Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Keeper of Lost Causes

The Keeper of Lost Causes
Author: Jussi Adler-Olsen
Dutton, 2011
400 pages

A while back, there was a great deal of buzz on some of the European book blogs I follow about a book called Mercy by Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen. Unable to find it here in the States, I came very close to ordering Mercy from Amazon UK. Then I found out that for some unknown reason, the same book was called The Keeper of Lost Causes when it was published for the market over here. I don't know why publishers do this, but sometimes they do. However, after reading it, I can say that either title works well for the story.

This is apparently the first book in a series featuring Copenhagen detective Carl Mørck and his increasingly capable assistant, the mysterious immigrant named Assad. (Assad is the best sidekick character to come along in ages. I like Carl, but I adore Assad.)

When the book opens, Carl is just coming back to work after being on leave for a while following an incident in which he and two police partners were gunned down on the job. One of the partners was killed and another was badly wounded. Carl is left to wonder why he survived and is also going through a sort of mid-life crisis, re-thinking career and all that. But when an opportunity comes along to lead a newly-funded crime unit looking at cold cases, Carl takes it.

The first case involves the disappearance of a beautiful young politician who went missing five years ago. Merete Lynggard was at the top of her game and one of the paparazzi favorites when she disappeared from a ferry. Although no body was ever found, she's been declared dead, but to Carl, it just doesn't feel right. As he and Assad look into the case, they find out that Merete had at least one big secret that few people knew about.

[Actually, she isn't dead. She's being held captive. Take a look at the official book teaser trailer (for Mercy), you'll see that I'm not giving away any spoilers by saying this.]

The Keeper of Lost Causes is a wild ride and one of the best psychological thrillers I've ever read. I read the last 50% in one sitting. I LOVED it, and recommend it highly to fans of this genre.

Another special thing about this book is that it was the first Kindle book I got from my local library. This is a super-cool service and yet another reason to support libraries!!! :)