There has been much hype and hoopla written The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen and it is all well deserved in my opinion. Some books that are best sellers in one language and are subsequently translated seem to lose a bit in the translation process. I can only say that if The Keeper of Lost Causes has lost anything in the translation process, good riddance.
The story begins by introducing Carl Morck, a police investigator. Carl is recovering from a shooting that has seriously injured one of his partners and killed the other. Now that he is back at work, his bad attitude results in no one wanting to work with him. So his bosses promote him to the newly crafted Department Q, a national cold case file department. The intention is anything but a promotion. The hope is to exile and silence Morck until he either retires or quits. Morck is assisted in Department Q by a non-police employee and Syrian refugee, Hafez Al-Assad (even Morck finds it interesting that his assistant has the name of the deceased Syrian President). Initially Morck isn’t very interested in doing much of anything other than biding his time in his basement banishment. Eventually he is forced into picking a case and launches an investigation into the disappearance/murder/suicide/accident of Merete Lynggard.
Ms. Lynggard was a Member of Parliament and she disappeared five years earlier while on a ferry. It is presumed that she was the victim of foul play, accidentally fell overboard, committed suicide or has simply taken off to parts unknown. The few people that know her realize she would never kill herself or take off and leave her disabled brother Uffe behind. Both she and Uffe survived a horrible car accident as young teenagers that took the lives of both of their parents and several occupants of another vehicle. Merete walked away without permanent injury but Uffe suffered brain damage. She has been taking care of Uffe ever since.
The investigation in Merete’s case starts off with little care or consideration by Morck. However, Hafez is quite excited to be participating in a police investigation and prods and pushes to get Morck more involved, primarily by asking questions and providing information. One of the things that kept my attention was the constant switching between Morck and Merete’s points of views. The suspense is allowed to gradually build until the very end. I found the beginning a little slow but after reading a few chapters the pace picks up. The characters are all interesting and have the right amount of quirkiness to make them believable. Although this is slightly longer in length, over 400 pages, it is definitely worth reading. The Keeper of Lost Causes is scheduled to be released on August 18, 2011. If you don’t have this on your TBR list and you enjoy mystery-suspense novels add it. I’m looking forward to getting this in ebook format when it’s released so that I can re-read it.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader copy of this book free for review purposes from BookReporter.com. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”