I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Carl Mørck used to be one of Copenhagen’s best homicide detectives. Then a hail of bullets destroyed the lives of two fellow cops, and Carl—who didn’t draw his weapon—blames himself. So a promotion is the last thing he expects. But Department Q is a department of one, and Carl’s got only a stack of Copenhagen’s coldest cases for company. His colleagues snicker, but Carl may have the last laugh, because one file keeps nagging at him: a liberal politician vanished five years earlier and is presumed dead. But she isn’t dead … yet.
I know it’s a good book when I immediately want to book the next one at the library! But I’ll hold off for a bit, knowing that it’s also wise to leave a bit of space between books in a good series. They are like dessert, very enjoyable when widely spaced, but boring if they are a steady diet.
I was about half way through the book on Saturday night when I finally had to admit exhaustion and go to bed. As I was swimming towards consciousness on Sunday morning, I had a sudden epiphany—I know who the captor/killer is! Then it was a quick read to determine the accuracy of this not-so-early morning revelation. (I was right!)
I enjoyed getting the back story on Carl Mørck—how he ended up in Department Q, where the name of the department came from, and how he got mixed up with the mysterious Assad. Mørck has all the characteristics necessary in Scandinavian crime fiction—a screwed up past, a cranky disposition, problems with the women and children in his life, and a reluctant determination to solve the crimes that are presented to him. Despite his stereotypical set up, Carl is easy to appreciate—who amongst us hasn’t had woes at work, unreasonable bosses and coworkers, and stress from personal life impinging on our jobs? Carl’s situation is a bit more extreme than most of us (there’s very little PTSD in the library profession) but you can still easily put yourself in his situation.
I also like the shady Assad and will look forward to his further adventures with Carl!