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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Jussi Adler-Olsen - Mercy

Review by showhost. The blurb on the front of the book says: Hunted, imprisoned. She’ll never beg for Mercy. Jussi Adler-Olsen is another Scandinavian author who has been likened to Dean Koontz. I’m sure most of us out there, everytime we pick up a Scandi author book we hope we have found a worthy successor to Steig Larsson. But I’m still looking. This was different from the usual crime books of multi brutal murders and psycho killers. This was a thriller and I can sense an interesting, newly developing, partnership with the main characters. Copenhagen detective Carl Morck still hasn’t got over the death of one of his colleagues and paralysis of the other whilst they were all attending a crime scene. He has been taken off homicide to run a newly created ‘Q’ department for unsolved crimes. It also helps his old department by removing the grumpy & depressed Carl to a basement office away from them. He manages to secure a new assistant to help keep the place clean, and tidy his growing mountain of paperwork and generally be a gofer. However, he finds that the meek, mild mannered Assad has hidden talents and a keen mind, plus a great interest in policework. By chance the casefile they choose to investigate first is the disappearance (presumed dead) of Merete Lyngard who vanished without trace 5 years ago. Myrete was a very prominent & attractive politician. She was on a ferry taking her brain damaged brother on holiday when she disappeared without trace – presumed drowned/suicide. Her brother was then put into care. Throughout the book running alongside Carl & Assads work we follow Meretes fight for survival in her decompression chamber where she has been kept for 5 years. Someone is keeping her prisoner, feeding her, playing mind games with her. She fights to keep herself same never knowing who her captors are or why. It was a little slow to get going and sometimes the translation doesn’t quite seem right but it picks up and keeps you hanging in there. There are some light moments with traces of humour with Assad and Carl. I feel theres more to come about Assad like how did he get the job in the first place and who is he really? Also, is his paralysed colleague, Hardy, going to be adding his thoughts to the crimes in future books a bit like the quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhymes in Jeffrey Deaver’s books? I enjoyed the book and I would read another.

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