Customer Reviews for

The Absent One (Department Q Series #2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Like his first book, The Keeper of Lost Causes, it had me from t

Like his first book, The Keeper of Lost Causes, it had me from the first page. I tore through this book. I love his characters, his wit and style. While there are probably not too many surprises, the journey to the results are fantastic!!! I did find out through his w...
Like his first book, The Keeper of Lost Causes, it had me from the first page. I tore through this book. I love his characters, his wit and style. While there are probably not too many surprises, the journey to the results are fantastic!!! I did find out through his website that the next in the series will not be out for a whole year. Tragic!!! Definetly a fan!!!

posted by 9140008 on September 13, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

When last we saw Carl Morck, he had successfully solved the fiv

When last we saw Carl Morck, he had successfully solved the five year disappearance of a member of the Danish Parliament. His success made the newest department of the Copenhagen Police instantly famous. In the three weeks that have passed since completing that case,...
When last we saw Carl Morck, he had successfully solved the five year disappearance of a member of the Danish Parliament. His success made the newest department of the Copenhagen Police instantly famous. In the three weeks that have passed since completing that case, Detective Inspector Morck has been on holiday. When he arrives back at his subterranean office to continue the work of Department Q, which is to solve cold cases, mysteriously (and the only actual mystery of this book) the case that appears predominately on his desk is 20 years old but there is a person in prison who has admitted to that crime. How did the file come to be on Inspector Morck’s desk? What would be the purpose in looking into a 20 year-0ld case that is already solved?
These questions lead to the solution of the mystery of how the case came to his attention while it prepares the way for the remainder of the work to be filled with the suspense of following where the answers lead the folks of Department Q. When Insp. Morck, “Assistant Assistant Deputy Director” Assad and the new department secretary, Rose, begin to delve into it, it quickly becomes apparent that the case, while technically solved, is far from being successfully closed. Unlike Mr. Adler-Olsen’s first Department Q novel, Keeper of Lost Causes, the reader knows the crimes at the same time as does the hero, but she/he also knows who committed them well before Dept. Q. This book is less mystery than it is a novel of suspense.
The characters are clearly drawn but are shallow and two dimensional; the “good guys” are all but wearing white hats, the criminals are the purest of evil. Given the propensity of the Nordic writers I have read not to have a tidy, clear, “happy,” endings, I was looking forward to seeing if the “evil” so readily evident in the course of the story would be completely thwarted by the novels end. The resolution was satisfactory and fitting, albeit very Nordic. At least two of the plot lines introduced in the first novel are revisited in this second installment with a layer added to one major line that elevated my interest delightfully.
The descriptions of the crimes are often in dreadful detail, the language is somewhat raw and the locations are, suitably (as that is where the story and writer are located), Danish – Copenhagen to be precise – and were therefore alien and difficult to pronounce to this provincial reader. There are many humorous moments amid the tension, particularly in the interactions between Det. Morck, Assad (the department’s bafflingly talented, Middle Eastern newest detective) and Rose, who brings a new meaning to the concept of ADD. Overall, I was not as charmed with Mr. Adler-Olsen’s sophomore novel as was I of his first. As mentioned, the characters are “unfinished,” the villainy too melodramatic and many of the actions taken by the criminals, while plausible, rang hollow and seemed to be more political rant than formative to an otherwise well done storyline.
I do look forward to the third visit with Department Q. There is romance afoot, chivalry renewed and more cases that appear dead until they are taken up by the Department amid the Basement Pipes.

posted by YoyoMitch53 on November 19, 2012

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  • Posted November 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    When last we saw Carl Morck, he had successfully solved the fiv

    When last we saw Carl Morck, he had successfully solved the five year disappearance of a member of the Danish Parliament. His success made the newest department of the Copenhagen Police instantly famous. In the three weeks that have passed since completing that case, Detective Inspector Morck has been on holiday. When he arrives back at his subterranean office to continue the work of Department Q, which is to solve cold cases, mysteriously (and the only actual mystery of this book) the case that appears predominately on his desk is 20 years old but there is a person in prison who has admitted to that crime. How did the file come to be on Inspector Morck’s desk? What would be the purpose in looking into a 20 year-0ld case that is already solved?
    These questions lead to the solution of the mystery of how the case came to his attention while it prepares the way for the remainder of the work to be filled with the suspense of following where the answers lead the folks of Department Q. When Insp. Morck, “Assistant Assistant Deputy Director” Assad and the new department secretary, Rose, begin to delve into it, it quickly becomes apparent that the case, while technically solved, is far from being successfully closed. Unlike Mr. Adler-Olsen’s first Department Q novel, Keeper of Lost Causes, the reader knows the crimes at the same time as does the hero, but she/he also knows who committed them well before Dept. Q. This book is less mystery than it is a novel of suspense.
    The characters are clearly drawn but are shallow and two dimensional; the “good guys” are all but wearing white hats, the criminals are the purest of evil. Given the propensity of the Nordic writers I have read not to have a tidy, clear, “happy,” endings, I was looking forward to seeing if the “evil” so readily evident in the course of the story would be completely thwarted by the novels end. The resolution was satisfactory and fitting, albeit very Nordic. At least two of the plot lines introduced in the first novel are revisited in this second installment with a layer added to one major line that elevated my interest delightfully.
    The descriptions of the crimes are often in dreadful detail, the language is somewhat raw and the locations are, suitably (as that is where the story and writer are located), Danish – Copenhagen to be precise – and were therefore alien and difficult to pronounce to this provincial reader. There are many humorous moments amid the tension, particularly in the interactions between Det. Morck, Assad (the department’s bafflingly talented, Middle Eastern newest detective) and Rose, who brings a new meaning to the concept of ADD. Overall, I was not as charmed with Mr. Adler-Olsen’s sophomore novel as was I of his first. As mentioned, the characters are “unfinished,” the villainy too melodramatic and many of the actions taken by the criminals, while plausible, rang hollow and seemed to be more political rant than formative to an otherwise well done storyline.
    I do look forward to the third visit with Department Q. There is romance afoot, chivalry renewed and more cases that appear dead until they are taken up by the Department amid the Basement Pipes.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Intense & fast paced - couldn't put it down!

    Warning - intricate and twisting, allowing the reader to really participate in the discovery but it can be gruesome and quite violent at times! The characters are beautifully developed and multi-dimensional. The recurring characters are wonderful, providing an occasional laugh but don't let them fool you - they have hidden strengths! The secondary story lines offer rich insight into the minds and backgrounds of both Morck and Assad.
    I waited patiently for this title to be released and am now hoping for a third in this series.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    Like his first book, The Keeper of Lost Causes, it had me from t

    Like his first book, The Keeper of Lost Causes, it had me from the first page. I tore through this book. I love his characters, his wit and style. While there are probably not too many surprises, the journey to the results are fantastic!!! I did find out through his website that the next in the series will not be out for a whole year. Tragic!!! Definetly a fan!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2013

    Jussi Alder-olsen is in my top 5 mystery writers. Looking forwar

    Jussi Alder-olsen is in my top 5 mystery writers. Looking forward to the next A Conspiracy of Faith coming in June.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2012

    highly recommended

    I have read two of Jussi Adler-Olsen's books - this one and "The Keeper of Lost Causes". Both are excellent and he is my new favorite writer of this genre. His books are not only well written but original and clever.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    This book really captured my attention. The characters are fasc

    This book really captured my attention. The characters are fascinating with the right mix of quirkiness and professionalism to get the job done. Although there aren't too many surprises, it was still hard to put down. It has elements of a cross between "Girl with a Dragon Tattoo" and "A Clockwork Orange" and yet is totally original.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2012

    This is the second book by Jussi Adler-Olsen that I read. I gue


    This is the second book by Jussi Adler-Olsen that I read. I guess I am now
    a fan :-)

    I liked this one almost as much as I liked The keeper of loss causes (by Adler-Olsen as well). Why almost? Well, I understand that not two books are alike but one of the things that made The keeper of loss causes a success was "assistant assistant detective" Assad and his peculiarity. Although Assad was also present in this novel, his interaction wasn't as strong or as much as the previous one. Minus one point there.

    The gang in The absent one reminded me of The Likeness by Tana French. The two novels or the gang are nothing alike but both books are about a knit close group of friends and...well, one just made me think of the other.

    In The absent one detective Carl Mørck is back, sober and picking up cold-dead leads. This time, he is after the case of a brother and a sister who were brutally murdered 20 years ago. Right, how would he find any clues after 20 years? That is what makes this book exciting! His search takes him to a group of privileged sadistic friends who's hobbies include hunting and killing animals.

    Then there is Kimmie, a woman living on the street who holds the key to solving the case.

    I liked the pace, the intrigue and the plot. Adler-Olsen is a master in his genre. The book is good and it kept me hooked and reading nonstop. Not to mention that the Adler-Olsen's style of writing is truly engaging.

    I didn't like the little background on the group. Why were they like that? Aside from Kimmie, Adler-Olsen never explained why the rest of the group acted the way they did. I guess sometimes evil doesn't need to be fully explained and there are cases when you are born being evil or you aren't. But a little less description of the animals and their killing and a little bit more about the actual members of the gang would've been great.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2013

    Highly recommend.

    This is the second book in the Dept. Q. series I have read. I thoroughly enjoy this writer, and the story line as much as the first book. The language in this book was a bit much but I still highly recommend it. It's a great mystery. Looking forward to the next book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This follow-up novel in the Department Q series, in which Carl M

    This follow-up novel in the Department Q series, in which Carl Morck made his debut in “The Keeper of Lost Causes,” is quite different from the introductory book. It is more complicated, while the character of the protagonist and his assistant, Assad, essentially remain the same. And to spice things up, another “assistant” is provided to Morck, the head of the office devoted to solving cold cases. This time it is a female, Rose, who, having failed her driving test at the Police Academy, is unable to achieve her desire to become an officer and has to settle for working at headquarters as a secretary.

    Carl becomes intrigued with a 20-year-old case for which someone who has confessed is already serving a sentence for the murder of a brother and sister. However, it becomes apparent that some of his boarding g school classmates, now rich and prominent figures in Danish society, may have been involved not only in that crime, but also in a series of brutal assaults and even other murders. It is up to Carl and his “staff” to solve the case, despite being told by higher authority to stop their investigation.

    The story is brutal and black, filled with riveting descriptions and depravity, the portrayals vivid. A worthy successor to a well-received first installment, setting the stage for the third, due out from Dutton in Canada in May and from Penguin in the UK in September (and, hopefully, not too long thereafter in the US), it is recommended.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2012

    Very good

    Whilst not as original or compelling as the first in the series, it is still a good read

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2012

    I really am enjoying this book. I got hooked on the "Keeper

    I really am enjoying this book. I got hooked on the "Keeper of Lost Causes" Love the characters. I hope more books in the series will be translated by Lisa Hartford, as she clearly contributes to the flavor of the story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2012

    Very recommended

    Loved this book. Reading left me wondering what was happening all through the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    very predictable [plot

    quite boring--villains developed way too soon and with a predictable plot. Couldnt finish.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    Interest in Pheasant hunts?

    Cold case, old school ties, revenge in this delightful Danish mystery. Bit gruesome in parts with some very nasty characters but worth the read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    A disappointing followup to the first book

    LOVED the first novel in this series, but this one has a plot and characters that are a little too unbelievable. Also, the new female character doesn't ring true--not believable either.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2012

    This is a good read... I do think the other three books in the s

    This is a good read... I do think the other three books in the series
    are better, than this one, though. Those I love - this one I enjoy :-)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    One of my favorite authors in the crime novel world.

    This is my second book by Adler-Olsen. Will read all novels in the Departmnet Q series. Never boring, interesting characters. Some may not like the settings not being in America but then you get a window into crime solving in a different country.

    I am a picky reader, don't always read best-sellers or trendy books or novels written in a series but Adler-Olsen keeps me interested.

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  • Posted February 13, 2014

    Another author I'm really enjoying. Loved Steig, Love Jo Nesbo

    Another author I'm really enjoying. Loved Steig, Love Jo Nesbo and Camilla Lackberg. Now Jussi Adler-Olsen. Dept Q and it's cold cases are right up my interest alley. I'm hoping Rose becomes part of Carl and Assad's investigative team. I don't worry about pronouncing street, town and locations because bottom line it makes no difference in enjoying the story. Just ordered the third Q book "A Conspiracy of Faith" Do yourself a favor and give this author a try.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    Very good puzzler.

    The way this story is told is a unfamiliar to me, but it is great for those who like to solve a mystery and even figure out what is next.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    Loved It

    Chose the book at random for Nook and loved it. Good characters, good story, humor. I hope more of Adler-Olsen's books are translated to english soon.

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