Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Oh, today. Wondering what you have in store for me as you continue to progress. Hrm.

Yesterday I froze in my office. It was madness! Fall did not waste any time hitting us. Our garden is going bananas, which is nice, but I am so not ready for turning off the AC and switching to heat. If we can just have a few months of nice mid 70-ish weather, I'll be happy.

We had one of those perfect kind of days a few weeks ago and I spread out the picnic blanket and dove into Jussi Adler-Olsen's latest, The Absent One.

After the success of their first case, Carl Mørck has found himself in the odd position of receiving praise rather than the usual criticism. Now cleared to continue their work and with their pick of cases, Department Q is ready to move ahead. And they're getting a new team member as well. But before Rose joins them, Carl and Assad discover a strange case file dropped on Carl's desk. No one knows where it came from or why it's been sent to Department Q. It's a closed case from the 80s -- the murder of a brother and sister in 1987 and a confessed killer behind bars. Solved cases are definitely not Dept Q material but something about the case sparks Carl's interest. The case is tied to a set of well connected individuals, all of whom came under scrutiny at the time of the murder -- all of them were also cleared when the murderer came out and confessed. Mørck is convinced that there's more to the story but his superiors immediately warn him off. Not that that makes much of a difference, Mørck never responds well to authorities or their orders. Obviously someone felt the case was less that clear cut, too, considering the file made it's way to Dept Q in the first place. As Mørck and team dig deeper, they begin to upset some pretty influential folks and become targets themselves. Solving the puzzle could mean their own survival this time around.

I didn't adore this one quite as much as I did Keeper of Lost Causes. Yes, it's equally dark and twisted and Mørck is crusty and snarky as ever but I didn't think that Assad or Rose got much in the way of development at all. The overall read was fine -- better than fine, actually. The mystery itself is just as well-plotted as that of Keeper, but seeing as how it's a second I would definitely have liked to learn more about the characters. That being said, hopefully it'll come up in subsequent books and I definitely continue to look forward to where the series will go next.

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