Friday, November 7, 2014

The Marco Effect - Jussi Adler-Olsen

I stumbled upon the first book in the Department Q series back in 2011 and immediately became a devoted fan of Jussi Adler-Olsen. The fourth in this series is The Marco Effect, newly released in North America.

Detective Carl Morck heads up Department Q in the Copenhagen Police Dept. It's a rather small department with only three employees - Carl, Rose and Assad (who started off as the cleaner).

Although Dept. Q usually tackles cold cases,  Rose and Assad decide the team should tackle a missing persons case. And that investigation leads them to start looking for a young man named Marco. Marco is on the run - not just from the cops, but from his Uncle Zola - the leader of a gypsy gang. Marco knows about that missing person.

I love this series! Carl is wonderfully cantankerous, but is incredibly tenacious, determined to find answers. Rose is mercurial and combative, but brilliant. Assad. Well, Assad is a mystery. Over the last three books, hints have been dropped and sly references made about Assad's past. In The Marco Effect, even more is revealed. But the man is still a mystery. The three combine to make an effective if eclectic team. Although the upstairs bosses have decided that Carl's team could use another member.The bickering between Carl and Assad is humourous and Assad's camel analogies were priceless.

The secondary storyline of Carl's personal life at home is just as addicting. He shares a home with his stepson, his paraplegic ex-partner, the ex-partner's physiotherapist and the physiotherapist's partner. And Carl is hoping that his relationship with his therapist can step outside the office. This rich secondary plotline absolutely rounds out Carl's character.

And let's not forget the case! Adler-Olsen is wonderfully inventive when it comes to crime. This one is far flung, reaching from Africa to Denmark.  Marco is also given a voice in this book. We are privy to his thoughts as he's on the run, desperate and afraid.

The Marco Effect was another great read from Adler-Olsen. Read an excerpt of The Marco Effect. I can't wait for the next in the series. But Adler-Olsen has a stand alone due out in North America in February 2015 - The Alphabet House - that's on my must read list.

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