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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.

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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)

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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141399961, 0718156889

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