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.
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