The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q Series #1)

The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q Series #1)

by Jussi Adler-Olsen


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525952480
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/23/2011
Series: Department Q Series , #1
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 9.02(w) x 6.42(h) x 1.26(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark's #1 crime writer. This novel has already appeared at the top of bestseller lists in Denmark and Germany, and subsequent entries in the series debuted at #1.

Read an Excerpt

She was going to look after herself. For them she was the woman in the cage, but she was the one who decided how far apart the bars would be. She would think thoughts that opened out onto the world and kept madness at bay. They would never break her. That's what she decided as she lay there on the floor, her shoulder throbbing fiercely and the swelling around her eye forcing it closed. Someday she would get out of here.


Excerpted from "The Keeper of Lost Causes"
by .
Copyright © 2012 Jussi Adler-Olsen.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Jydske Vestkysten

"Jussi Adler-Olsen tells his stories as wickedly as Dean Koontz and has his detectives work as hard as Stieg Larsson."

C.J. Box

"The Keeper of Lost Causes is dark, atmospheric, and compelling. Those who loved The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will devour this book."

Customer Reviews

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The Keeper of Lost Causes 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 166 reviews.
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
Detective Carl Morck reports back to work after being injured on the job. One partner died, the other hospitalized indefinitely. Carl is a flawed character, seemingly difficult to work with, so he is assigned to a new unit, Department Q. Relegated to the basement, assigned as an assistant an old Syrian, Assad, who won't leave the department alone, Carl passes time making piles of cold case folders. Eventually required to report something upstairs, Carl touches on the Merete Lynngaard disappearance and with Assad strangely helpful, Carl delves into the five year old mystery. I look forward to more books about Department Q and Carl Morck. I can only hope Adler-Olsen has already written them, the quicker to be translated and released on the American market.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Received ARC from Net Galley. A bit slow getting started (about 60 pgs) but definitely picked up and well worth the time. Inspector Carl Morck gets assigned to the newly formed Q Department (reminded me of Peter Benchley's Q Clearance). He's been assigned the old, unsolved cases and an assistant, Assad. The first case they re-open involves the suicide (was it??) of a goverment official (jumped from a ferry boat...or did she). Narratives switches back and forth from 2002 (when the 'suicide' took place) to 2007 when Carl re-opens the case. The villian's character is well developed and the tension steadily builds. Evolved into a real page turner. Great book by another (of many) accomplished and highly entertaining Scandanavian authors.
TWTaz More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and the characters of detective Carl Mork and his assistant Assad in Department Q. The story drew me in from the beginning. There were a few spots in the book that were a little too slow paced for my liking, but it didn't detract from the overall tension for me of whether Carl would solve the mystery before it was too late for the victim. I also found myself laughing quite a bit throughout at Carl's opinion of some of his co-workers and at some of Assad's antics. I so wish everyone would stop comparing every book to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Yes, I really liked all three books in that series. But in my opinion, this story was in no way, shape or form anything like Stieg Larsson's books, which I'm grateful for. If I want to read the same storyline over and over I'll just go back to those books and re-read them. The Keeper of Lost Causes was a great story with great characters that kept my interest throughout. I really hope the translation of the next book in the Department Q series hits the USA soon. I will definitely spend my money on that one as well.
JillBowling More than 1 year ago
I choose this book based on how much I enjoyed the Millenium Series and it did not fail me. First I must say that I don't like reading trillers where the victim get torn apart, shot to death or in some way tortured on the pages of the book. This crime novel has a victim and it does describe what she is going through, but it was in no way as disgusting as some crime novels I have read. I loved the detective team Carl and Assad. Assad's character brings a lot to the story for entertainment value and solving the crime. I definitely recommend this book to crime novel readers who don't like the gore that a lot of our novels possess. I am hoping that Jussi Adler-Olsen will now have the rest of this series translated for the American reading audience.
KAWKW More than 1 year ago
I especially like the detective in this novel. He is flawed like Wallander, but in a good way. The suspense builds and the ending is satisfying. I look forward to more from this series.
DianeCLI More than 1 year ago
One of the best detective stories I have read yet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope this is the beginning of a new series. I definitely want more
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
Don't get confused by the title. You'll soon find yourself enjoying "The Keeper of Lost Causes" with its subtle humor, interesting characters, and a unique take on kidnapping. Although this reader is usually wary of foreign police detective stories, I found myself moving through this story quickly, eagerly waiting to see where it would take me to next. Carl Morck is back to work in Copenhagen's homicide department after a murder investigation gone wrong, where one of his teammates died and another ended up paralyzed. He is promoted to Department Q, a newly created department in charge of what in layman's terms are called cold cases. Relegated to the basement and with the help of his enigmatic "assistant", Morck reluctantly eases himself into a five-year-old kidnapping case of Danish politician, Merete Lynggaard, as well as keeping his nose into current cases, including the one which temporarily put him out of action. The story jumps back and forth between the present day investigations and showing the horror Lynggaard suffers at the hands of her tormentors throughout the years. This story is character driven from the surly Mrs. Sorenson to the gruff, but empathetic Jacobsen to the mentally damaged Uffe. Adler-Olsen doesn't throw away minor characters, but brings them into a new light and shows the effect they have on others. You really feel the anguish of Lynggaard in her prison, the frustration of Morck with his assistant's tidbits of knowledge, his wife's constant nagging, and his tenant's quirks and sympathy for a confused Uffe. Despite the foreign locale, the unpronounceable Danish names, and the fact this reader deduced the bad guy early on, this award winning author's story is delightful, suspenseful, and makes you root for the good guys. Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, author of "Night Shadows" for Suspense Magazine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just a fun read. Can't wait for more translations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
well plotted and characters are believable
Twink More than 1 year ago
Yes, there is a plethora (I love that word) of Nordic and Scandinavian authors making their names known in North America lately, but here's one you want to take note of and write down - Jussi Adler-Olsen. Adler-Olsen is the author of the "Department Q" series featuring Carl Morck. The Keeper of Lost Causes is the first in the series and newly released in North America. "Twenty-five years on the police force and ten in the homicide division has hardened him. That's how things had gone until the day when a murder case pierced his armour." Both figuratively and literally. Carl has just returned to the force since a situation gone terribly wrong leaves his partner paralyzed and Carl seriously wounded. His usual inability to get along with others gets even worse as he attempts to come to terms with his guilt. His superior, under pressure to deal with cold cases, see a win-win situation. Assign Carl to head up what will be the new 'Department Q'. And the department consists of only Carl until he demands an administrative assistant. Assad is assigned to work in the basement with Carl. Assad is a bit of a mystery as we come to discover. The interplay between these two characters is fantastic. Carl's skills as a detective really are unparalleled in the department. Assad's myriad set of skills are revealed as the two work together reopening the case of a missing politician, gone for five years and presumed drowned. The politician's fate is slowly revealed in flashback chapters as Carl and Assad uncover more and more that indicates the case was never properly investigated the first time. "She was going to look after herself. For them she was the woman in the cage, but she was the one who decide how far apart the bars would be. She would think thought that opened out on to the world and kept madness at bay. They would never break her. that's what she decided as she lay there on the floor...." This was just a fantastic read for me. Adler-Olsen's dialogue runs the gamut from comic to compassionate. The plot is frightening and well thought out. The manner in which the case is slowly revealed was absolutely addicting, keeping me reading until late in the night. Carl's personal life is a mess, providing a secondary plot line that was also entertaining. But it is the flawed characters of Carl and Assad that are the real draw for me. A five star read for me - highly recommended. Adler-Olsen has released the fourth book of the Department Q series in Denmark. This reader will be eagerly awaiting the next North American release.
justpretty More than 1 year ago
Looking forward to more from this author. Captured my interest from the first chapter, liked the characters and moved along quickly . Read it in three days.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
The Keeper of Lost Causes (also titled Mercy) is the first book in the Department Q series by Danish author Jussi Adler Olsen. It’s early 2007, and Homicide Detective Carl Morck has returned to duty. Some weeks earlier, a shooting at a murder scene at Amager left one of his colleagues dead, the other paralysed with spinal injuries. Carl may be an outstanding detective, but his lack of people skills is wearing thin on the Homicide Department of the Copenhagen Police Force. The solution comes in the form of his appointment as head of the newly formed (politically instigated) Department Q, which will handle nationwide “cases deserving special scrutiny”. It looks like Carl will be doing all the work. Not that he cares: the shooting of his colleagues, still unsolved, has left him riddled with a deep-seated guilt and beset by an apathy he has never before known. A number of case files is delivered to his basement office, and after a cursory sorting of the folders, Carl settles back to examine the insides of his eyelids. But the assistant he has been assigned, a Syrian refugee who is meant to do cleaning and filing, seems to have other ideas. Assad’s enthusiasm isn’t exactly contagious, but soon enough, Carl finds himself intrigued by the case Assad has selected. In early 2002, politician Merete Lynggaard disappeared from a ferry on her way to Berlin with her psychologically disabled (mute) younger brother, Uffe. While most believed she had drowned, no remains were ever found. Uffe was unable to shed light on her fate. Carl and Assad believe they are looking for a murder victim, but an alternate narrative that starts in 2002 and is intermittently inserted between chapters from Morck’s 2007 perspective lets the reader know otherwise. Adler-Olsen gives the reader a riveting tale with an intricately woven plot and an exciting climax. His characters are multi-dimensional, and their dialogue is often a source of humour. The way Carl drops the occasional remark to point the Homicide crew in the right direction on their current cases is also fun. The mystery of the Amager shooting is not resolved and is one of several strands that provide potential material for further books (of which there are currently six). Assad is a delightful surprise whose inner workings will, no doubt, also be explored further. This is a brilliant start to the series and an excellent example of Danish Crime Fiction.
Gene-K More than 1 year ago
This was good, not as good as the "Dragon" books, but good. Some what more predictible, but I am looking forward to other Adler-Olsen trillers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book that is pure pleasure to read. This is a first rate translation. Sure wish there was another available because I am ready for more!
chasVA More than 1 year ago
This novel had an excellant plot, well developed characters. Any fan of Henning Mankell should give it a shot- you will not be disappointed.
Anna_Sophie More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan on scandinavian mystery writers, spoiled by henning mankell. this is probably the first book that has come close to piquing my interest. the characters are believable, not overbearing; the plot is believable and involving; and it is a book that i, as a reader, hopes becomes a series. i must admit that the audiobook is great to listen to because it helps with the names and pronounciations, but this is a good weekend reader for sure.
GoldenGal More than 1 year ago
We listened to the audio version of this book on a road trip and found it immensely entertaining with many chapters ending in a cliffhanger that made you just want to continue the story. A wounded but recovering police officer is set up to Run Dept. Q - the department where dead cases have been sent. He picks a folder at random involving a missing woman member of Parliament who has presumed to have drown. His side-kick. a Syrian Muslim, adds a great dimension to the story. The plot is quite involved and keeps you in suspense wanting to learn the true motives of the kidnappers or killers. If you loved the Stieg Larson books, you will find this Danish author more than up to the task of holding your interest and entertaining you with a fantastic read. Buy it Now - don't wait and spread the word about this book - it's great.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Not since reading Steig Larson has a book kept me on the edge of my seat like this one. All the main characters are so well developed and interesting, the plot taut and riveting. I can't wait to read more from this author.
Anonymous 22 days ago
I always enjoy reading about characters that are flawed and have inner turmoils that add texture to the story. It makes his characters so much more relatable. Olsen seems to be able to capture that in his writing. Looking forward to another of his stories.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Although I knew “who done it” early on, it didn’t really take away from being entertained throughout the read. I liked the characters a lot, especially the sidekick, and I’m compelled to read on to find out more about him and his past. Not to mention see what other mysteries the duo solves.
KarenHerndon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a very well written detective story that keep me interested and not wanting to put the book down even though I figured out who-dun- it probably a third of the way through. I will definitely read more by this author :)
souleswanderer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books you put on your wish list then slowly watch the calendar to see if it's actually made it to the bookstore. Aside from the bright orange cover, I'd read nothing but high praise for Jussi Adler-Olsen and once I had the book in hand there came that moment of trepidation. One thought going through my mind, if he's an international best-selling author why has it taken so long to get published in the States? Be that as it may, not every Scandinavian author can be as good as Stieg Larsson, even though every dust-jacket would have you believing so. I started the prologue on the way home from the bookstore via the Link Lite Rail. And just that small piece, a little more than a page long, I knew the author had me hooked. Carl Morck (there's a slash through the o in his name) is a homicide detective recovering from a gunshot wound to his temple. His two colleagues weren't as lucky, one dead and the other paralyzed from the neck down. The other detectives in the squad deem him a belligerent pest and don't want to work with him. The solution of how to handle the independent and outspoken detective comes down through parliament when a new directive is posted, creating a cold cases department within the police station. This new post seems the perfect nook for Carl and he finds himself relegated to a far corner of the basement with a door propped against the wall next to his office and no case files. At first he finds this suitable to his needs as propping his feet on the corner of his desk and leaning back for an afternoon nap is all he has the energy for. We discover quickly why Carl wasn't kicked out the door and forced into retirement. He's rather good at what he does. Detecting.It isn't long before he discovers the allotment for his new department, Department Q, already has funding being redirected into other areas. Bringing this discrepancy to light for his superior, he is able to make a few demands and soon he's got an office complete with a large screen television, unlimited internet access, his own vehicle and an assistant, Assad. Assad is the spark that ignites the fire under Carl, but in a very subtle way and with all his quirks and secrets, he's one of the more interesting sidekicks around. At first only thought of as the cleaner, he's soon given more important tasks, such as chasing paperwork from the secretaries upstairs or following leads via the phone. His timely insights and perspectives keep Carl focused on the first case he decides to pursue.A missing person's case over five years old, involving a politician. Following the paper trail in the case file, Carl soon thinks it is a fairly easy open and shut case. It doesn't take long to realize there is much more involved in the disappearance and new facts begin to come to light.Overall, Carl is an interesting character. He's dealing with the trauma of being shot and blaming himself in part for the outcome, he's playing surrogate father to his step-son while his wife (whom doesn't want a divorce) is living with another man and still calling on him for financial backing. He's a bit lazy, short-tempered and has a wry sense of humor. His deals with those he works with in almost a state of tolerance, and quick to point out their shortcomings, and just as quick to offer assistance. They're on the same team, but they don't have to get along.Part mystery, part thriller, Jussi Adler-Olsen does a fantastic job of weaving a storyline and feeding out just enough clues to keep you guessing. Forget about the comparisons, he ranks beside the top in his field. And the dogged persistence of his detective leads us to believe Department Q will provide a few more cases worth reading about.¿For a moment Carl tried to picture everything in his mind, and then it happened. Somewhere inside of him, where cause and effect were not weighed against each other, and where logic and explanations never challenged consciousness, in the place where thoughts c
TheWordJar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nothing is hotter than Scandinavian thrillers right now, and Denmark is throwing its hat in the ring with The Keeper of Lost Causes by award-winning author Jussi Adler-Olsen. Adler-Olsen does what most recent Scandinavian imports do best¿serves up a compelling, dark story with enough cruel twists to leave the reader thinking, "What is in that coffee over there?"The Keeper of Lost Causes follows Copenhagen detective Carl Morck a few months after he has been shot on the job. When Carl returns to the force and refuses to play nicely with his fellow detectives, he is unexpectedly promoted to head up the new cold cases division, Department Q. Given only a stack of case files and Assad, a jack-of-all-trades assistant, Carl begins to investigate the disappearance of Merete Lyngaard, a rising politician.The narrative alternates between Carl's investigation and the real circumstances of Merete's disappearance. The investigation bumbles along at times, with a few lucky breaks and a lot of help from unassuming Assad. But the chapters that follow Merete are tight, twisted, and intensely pressure-packed, leaving the reader wanting more but afraid to admit it (and more than a little worried that Adler-Olsen might gladly give it to them).Adler-Olsen excels at weaving in the secondary characters and plots. While Carl comes across as a first-rate jerk and second-rate detective at times, Assad, with his secretive past and sundry talents, puts the clues together and makes a mean curry. The Keeper of Lost Causes spins an interesting investigation tale, but Adler-Olsen's true talent is creating horrific crime scenarios. The Keeper of Lost Causes is the first in the new Department Q series from Adler-Olsen, and he would do readers a favor by revealing more about Assad in future books, as well as keeping the terrifically twisted narratives coming.(Review copy source: Dutton via NetGalley)
RidgewayGirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first in another crime series by a Scandinavian author and featuring a detective who does not work well with others. A Danish detective was involved in an incident in which one officer died and another was left paralyzed. He's shunted into a basement room and promoted to head up "Department Q", a sort of cold case squad with a head count of two; him and the immigrant sent to make his coffee and sweep up. The first case they tackle is that of a Danish politician who disappeared on a ferry crossing to Germany and who was assumed to have fallen overboard. She was actually abducted, and the reasons are revealed slowly, over the course of the book. The Keeper of Lost Causes fits well with the other translated Scandinavian crime series and I'll be happy when the next installation is released.