The Purity of Vengeance (Department Q, #4)

No Gravatar

The Purity of Vengeance (Department Q, #4)The Purity of Vengeance by Jussi Adler-Olsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Purity of Vengeance is the fourth in Juri Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series. Like its predecessors darkness abounds . As with other novels the plot is twisted and has its origins as you would expect with a cold case team. This time touching on the rise of minor parties with extreme views and steeped in eugenics. I have come to quite enjoy this series and I am pleased that there are more to come. I have already started the next in the series.
Carl Mörck and his motley crew are in the thick of it again. Carl fighting accusations from his past fending off his ex-wife and the confused state of is his domestic arrangements. Then there is Assad his mysterious assistant who despite no apparent police training has skills and connections. However he does dodge anything to do with his personal life. Last but not least there is the bombastic Rose who rounds out the team. Her personality is always a test for Carl.
The Purity of Vengeance really does draw on the cruelty of the past. A time when the state was only too happy for troubled young women to be dealt with behind the walls of institutions or as in this case the walls are a stretch of water. I would Imagine that most “western” countries did similar things to those of low intelligence , mentally ill or with behavioral disturbance. The vulnerability of these young women is very well portrayed in Purity of Vengeance.
The unravelling of one woman’s life is amazing and a fantastic read five stars from me. I can’t give the plot away you’ll just have to read it yourself. There are films based on these novels but I have held off watching them until I’m way ahead with the novels.

View all my reviews

Redemption (Department Q, #3) by Jussi Adler-Olsen

No Gravatar

Redemption (Department Q, #3)Redemption by Jussi Adler-Olsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my third Department Q novel and so far the best in the series. I am trying to read them in order. I am really enjoying the series by Jussi Adler-Olsen.The title in Danish that loosely translates as a note in a bottle from P, which sets the scene for the story. This is another cold case story that is not on the files at Department Q. A convoluted and at time disconnected story involving groups that are separate from mainstream society and therefore isolated.
There is the usual antagonism between Carl Mørck and his right hand man Assad. Then there is the ongoing tensions with Rose the admin person and a replacement called Yrsa. There are all the usual antagonisms with the upper echelons with Mørck and Assad.
The case itself involves a man who has more layers and alibis than can be imagined. His dual life is extraordinary as are his methods, which he employs. It is difficult to write about the story without straying into the plot.  Victims picked to inflict the most terrible pain on their parents.Suffice it to say fans of the Nordic style will be pleased.

View all my reviews

Time of Death by Mark Billingham

No Gravatar

Time of Death (Tom Thorne Novels)Time of Death by Mark Billingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another cruise read and starting at the end of the series because that what was on offer. I was vaguely aware of the Inspector Thorne TV series starring David Morrissey but had never read any of the books by Mark Billingham. Time of Death was very enjoyable and convoluted enough to keep me turning the pages.
Tom Thorne and his girlfriend Helen Weeks also a police officer are on a short holiday’ Whilst away they see a new story about an abducted girl in the village where Helen grew up. After seeing the mother of the abducted girl Helen Weeks is moved to go to the village to support her. Reluctantly Tom agrees to go along  thus ending their holiday.
The story set in the village is almost claustrophobic, police all over the place and the intrusive tabloid press. This along with Helen Weeks trying reconnect with the village that she left a long time ago.
I won’t focus on the crime itself for that you will need to read Time of Death for yourself. I did enjoy the read and may never have looked at if I hadn’t been on holiday.

View all my reviews

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

No Gravatar

The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q, #1)The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I must confess that it was the title of this book that attracted me the in the first place “The Keeper of Lost Causes”. This is the first in a series by  Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen about a fictional cold case department called Department Q. . Readers of this blog will know that Scandinavian crime fiction is my favourite.
The Keeper of Lost Causes focuses on Copenhagen detective Carl Mørck. He he’s been sidelined  from homicide after a case that went horribly wrong for him and his colleagues. Carl Mørck is irascible and difficult to get along with as we have come to expect from fictional detectives. The new gig is to run the newly created Department Q for cold cases. His first case concerns Merete Lynggaard, who vanished five years ago. Everyone says she’s dead and that it’s a waste of time. He thinks they’re right.
The interactions between Carl Mørck and the other member of Department Q provides some humorous relief to the tense story. I’m looking forward to the next instalments because if the first is anything to go by it will be a great series.

View all my reviews

Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík by Arnaldur Indriðason

No Gravatar

Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík (Inspector Erlendur, #1)Reykjavík Nights: Murder in Reykjavík by Arnaldur Indriðason
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reykjavik Nights is the first of the Inspector Erlendur series by Icelandic author Arnaldur Indridason. The story lays the foundation for what is to come in subsequent stories. A young Erlendur is still on the beat and as the name of the story implies he’s working the night shift. Along with his fellow officers they are dealing with fights, drunks ,homeless people and thieves.
Erlendur’s fascination with missing persons drives him to look over cases where there is no resolution and person is not found. His obsession with the missing is almost at the core of his being and once on the case he is unshakeable. This obsessive nature sets him apart from his colleagues and makes personal relationships difficult.
Reykjavik Nights focusses on the apparent suicide of a homelessness man. Erlendur’s pursuit of the circumstances of his death and the reasons for his homelessness uncovers a tragic life. This is an interesting exploration of the plight of homeless people and how their life has evolved or perhaps devolved.
Having read most of the subsequent Inspector Erlendur novels and this is a fine beginning.

View all my reviews

Sail of Stone by Åke Edwardson (Eric Winter #6)

No Gravatar

Sail of Stone (Inspector Winter, #6)Sail of Stone by Åke Edwardson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This Eric Winter story is set across Sweden and Scotland. Involving Eric Winters long time English collaborator. The origins of the lie in the past and hark back to the dark days of World War 2. An interesting take on wartime activities.

Not sure if I enjoyed this as much as the others in the series. I could see the ultimate end from quite a distance which hasn’t always been the case with the Eric Winter series.

However on the bright side there are more in the series. I have written this sometime after I finished reading the book. I finished in July 2015 and it is now the end October. I have managed to read the 7th in the series one since then.

View all my reviews

The Twelfth Department by William Ryan (Captain Korolev)

No Gravatar

The Twelfth Department (Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev, #3)The Twelfth Department by William Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third Captain Korolev series by William Ryan. This continues the series but could be read as a standalone novel.. There is enough background explained so that a reader new to the series so you don’t have to read them is order. I have read all in order and enjoyed all three enormously. I have a fascination for the interwar period in Europe. All the plots including the current volume are engaging with enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.

What really stands out is the way  creates a sense of the paranoid state of 1930’s Moscow. Who do you trust? This theme pervades the narrative. I really feel that the author had captured the atmosphere of those times.

Our hero Captain Korolev is a determined character whose flaw is having a strong moral compass in a world where political dogma is everything. For fans of the inter war period this will be an enjoyable read.

I look forward to the return of Captain Korolev.

View all my reviews

Room No. 10 by Åke Edwardson (Eric Winter)

No Gravatar

Room No. 10 (Inspector Winter, #7)Room No. 10 by Åke Edwardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Inspector Eric Winter by Åke Edwardson Room No 10 is the seventh installment in this series. As far as I can see there are at least another 5 to come. Unfortunately at the time of writing  no more titles in the Eric Winter series are available in English.

Again another great yarn that weaves its way across time. Providing a reflection on he careers of Eric Winter and his colleagues.  The tale is as much about the relationship between the investigators as it is about the crime. It has elements of a cold case and a current investigation.

This particular installment was slow to start and had I not read the previous installments I may have stopped. Then I would have missed out on what turned out on a great whodunit.

If only the rest of the Inspector Winter mysteries would appear in English because I’m too impatient to learn Swedish.

View all my reviews

Frozen Tracks by Åke Edwardson (Inspector Winter #5)

No Gravatar

Frozen Tracks (Inspector Winter, #5)Frozen Tracks by Åke Edwardson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This felt like the longest of the series so far. I don’t mean that as negative. The story has many angles which are cleverly resolved as the book goes along. The story is set against the backdrop of the Christmas season. The sting is the now familiar city of Gothenburg. This time around the author Åke Edwardson has explored the ongoing characters more. As with any workplace where people are working together there are entwined relationships which bring their own tensions.

I am not sure how the title Frozen Tracks link to the story other than perhaps the season in which it is set. No murders this time around but rather some situations that would put most on edge. Inspector Winter is as always the consummate workaholic with a strong touch of insomnia.

He or should I say his team do crack the case but tensions are fraught as there are competing demands. The end was for my part satisfying and I enjoyed the read. I am reluctant to describe the plot in any detail as this may spoil the enjoyment that others would get from the book.

As I write I have already started the next one Sail of Stone. It is good discovering an author and being able to read several in the series and not be waiting for the next one.

View all my reviews

The Shadow Woman by Åke Edwardson (Eric Winter #2)

No Gravatar

The Shadow Woman (Inspector Winter #2)The Shadow Woman by Åke Edwardson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A mysterious and unexplained death in this the second of the Eric Winter series. As enjoyable as the other two that I have read. I accidentally started with number 3. A cleverly crafted mystery that moves across time. There is also reference to racism in Swedish society and how those groups are marginalised. The main protagonist in some ways mirror this separateness from society.
There is very little to go on and as is often the case a lucky break starts to unravel the case. There are plenty of diversions and red herrings that certainly got in my way.
Not much else to say unless I start spilling the beans on the whole plot. Best get a copy and read it.

View all my reviews