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Vzkaz v láhvi

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V zapadlém koutě Skotska, na policejní stanici ve Wicku, leží už dlouhý čas na okenním parapetu zapomenutá láhev. Uvnitř láhve je sotva čitelný lístek. Jisté je jen to, že první slovo je dánský výraz pro POMOC a je to napsáno krví. Když se tahle hrůzná zpráva konečně dostane na stůl Carla Morcka z Oddělení Q, dánského oddělení pro "případy hodné zvláštní pozornosti", začnou V zapadlém koutě Skotska, na policejní stanici ve Wicku, leží už dlouhý čas na okenním parapetu zapomenutá láhev. Uvnitř láhve je sotva čitelný lístek. Jisté je jen to, že první slovo je dánský výraz pro POMOC a je to napsáno krví. Když se tahle hrůzná zpráva konečně dostane na stůl Carla Morcka z Oddělení Q, dánského oddělení pro "případy hodné zvláštní pozornosti", začnou se dít děsivé události. Carl Morck a jeho asistent Assad se ponoří do hrůzného případu sekt a zmizelých dvojčat, jejichž rodiče nikdy nenahlásili jejich zmizení. Náhle zjistí, že čas se krátí...


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V zapadlém koutě Skotska, na policejní stanici ve Wicku, leží už dlouhý čas na okenním parapetu zapomenutá láhev. Uvnitř láhve je sotva čitelný lístek. Jisté je jen to, že první slovo je dánský výraz pro POMOC a je to napsáno krví. Když se tahle hrůzná zpráva konečně dostane na stůl Carla Morcka z Oddělení Q, dánského oddělení pro "případy hodné zvláštní pozornosti", začnou V zapadlém koutě Skotska, na policejní stanici ve Wicku, leží už dlouhý čas na okenním parapetu zapomenutá láhev. Uvnitř láhve je sotva čitelný lístek. Jisté je jen to, že první slovo je dánský výraz pro POMOC a je to napsáno krví. Když se tahle hrůzná zpráva konečně dostane na stůl Carla Morcka z Oddělení Q, dánského oddělení pro "případy hodné zvláštní pozornosti", začnou se dít děsivé události. Carl Morck a jeho asistent Assad se ponoří do hrůzného případu sekt a zmizelých dvojčat, jejichž rodiče nikdy nenahlásili jejich zmizení. Náhle zjistí, že čas se krátí...

30 review for Vzkaz v láhvi

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jayson

    (B+) 77% | Good Notes: A clever enough crime, though a book of this length needs livelier, less trivial subplots to tent-pole its saggy middle.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I read this on kindle and had no idea it was 500 pages long until I saw the stats when I came to write the review. I can assure you those 500 pages flew by so fast and I enjoyed every moment of them. This is proving to be such a good series. I like that Carl, the main character, has low points like all fictional detectives, but he also has highs like normal people. He works hard at solving his cases despite the erratic assistance of Assad and Rose. So there is good, solid police work and there is I read this on kindle and had no idea it was 500 pages long until I saw the stats when I came to write the review. I can assure you those 500 pages flew by so fast and I enjoyed every moment of them. This is proving to be such a good series. I like that Carl, the main character, has low points like all fictional detectives, but he also has highs like normal people. He works hard at solving his cases despite the erratic assistance of Assad and Rose. So there is good, solid police work and there is humour in the relationships between the characters which keeps things light. There is also a lot of tension especially towards the end when events build up to a great climax. This author always manages to leave the reader on a high with a really successful and exciting conclusion. Love it and am looking forward to book 4.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paula Kalin

    This is a terrific mystery series. Well worth the time. The police character studies are what make the books. The day-to-day work life of Carl, Asaad, and Rose are hysterical! The first of the series is still my favorite.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Harry

    Book Review: Ok, if you're looking for the 4th in this series...you'll have to wait until end December of this year. And, if you're totally confused as to the actual title of the 4th: look for The Purity of Vengeance. And, if you're looking for a terrible site, go to Penguin.com, where a search for their own author turns up...nothing. The 3rd in the Department Q series does not disappoint. In fact, each installment in this series gets better and better and I've upped the star rating for this one Book Review: Ok, if you're looking for the 4th in this series...you'll have to wait until end December of this year. And, if you're totally confused as to the actual title of the 4th: look for The Purity of Vengeance. And, if you're looking for a terrible site, go to Penguin.com, where a search for their own author turns up...nothing. The 3rd in the Department Q series does not disappoint. In fact, each installment in this series gets better and better and I've upped the star rating for this one as a result. Before I go on, GR has some anomalies with the image of this book. Selecting the English title gives you an English cover, which then shows up in my-books with a Danish cover. Ah well, so be it... My friend, Jeffrey and I have had a few discussions about what images to include in a review, whether or not this can take away from a novel by supplanting the reader's imagination with a picture placed in a review (for example: a reader might have an image of what Walt Longmire looks like, carefully crafted from the reader's imagination, but when a reviewer posts a picture of the actor from the A&E series, suddenly that image supplants the image we might have carried throughout the series). Same goes for googling for images of what the reviewer thought a setting looked like and posting it in the review. This is not to say images ought not to be included, but caution should be taken, if not respect for the reader's own imagination when doing so. What was the result of this dialogue? Well, Jeffrey still populates his reviews with images, and they're still some of the best reviews out there! But it was a fun dialogue...:-) And I know that as he writes reviews, way in the back of his mind, he remembers our dialogue and approaches images with a tiny bit more caution. Right Jeffrey? Haha Why do I mention this? In the genre which I read, it is all about the story, the mystery (not just who-did-it?...but also the why-do-it? (the latter being focal to the Nordic thrillers of which this book is an example). The particular genre here is Nordic Noir...or perhaps you might refer to it as Scandinavian Noir. So I had a question: Does the enjoyment of reading a novel in this genre increase if initial research into the genre (Nordic Noir), the setting, and/or author takes place prior to the actual reading of it? And is this more relevant to American readers who may not be aware of the underpinnings of what foreign mystery writers choose as their crime and subject? Remaining relatively ignorant on this subject through my readings of Nesbo, the earlier installments of Adler-Olson, Larsson, etc. I decided to do a little digging here. That led me all over the Bing and Google landscape the crumbs of which I'm too lazy to repeat here. But, the answer is yes: doing so informs the reader and gives greater delight when that knowledge is acknowledged by the author through snippets of writing. For example: why is Nazism relevant to the plot structure found in Scandinavian Noir, even now in the 21st century? How did Denmark, and Sweden (known as neutral, peaceful countries during times of war) lose their innocence? How did a murder (to this day unresolved) cause Sweden to lose that innocence? Why do most such books snub their noses at bureaucracies and governmental edicts? Why is birth, motherhood, and abortion viewed differently between say Sweden and Iceland? He removed the child from his wife's gaze and left her sitting alone with the slats of pale light the Venetian blinds laid across her face. Without the child, she would be going nowhere. He knew that. What is the relationship of religion to the highly secular society found in Scandinavia? What is the relationship between God and the State? How do religion and government differ in their views towards population control? Their voices would overflow with the gift of tongues, they would pray for all the unborn children, embrace each other warmly, and recall the sensuality with which the Mother of God had abandoned herself to the Lord... And how do these notions relate to crimes being committed in Nordic fiction? What emotions guide the Nordic writer? Guilt? Anger? Depression? Knowing a bit more about such things from a Scandinavian perspective, to be sure, increases the pleasure at reading one of these novels. At least, for me it does. As to A Conspiracy of Faith. Here Adler-Olson explores religion in a secular society. The character of Carl MØrck really takes hold of the reader's imagination: a somber man, undeniably lazy, acerbic and funny at the same time, coming suddenly alive when his interest is captured (which admittedly, is not often). In one scene, Carl is engaged in battle with an alpha fly which has been buzzing around his office for quite some time disrupting Carl's naps. (flies are a frequent occurrence with Carl. Why did the author choose this mechanism to reveal Carl's character?). But never mind that. After an unsuccessful kill attempt with a bottle of White-Out... He looked up and again caught a glimpse of his alpha fly, spotted with correction fluid. The bloody thing was everywhere. Carl finally corners the thing in a small office where a deft snap of his secretary's finger finds Carl's nemesis launched into a cup of coffee: [...]he watched the fly doing the backstroke in caffeine purgatory... Who said Nordic writers do not have a sense of humor! (It was probably me). Ha ha. This book is full of them, despite the macabre crimes that lead the reader by the nose to the finale. Assad, Rose and Yrsa (a new comer) form the trinity that surround Carl. And still, as with previous books, his colleagues remain shrouded in mystery. Who is Assad, really? Where does he live? Who was the middle eastern man with whom he was skyping? And what about Rose? Who is she, really? You're in for a bit of a shock on that one! The plot is superb, point of view expertly handled as we move into the minds of the various players in this excellent novel. Enjoy! ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Series Review: Jussi Adler-Olsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1950. Known for his 3 stand-alones (The alphabet House, The Company Basher, and Washington Decree and the famous Department Q novels his popularity in Denmark has finally migrated over to the U.S. All Department Q novels are set in Denmark and reveal the writings of an author intensely interested in criticizing politics while simultaenously being agnostic to parties in general. Not that this is any great revelation as for the most part politics is the mainstay of most European dinner table conversations. On this topic of politics, the author says: "If you with that ask me whether I'm critical of the political system, then yes. If you ask me whether I have a tendency to defend party-political opinions, then no. My agenda political wise is firstly to criticize regardless of what is to criticize, and no matter what the basis of view is, and secondly to appeal to the politicians in power that they should understand that they are our servants and not our masters, and that they first and foremost on their fields of activity should learn to acknowledge mistakes and to evaluate their own actions." Through his protagonist Carl MØrck, a lone detective absconded to the basement of police headquarters, heading a cold case department of one, and for all the world a detective ostracized for his unsociable and arrogant manner we bump head-on into the political machinations of Denmark's finest if not the corruption of a government beyond. Not that corruption threatens to take over the story. The author is careful about that: It's all about having and keeping empathy. If you have this ability in your writings, it will never be the corruption in itself that is the story's starting point, but the people and the relations that the corruption affects. It is as simple as that! If you want to be a writer, you have to learn to turn everything upside down. Born a son to a father with a psychiatric degree and living on the premises of such mental institutions a portion of his life, Jussi Adler-Olsen has developed a keen insight into a human's boundlessness, self-centeredness if not the degree to which human beings can succumb to a lack of affection. If it wasn't for these issues, there wouldn't be any thriller novels in the world. And the consequences of these character flaws give me a lot to work with. Revenge, strive for justice, and insanity. As with most Nordic thrillers (Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell, Larson, etc), there's a certain ennui that pervades the populace. Perhaps that is due to the unique form of Scandinavian democracy that today seems to be under siege by more globalistic tendencies, a slight leaning to the right that highly values the individual instead of the public society so prominent in Scandinavian countries. As with these other thriller writers, we view a somber if not morose society...practical, but not affluent in that affection mentioned by the author. We have had a very negative and sad period, but the right to criticize and reject bad ideas in their unblemished form still holds. And there is no other place on earth, in my opinion, that uses this right as frequently and thoughtfully, which I'm proud of. But what is it about novels that is captivating readers across the globe? I can only speak for myself. As always, translations must be kept in mind and my hat's off to those who attempt to translate a foreign language into English. It is an art in and of itself. Especially when one considers that it is possible to have thoughts in one language that are not possible in another. Being bilingual myself, I still wrestle with certain idioms not available to me when communicating in English. In this sense, Lisa Hartford does an excellent job in her translation from Danish to English. Indeed, in terms of immediate and enduring attention grabbing, Adler-Olsen is in the Chandler class. As with most European and Scandinavian mystery/crime novels, the causation behind the crime is usually a simple event rationalized by an unhealthy mind. I love this about Nordic thrillers...how we are brought to fully understand motivation as part of the unravelling of a mystery. You could say that this is exactly what is wrong with Hollywood where everything is sensationalized, instead of sprung forth out of ordinary life. Junior Detective Superintendent Carl MØrck has a brilliant mind and as is usually the case, brilliance inspires envy, and envy destroys achievements. The way Jussi Adler-Olsen portrays this within the Danish police force cannot be dismissed. Ever critical, he has created a character both perfectly ordinary as well as constantly critical of everything set before him. There is a quiet humor behind the man who has no qualms about doing nothing but placing his feet on his desk and complain that he is too busy...until of course he becomes interested at which point he becomes a Danish bloodhound. The plots are exquisite, driven not by the unveiling of a carefully kept ending held close to the chest by the author (I've read reviews where some partially dismiss this author for guessing the who-dun-it half way through) but rather by the unveiling of the true motivation behind the crime which gives the reader an entirely different satisfaction. Cold cases are tough and most of them are not solved. But, as Adler-Olson says: It's all about having and keeping empathy. This review will be the same for all Department Q novels...so if you've read this one, you've read 'em all. Updates will be included in subsequent novels in this series, if warranted. Enjoy!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Terri Wino

    3-1/2 stars rounded up to 4. Another solid entry in a series whose recurring characters are just as interesting and unusual as the storylines. This book had one of the most diabolical and clever villains that I've ever come across in a realistic setting. Meaning, the crimes he committed are things that could actually happen. This wasn't a superhuman that did fantastical things...which made him all the more chilling because of what he was capable of and how he carried out his atrocities. Cold, 3-1/2 stars rounded up to 4. Another solid entry in a series whose recurring characters are just as interesting and unusual as the storylines. This book had one of the most diabolical and clever villains that I've ever come across in a realistic setting. Meaning, the crimes he committed are things that could actually happen. This wasn't a superhuman that did fantastical things...which made him all the more chilling because of what he was capable of and how he carried out his atrocities. Cold, calculating, and clever for sure. The only reason I knocked a half star off of my rating is that this was yet another book that suffered from being about 100 pages too long. There were several passages I felt should have been tighter or eliminated, as it caused my attention to waiver. The book lost some suspense because of this. However, I still definitely recommend this series. I found each book I've read so far just a little difficult to get into initially, but I was soon drawn into the story and engrossed in the unfolding events. Well worth the read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Rose

    This felt like hard work...Maybe I'm missing something... The book is over 600 pages long. I don't mind long books, however...The actual crime part is probably half of that. The rest seems to be utter nonsense about the various individuals employed by the police and those involved in Carl's life. These digressions into his personal life seem to have no point and certainly little or no relevance to the story overall... I don't know if the Danish are racist as a nation, however this author This felt like hard work...Maybe I'm missing something... The book is over 600 pages long. I don't mind long books, however...The actual crime part is probably half of that. The rest seems to be utter nonsense about the various individuals employed by the police and those involved in Carl's life. These digressions into his personal life seem to have no point and certainly little or no relevance to the story overall... I don't know if the Danish are racist as a nation, however this author certainly portrays them as such. I really liked the first book by this author, but have been slightly underwhelmed by the second two stories in this series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jaksen

    Wonderful mystery. Carl Morck of Department Q, is once again given a cold case to research, and this one is tantalizing from the start. Based on a note in a bottle found in the waters off Scotland, then traced to events in Denmark, it's a chilling story of a serial killer-kidnapper who targets the families belonging to reclusive religious sects. He kidnaps two children, demands a ransom, then kills one of the children to maintain the silence of the family. Fantastic premise, the story is Wonderful mystery. Carl Morck of Department Q, is once again given a cold case to research, and this one is tantalizing from the start. Based on a note in a bottle found in the waters off Scotland, then traced to events in Denmark, it's a chilling story of a serial killer-kidnapper who targets the families belonging to reclusive religious sects. He kidnaps two children, demands a ransom, then kills one of the children to maintain the silence of the family. Fantastic premise, the story is high-tension throughout, and tempered only by the fact that Carl's two assistants - the weird Rose (and her sister Yrsa who replaces Rose briefly,) and Assad the Syrian - allow for some comic breathing space. (Though both will earn their badges for bravery in this book.) The characters in this series are so well-written, so devoid of the usual stereotypes, that reading Adler-Olsen is a true delight. And other than the fact that I was on edge the whole time reading it, and needed breaks myself, (as I don't usually like criminal stories with 'children in peril,') this was a great read. Looking forward to the next by Adler-Olsen.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jean-Paul Adriaansen

    What a great combination of action, suspense, and humor. Jussi Adler-Olsen is a master in the art of writing police novels. This book is even better than The Keeper of Lost Causes . An old message in a bottle puts Department Q in full swing. While Carl Morck has to deal with personal issues (ex-wife, friends, and his dream woman Mona), his work at the office gets "kind-a-complicated." Assad and a new assistant are overly eager to solve the case and health-inspectors are threatening to close his What a great combination of action, suspense, and humor. Jussi Adler-Olsen is a master in the art of writing police novels. This book is even better than The Keeper of Lost Causes . An old message in a bottle puts Department Q in full swing. While Carl Morck has to deal with personal issues (ex-wife, friends, and his dream woman Mona), his work at the office gets "kind-a-complicated." Assad and a new assistant are overly eager to solve the case and health-inspectors are threatening to close his downstairs offices. Start reading on a Friday evening, you can't put this one down!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Secor

    This was not a bad police procedural/thriller (which is why I gave it three stars), but there was too much going on for it to hold together. There are loose ends - characters meet up with violence and are dropped; several ridiculous occurrences that don't ring true and were obviously included to move the plot along; and characterizations that are never fully developed (though I suppose that's a teaser to get readers to read other volumes in the series). There's a possibility that I'll return to This was not a bad police procedural/thriller (which is why I gave it three stars), but there was too much going on for it to hold together. There are loose ends - characters meet up with violence and are dropped; several ridiculous occurrences that don't ring true and were obviously included to move the plot along; and characterizations that are never fully developed (though I suppose that's a teaser to get readers to read other volumes in the series). There's a possibility that I'll return to Mr. Adler-Olsen, but probably not. I picked this off the library shelves out of curiosity and, while it might have been better if I had begun with the first book in the series, I find myself reading too many mediocre mysteries. This was one of those of those.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    I like Detective Carl Mørck, despite a couple of his unlovable characteristics—he is quite a prejudiced guy, not really giving his assistants, Assad and Rose, much credit. He is also a gold-bricker, trying his very best to sleep through his final years in the cold case division before retirement. Despite his intentions, the case of this mysterious letter, written in blood and pleading for help, eventually galvanizes him into action and even into danger. It takes a lot of prodding on his I like Detective Carl Mørck, despite a couple of his unlovable characteristics—he is quite a prejudiced guy, not really giving his assistants, Assad and Rose, much credit. He is also a gold-bricker, trying his very best to sleep through his final years in the cold case division before retirement. Despite his intentions, the case of this mysterious letter, written in blood and pleading for help, eventually galvanizes him into action and even into danger. It takes a lot of prodding on his assistants’ part to get Mørck moving, but eventually he is taking the situation seriously and starts to expect more of them in return. The translation of this work annoyed me somewhat, however—the translator used British idioms, some of which sounded silly in the conversation of a Danish investigator. There were an awful lot of people who “couldn’t be arsed to do something.” Not a common turn of phrase in North America, although easily understood. There were several mentions of “stroppy teenagers,” which I’m guessing is a shortening of obstreperous. I found those things rather distracting, but decipherable. Those are the two that stick in my memory, although I remember having to decode another couple of expressions. What I’m now wondering about is how much of the racism in the book (directed mostly toward Assad, the Syrian immigrant on police staff) is in the original and how much was influenced by the translator. Assad is referred to as a “camel driver” on one occasion, is shown getting into a fist fight with an Iranian officer [presumably about country-of-origin issues], and being less than truthful about where he lives. Much is made of how dark his skin and hair are and how much he stands out from the rest of the staff. I was relieved that by the book’s end, Mørck is treating him much more like an equal, valuing his input and his back-up in the field. Assad is definitely willing to work and finds all kinds of connections to current cases, stirring up several investigations and being the brains behind the operation on several occasions. And he is certainly the muscle during stressful situations. Mørck also comes to value Rose more highly and perhaps not to judge her by her appearance and gender. Her work assignments also gain in importance as things progress and she gets treated more kindly. In addition, there is a confusing situation in which Mørck’s former common-law wife takes up with a man of Indian origin—although Carl wanted her to find someone else & move on, he still seems affronted that she has chosen an Indian man and once again, skin colour and turban are referenced in uncomplimentary ways. I think my Canadian-ness may be showing through here, as we are quite used to have a multi-ethnic society and think nothing of encountering Asian, Arab, African, etc. people on an everyday basis. [I found that as a very-white Caucasian, I really stood out in some areas of China that I visited and people would be quite pushy about wanting to be photographed with our tour group because we were considered so unusual. Since I have cousins who have Chinese and Korean ancestry, it took me a while to figure out what the fuss was about]. Enough of the anthropological dissection of the novel, however, on to the rest of the book! The action is well-planned and engrossing, plus the villain is suitably deadly, cunning, and mysterious. The plot is sufficiently convoluted to keep the reader interested. The exploration of religions of various sorts in a secular society also adds to the mix. Excellent summer reading!

  12. 4 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    Denmark's Department Q, responsible for special and cold police cases, is in a state of chaos! Asbestos particles and flies are floating around in the basement offices where Carl Mørck heads the Q department, Rose Knudsen is gone temporarily in a huff and instead her even more annoying sister Ysra has come to help in her place as secretary, and Hafez el-Assad has unexpectedly discovered a clue on deadly arson cases which the rest of the police force was fruitlessly working but had not got very Denmark's Department Q, responsible for special and cold police cases, is in a state of chaos! Asbestos particles and flies are floating around in the basement offices where Carl Mørck heads the Q department, Rose Knudsen is gone temporarily in a huff and instead her even more annoying sister Ysra has come to help in her place as secretary, and Hafez el-Assad has unexpectedly discovered a clue on deadly arson cases which the rest of the police force was fruitlessly working but had not got very far with solving. There are of course, more urgent meetings! At home, Vigga is threatening to move back in with Carl because she broke up with her boyfriend, Jesper is moving back and forth between Carl's home and Vigga's, Morten Holland and Hardy, ex-police partners, have moved in turning Carl's house into a combined bachelor's pad and nursing home as Hardy is a paraplegic confined to a hospital bed. Carl blames himself for Hardy's paralysis which occurred in book 1, The Keeper of Lost Causes. It was almost unnoticed when a box was delivered with broken glass shards of a bottle with an old water-damaged note inside. The letter appears to have been written in blood, but what grabs Rose's attention is the word 'help', the only word which is clear. She decides to work on deciphering the rest of the note (this is before Carl pissed her off), while Carl decides to put his feet up on his desk and close his eyes for a minute or two, which is how he prefers to spend his time. Eventually Assad again will bring him to his duty and work as he usually does. However, in between various work and personal ruckuses, it becomes clear the maybe almost decade-old note is a key to a number of cold cases of possible kidnappings and disappearances that went unreported in self-isolated religious communities. As Carl and Assad uncover fundamentalist families with missing children, they realize maybe a serial killer is at work. Could it be possible more recent kidnappings are still happening, and worse, maybe a kid or two are being held for ransom right now? Not all of the kids come back. One of the character points of view in early chapters is that of the wicked killer. He loves using gullible women as much as he hates religion and fundamentalist parents. But especially he loves the feeling of revenge against the pious. He could make money honestly, but extorting it from the religious fundamentalists is SO much more satisfying - and easy! He feels only a few more kidnappings will set him up financially, but oh, he will miss it... These books in the Department Q mysteries are both amusing and horrifying. It is such a weird contrast, I always end up being a bit discombobulated by the peculiar swings from charming warmth and cuteness, and disgusting cruelty and death, every other chapter. But here I am, planning to read the next novel in the series! They should be read in order, I think.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*

    4 stars! This book was miiiiiiiles ahead of the second in the series, which was excruciating. PROS: -The religious aspect of the central crimes was fascinating. -Carl continues to be an only-somewhat-lovable dbag, which is refreshing. No secret good qualities here, folks. Carl just sucks (#realistic), but you're on his side because he's ultimately on the good side. CONS: -WAY too many competing mysteries, some of which I will detail behind this spoiler curtain: (view spoiler)[ The past kidnappings, 4 stars! This book was miiiiiiiles ahead of the second in the series, which was excruciating. PROS: -The religious aspect of the central crimes was fascinating. -Carl continues to be an only-somewhat-lovable dbag, which is refreshing. No secret good qualities here, folks. Carl just sucks (#realistic), but you're on his side because he's ultimately on the good side. CONS: -WAY too many competing mysteries, some of which I will detail behind this spoiler curtain: (view spoiler)[ The past kidnappings, the present kidnappings, the possibly-mafia-related arsons, the Ursa/Rose situation, Assad's home life/Skype weirdness, the attempt on the wife's life.... and I'm positive I'm missing at least one. (hide spoiler)] Too much to keep track of! -A little too long. This relates to the above "con".... a little simpler and a little shorter would go a long way. I get the feeling that Jussi is working really hard to land on the Steig Larsson side of Scandinavian murder-mysteries, rather than on the Jo Nesbo side. Meh. Wait... Denmark isn't even Scandinavian, is it? BLERG. Y'all know what I mean. Overall, much better than the previous one; back on par with the first in the series. 4 stars!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Back in bed with the Q Department! My fav Nordic Noir of late. New additions to the “gang” are Rose’s "twin" & also Hardy has moved in with the “family” after much humming & harring in the previous read. All add to Carl’s demeanour & obvious stress levels which does entertain as much as his colleagues exasperation at his criticisms of them all. Dysfunctional at Home & at work is the appeal to this series for me as well as a darn fine mystery every time which runs concurrent with Back in bed with the Q Department! My fav Nordic Noir of late. New additions to the “gang” are Rose’s "twin" & also Hardy has moved in with the “family” after much humming & harring in the previous read. All add to Carl’s demeanour & obvious stress levels which does entertain as much as his colleagues exasperation at his criticisms of them all. Dysfunctional at Home & at work is the appeal to this series for me as well as a darn fine mystery every time which runs concurrent with department Q’s investigation. The villain(s) in these series are quite a piece of work(s) & this one is no exception, your introduced to him quite early so it’s no spoiler to say he’s quite extraordinary is this one! Read PROPER NASTY that is! Fast paced, crackerjack of a story is this & highly recommend for all those of the Nordic Noir persuasion as well as mystery / crime fans in general. A clear 5 stars as this series gets better n better

  15. 4 out of 5

    MyGoodBookshelf

    The third book in this Scandi-crime series was one that I’d really been looking forward to reading. Needless to say, I wasn’t at all disappointed by its contents. Redemption had a gripping, fast-paced storyline and was well worth the wait; in my opinion is by far the strongest Department Q novel to date. Grumpy Police Detective Carl Mørck comes across as pretty lazy the majority of the time. In fact, on most occasions it is actually his assistant Assad, who does most of the work in following up The third book in this Scandi-crime series was one that I’d really been looking forward to reading. Needless to say, I wasn’t at all disappointed by its contents. Redemption had a gripping, fast-paced storyline and was well worth the wait; in my opinion is by far the strongest Department Q novel to date. Grumpy Police Detective Carl Mørck comes across as pretty lazy the majority of the time. In fact, on most occasions it is actually his assistant Assad, who does most of the work in following up leads in the various cold cases that land on their desks in Department Q. This time, when a mysterious message washed up in a bottle is sent to them, even Carl is intrigued. The contents of the bottle are old and faded but it is undoubtedly an SOS letter. The question is, was it a prank... or was someone genuinely in trouble? Following various leads, Carl and Assad are led to a possible kidnapping that happened years previously in a small town outside Copenhagen; but whatever happened to the victims and could the perpetrator still be at large? What a brilliantly intriguing read! This was a story filled with drama and tension and it was terrific catching up with Carl and his colleagues once more, who are all excellently drawn characters. I personally found book two to be a bit disappointing- this was so much better than I had anticipated. This book had a lot of themes- shadowy kidnappers, murder and religious sects being the predominant ones, as well as some insight into Carl’s personal life and a few side stories about other cases going on in Copenhagen. At first a lot seemed to be happening and there seemed to be a wide range of characters. I was worried that it would become a bit confusing and how it would all tie together, but after a bit of jumping around, the pace settled down and began to flow a lot more neatly, which thankfully became the norm for the rest of the novel. Carl makes me laugh and provides some much needed light-hearted relief during what in places is quite a dark story. A somewhat stereotypical parody of a detective at times, he is unintentionally endearing and comes across as an unmotivated individual for the most part. Yet, just occasionally, he shows flashes of brilliance which demonstrate why he has became such a successful police officer who warrants the grudging respect of his colleagues. I really like Assad too, a mysterious Syrian who I am keen to learn more about from the few little titbits that have been divulged about him thus far. It is clear he is hiding something from his colleagues, the question is: what? Will Carl ever find out the truth about who his assistant really is? My only quibble with this storyline is that there did seem to be some detraction from the main plot at times that just wasn’t necessary. There was a side plot regarding Serbian arsonists for example, that didn’t have much to do with the main narrative- unless this is to become a theme in book four? Also, a side story between Rose and her sister ‘Yrsa’ seemed a bit random, not to mention pointless. I feel as though it had been added for humour, but mainly it came across as distracting. It wasn't needed. That aside, Redemption is a book that I genuinely enjoyed reading. It continues the Department Q series very skilfully and without a doubt has encouraged me to read the forthcoming fourth book in the set. Though a lot of back-story is given to books one and two here, I would personally recommend reading these books in their intended order, purely to get a feel for the characters and the storyline to date.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Brody

    Carl Morck, head of Department Q, is back at the closed files again. Along with his eccentric sidekick Assad, and his more eccentric secretary, Rose, they try to solve the crime of a serial killer who targets children who come from families of unusual and small religious sects. The killer tells the parents that he wants one million kroner in ransom and if the police are called or anyone is told of the crime, the other children in the family will be killed. The characterizations in Adler-Olsen's Carl Morck, head of Department Q, is back at the closed files again. Along with his eccentric sidekick Assad, and his more eccentric secretary, Rose, they try to solve the crime of a serial killer who targets children who come from families of unusual and small religious sects. The killer tells the parents that he wants one million kroner in ransom and if the police are called or anyone is told of the crime, the other children in the family will be killed. The characterizations in Adler-Olsen's book is wonderful. We have Rose who has a twin sister Yrsa. When Rose doesn't come to work, Yrsa takes her place dragging a shopping cart behind her. However, we come to find out that Rose and Yrsa are one in the same. Does Rose have multiple personality disorder? Carl Morck likes to sleep at his desk and is so politically incorrect that he has been banned to the basement of police headquarters and given old but unsolved crimes to investigate. Assad has a bundle of tricks up his sleeve but no one knows the truth of where he lives or anything personal about him except that he is Muslim and makes delicious tea and snacks. The crime in this book starts with a bottle thrown in the ocean that is caught in a fisherman's net and turned into the police. It is sealed with tar and has an almost illegible note in it. It was written in 1996 so it is 16 years old. Together, Assad and Rose figure out most of the message and this leads to the start of an investigation of a serial killer. The killer uses many false names and addresses and has been on the loose for way over two decades. He has an M.O. of joining a small and obscure religious sect, getting to know the members and then choosing a family that has multiple children so that he can kidnap two and there will be more remaining. He always kills one of the children and returns the other as a reminder of what will happen again if the family speaks to anyone of the crime. Carl and Assad are also investigating crimes of arson in which pinkie rings are taken off of the victims that are burned up, or else the pinkie is cut off completely. Many of the same characters from the first Adler-Olsen book translated into English are back again. Vigga, Carl's ex-wife is driving him crazy. His step-son, living with Carl, is given the task of finding her a boyfriend so that she does not bother Carl. Carl's ex-partner who was shot in the spine and is now a quadriplegic now lives with Carl and Carl's friend, Morten, who also shares the house, cares for him and does the cooking. The household is a circus but a wonderful one. I loved this book. It was a great page-turner, a wonderful mystery and thriller, and I devoured it in two settings. The novel is told from the perspectives of Carl and the killer.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This was a phenomenal book. Adler-Olsen does a truly brilliant job of creating complex characters that puzzle me with their behavior. Inevitably he explains it really well and I'm kind of left amazed. This book involves a man who is targeting people who are a part of very closed religious families. Is he a serial killer? A kidnapper? It takes awhile to get that answer and we get glimpses into his past as well as his present day life along the way. In the meantime, Carl Mørck and his assistant, This was a phenomenal book. Adler-Olsen does a truly brilliant job of creating complex characters that puzzle me with their behavior. Inevitably he explains it really well and I'm kind of left amazed. This book involves a man who is targeting people who are a part of very closed religious families. Is he a serial killer? A kidnapper? It takes awhile to get that answer and we get glimpses into his past as well as his present day life along the way. In the meantime, Carl Mørck and his assistant, Assad are looking into the case because they've been forwarded a message in a bottle that was found off of Orkney several years ago. These books are fairly grim and there are some really terrible things that happen along the way. At times I'm wondering if anyone is going to survive and then reminding myself that there are more books. Mørck must survive at least. Right? But while the books are grim, there are moments of true levity in the everyday lives of Mørck, Assad, and the alternating secretaries, Rose and Ursa. Their interactions are particularly amusing and they keep the book from becoming unbearably grim, even when I'm tallying up all of the godawful things that have happened in the book. Bonus: the new narrator doesn't pronounce Assad's name like "Asshat."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Charlene Intriago

    It's crime at its darkest - standard fare from most of the Scandinavian writers - and one I was going to give two stars to when I first started reading but only because of the nature of the crime. But, of course, as I got further into the book, I was hooked. Detective Carl Morck of Department Q works the old cases, the cold cases, the ones others have given up on, and this case is old. A bottle found by a fisherman who turned it into a policeman who sat it on a shelf for a number of years and It's crime at its darkest - standard fare from most of the Scandinavian writers - and one I was going to give two stars to when I first started reading but only because of the nature of the crime. But, of course, as I got further into the book, I was hooked. Detective Carl Morck of Department Q works the old cases, the cold cases, the ones others have given up on, and this case is old. A bottle found by a fisherman who turned it into a policeman who sat it on a shelf for a number of years and then finally some one took a look at it, broke it open and discovered a message in it. Morck's sidekicks Rose and Assad are intrigued by the message from the beginning, Rose going out of her way to try to figure out what it says, and what they discover isn't pretty . . . a message written in blood. It's a gruesome book with a nasty killer but the police procedures and process of deductive reasoning make it a gripping read until the very end.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mackey

    Other reviewers have mentioned that they felt Adler-Olsen's books began to drag toward the 3rd and 4th in the series and then pick back up again toward the more recent releases. I don't agree with their assessment. In fact, I have enjoyed this third installment in the Department Q series and believe it is my favorite to date. The characters are finally being developed more thoroughly, there are multi-faceted story lines and the core mystery is always quite fascinating. I never am sure until the Other reviewers have mentioned that they felt Adler-Olsen's books began to drag toward the 3rd and 4th in the series and then pick back up again toward the more recent releases. I don't agree with their assessment. In fact, I have enjoyed this third installment in the Department Q series and believe it is my favorite to date. The characters are finally being developed more thoroughly, there are multi-faceted story lines and the core mystery is always quite fascinating. I never am sure until the final page how the story will sort itself out even though we know the "whodunnit" all along. That is what keeps me going with a mystery/crime series. I highly recommend the series especially if you like Nordic Noir - which I happen to adore.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    It’s been so long since I’ve read the first two of this series by Adler-Olsen, I needed to go back and read the descriptions and my reviews before I began reading this third of the series. As I mentioned before I enjoyed the interplay between Carl and his assistant, Assad. Not enough credit is given to Assad, who functions in an unorthodox manner, but solves some of the questions of the case. There is more of Carl’s personal life in this book than I remember in the others. The cold mystery they It’s been so long since I’ve read the first two of this series by Adler-Olsen, I needed to go back and read the descriptions and my reviews before I began reading this third of the series. As I mentioned before I enjoyed the interplay between Carl and his assistant, Assad. Not enough credit is given to Assad, who functions in an unorthodox manner, but solves some of the questions of the case. There is more of Carl’s personal life in this book than I remember in the others. The cold mystery they solve is unusual, but I wish there had been fewer victims.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steven Z.

    A Conspiracy of Faith by the Danish mystery writer, Jussi Adler-Olsen is the third in his Department Q series centered on police headquarters in Copenhagen that I have read and immensely enjoyed. The lead detective remains Carl Morck, who is assisted by his somewhat eccentric sidekick, Hafez el-Assad (not to be confused with the former murdering dictator of Syria, who is the father of the current murdering dictator of Syria, Bashir el-Assad), and his administrative assistant, Rose/Yrsa Knudsen A Conspiracy of Faith by the Danish mystery writer, Jussi Adler-Olsen is the third in his Department Q series centered on police headquarters in Copenhagen that I have read and immensely enjoyed. The lead detective remains Carl Morck, who is assisted by his somewhat eccentric sidekick, Hafez el-Assad (not to be confused with the former murdering dictator of Syria, who is the father of the current murdering dictator of Syria, Bashir el-Assad), and his administrative assistant, Rose/Yrsa Knudsen who seems to suffer from multiple personality disorder. Department Q is located in the basement of Copenhagen’s Police Headquarters and its mission is to solve old cases that have not been closed. Morck is an interesting character who is a superb detective who suffers from his own demons resulting in his banishment to the basement by the head of the Danish police. The case Morck is presented with is extremely convoluted and complex. The story begins with two boys tied up in a boat house, somewhere in Denmark, who fear for their lives. The older of the two is able to loosen the rope around his wrists and write a message in his own blood on a piece of paper which he stuffs in a bottle and drops into the water. After twelve years the bottle turns up and Morck and his cohorts begin to try and decipher, and then unravel what the significance of the note is. After careful examination and excellent police work they are able to discern a good part of the message and learn of the disappearance of Poul Holt, a college student from Ballerup who is afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome. Poul is joined in captivity with his younger brother Tryggve, who later in the narrative plays a very important role. After only a few short chapters Alder-Olsen has drawn the reader into the story and the investigation takes off. In weaving his narrative, Adler-Olsen develops a second plot that finds a man twenty years senior to his wife who constantly disappears from home, for weeks at a time. He is deranged serial killer who sets his sights on religious groups. We find him stalking a particular family from a religious sect called “the Mother Church.” His wife becomes fed up with him, and she grows suspicious which will almost cause her own undoing. The primary and secondary plots come together as Morck learns that Poul was a Jehovah’s Witness. The killer sticks to a routine and a plan for each murder that he follows meticulously. After dinner with a family from the Mother Church he ingratiated himself with the parents under the pretext of taking their children to a karate tournament. Once they leave the house the serial killer kidnaps the children, Samuel and Magdalena and locks them up in his boat house. He would teach this family, as he had done with numerous others that “the evils of this world cannot be kept at bay with weekly devotions and renunciation of the good things of modern life.” (137) The serial killer’s background explains a great deal of his twisted logic as he had grown up with a strict pastor for a father who was the center of the ultra dogmatic nature of his upbringing. Adler-Olsen explores the psychosis of extreme religion very carefully as he integrates what appear to be his own feelings about religious zealotry. The twists and turns in the plot keep the reader on the edge of their seat, and for me the book was very difficult to put down. Adler-Olsen’s character development is wonderful, and his sarcastic humor through the mouths of Morck and Rose/Yrsa are very entertaining. The conclusion of the story is difficult to predict as you read on and each scene is presented in vivid detail. If you have not tried one of Adler-Olsen’s mysteries, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. You do not have to have read the first two, and to the author’s credit he does not go over a great deal of information from those books. Having been well satisfied by A Conspiracy of Faith, I cannot wait to tackle the next two in the series, one of which, The Marco Effect, was published last week.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian

    I wouldn't exactly say that I had a rough start with this third Carl Mørck novel because it was easy to get into the story but somehow I was torn for quite a while between enjoying this book and being annoyed by several smaller things that bothered me. The case itself was quite interesting right from the start with an old message in a bottle that was once written by an abducted child and after more than a decade found its way to Carl Mørck and his assistant Assad. The boy is presumed to have been I wouldn't exactly say that I had a rough start with this third Carl Mørck novel because it was easy to get into the story but somehow I was torn for quite a while between enjoying this book and being annoyed by several smaller things that bothered me. The case itself was quite interesting right from the start with an old message in a bottle that was once written by an abducted child and after more than a decade found its way to Carl Mørck and his assistant Assad. The boy is presumed to have been killed by his kidnapper but that doesn't keep Mørck and his team from trying to bring the killer to justice – and, as being told from a different point of view, this man hasn't stopped committing terrible crimes and still poses a very dangerous threat to the Danish public. While I can't complain about the case itself I had a bit of a hard time with the way it was narrated because in the first half of the book I felt like the case was only making progress in the killer's POV while Carl Mørck seemed to be kept busy by all the crazy people working for the Copenhagen police force and their quirks. I'm in no way against humor in a crime novel and I do like Adler-Olsen's characters a lot but for me the Mørck parts were definitely lacking some seriousness which I found rather strange. But in the last 200 pages the story really picked up speed and was very suspenseful and addictive and suddenly became almost impossible to put down – maybe because now there was more actual police work and less nonsense but mostly because Jussi Adler-Olsen did a really good job bringing all the strings together and this really strong ending more than made up for the rather mediocre first half of the novel.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    4.5 stars....loved it! I just love Jussi Adler-Olsen. He is a Danish author who writes great suspense thrillers. He usually is a little dark, but in a 'creepy kind of good way'. I never know where his stories are going. I highly recommend his Department Q series to anyone who enjoys suspense thrillers. Just one word of caution though. I did the audio for the first book in this seriesThe Keeper of Lost Causes, and if you have a problem with really thick accents, then just read that one instead. It 4.5 stars....loved it! I just love Jussi Adler-Olsen. He is a Danish author who writes great suspense thrillers. He usually is a little dark, but in a 'creepy kind of good way'. I never know where his stories are going. I highly recommend his Department Q series to anyone who enjoys suspense thrillers. Just one word of caution though. I did the audio for the first book in this seriesThe Keeper of Lost Causes, and if you have a problem with really thick accents, then just read that one instead. It was border line comical because it sounded like Jean Claude Van Dam and Arnold Schwartzenegger, got together to help the Count find his way back to Sesame Street. But thankfully the story was worth it and the problem was rectified in the 2nd and 3rd installments of this series. In A Conspiracy of Faith, I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out how they were going to catch the 'bad guy'. It was one I couldn't wait to get back to when I had to put it down.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Three books in and this author is top equal on my favourite authors list! The other author being Mark Billingham and it is no coincidence that I like them both, as these two authors have a similar writing style. The down on his luck detective, the funny and irreverent side kicks, the unlucky in love aspect and the whole tone of the novels. Redemption starts in Copenhagen, with two captive boys, awaiting their fate. One of the boys, using a twig and his own blood, writes an sos message and seals Three books in and this author is top equal on my favourite authors list! The other author being Mark Billingham and it is no coincidence that I like them both, as these two authors have a similar writing style. The down on his luck detective, the funny and irreverent side kicks, the unlucky in love aspect and the whole tone of the novels. Redemption starts in Copenhagen, with two captive boys, awaiting their fate. One of the boys, using a twig and his own blood, writes an sos message and seals it in a bottle, which he manages to drop through the cracks in the floor to the fiords underneath the boathouse where they are being held. The bottle washes up some time later in Scotland and from there sits idle until years later it is inspected and handed on the Department Q (cold case dept), in Copenhagen, to see if there is any merit in the note. Carl Morck soon discovers that the message is real and they have to dig deeper to find out who the killer is if they are to stop him.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gloryvette

    I am completely hooked on this series about "Department Q" and it's motley cast of characters. This book was published under a different name, so don't be confused. If you can, be sure to read this series in order. The plots begin in such a complex manner you think circumstances can not possibly be linked. But sure enough,in a very plausible way, they all do. #1 - Keeper of Lost Causes. #2 - The Absent One #3 - A Conspiracy of Faith #4 - The Purity of Vengence #5 - The Marco Effect. Captivating I am completely hooked on this series about "Department Q" and it's motley cast of characters. This book was published under a different name, so don't be confused. If you can, be sure to read this series in order. The plots begin in such a complex manner you think circumstances can not possibly be linked. But sure enough,in a very plausible way, they all do. #1 - Keeper of Lost Causes. #2 - The Absent One #3 - A Conspiracy of Faith #4 - The Purity of Vengence #5 - The Marco Effect. Captivating and engrossing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    I would actually give this book 4 1/2 stars . It had a great plot,interesting characters ,suspense , and elements of humor.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Suspect X

    I am really enjoying "Department Q" series. If you have read the previous books in the series, you should definitely pick up this one as well.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jack Heath

    4 Stars. Is Detective Carl Morck less crotchety than previous? Seems so. He still has trouble with Assad and Rose but a team appears to be developing. In this remarkable chapter of the continuing tales of Department Q, even Carl would admit that his assistants are beginning to show promise. Many years after a terrible crime occurs, a kidnapping and murder, a bottle floats to the shores of Scotland. It's travelled a long way across the North Sea from Denmark. It's almost as long for someone to 4 Stars. Is Detective Carl Morck less crotchety than previous? Seems so. He still has trouble with Assad and Rose but a team appears to be developing. In this remarkable chapter of the continuing tales of Department Q, even Carl would admit that his assistants are beginning to show promise. Many years after a terrible crime occurs, a kidnapping and murder, a bottle floats to the shores of Scotland. It's travelled a long way across the North Sea from Denmark. It's almost as long for someone to realize there's a difficult-to-read message inside. Plus more time until it lands on Carl's cold case desk. Even then the message needs coaxing and cajoling for it to be understood. Finally a light can be turned toward someone who may be using the isolationist tendencies of small, fringe religious groups as a foundation for a career of crime. The chase is on. It pulls you in. Great tale but a touch below the first two. (September 2017)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenni

    This is really somewhere around 3.5 stars, because there were parts that I liked a lot, but then there were parts that were pretty meh. The main plot is good, and interesting, but I wish there had been more focus on the victims; now they felt very superficial characters even though they were supposed to play a big role. The perp wasn't all that interesting in fact, which is weird because religious violence is usually an interesting subject. Mia's storyline was left hanging, I would have liked to This is really somewhere around 3.5 stars, because there were parts that I liked a lot, but then there were parts that were pretty meh. The main plot is good, and interesting, but I wish there had been more focus on the victims; now they felt very superficial characters even though they were supposed to play a big role. The perp wasn't all that interesting in fact, which is weird because religious violence is usually an interesting subject. Mia's storyline was left hanging, I would have liked to get a better look inside her head. The main characters are still strong, but there didn't seem to be much character development apart from Rose and Yrsa. Assad is my favourite of the three, so I would love to know more about him. Maybe in the following books. Adler-Olsen knows how to write page turners, how to get his readers binge half a book in a day and that's what I would have liked to do despite this not being his strongest novel.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    A message in a bottle washes up in Scotland and takes years to make its way back to Denmark, where it's determined to have originated. And despite being written 13 years earlier, it leads Carl and Assad to solve a crime currently being committed. Department Q is supposed to be dedicated to cold cases, but so far they've all been alive and kicking. Between the killer, his unfortunate wife, Carl, his many coworkers and housemates, there's a lot going on in this book. A little too much at times, A message in a bottle washes up in Scotland and takes years to make its way back to Denmark, where it's determined to have originated. And despite being written 13 years earlier, it leads Carl and Assad to solve a crime currently being committed. Department Q is supposed to be dedicated to cold cases, but so far they've all been alive and kicking. Between the killer, his unfortunate wife, Carl, his many coworkers and housemates, there's a lot going on in this book. A little too much at times, but it mostly comes together with some loose ends that will be continued in The Purity of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel. The translation worked better on this one, although the decidedly British slang/vocabulary was a bit distracting at times.

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