Customer Reviews for

The Absent One (Department Q Series #2)

Average Rating 4
( 43 )
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(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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 occasio...
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.

posted by Peanut61 on September 14, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 8 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 YoyoMitch 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 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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