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Friday 8 August 2014

‘A Conspiracy of Faith’ By Jussi Adler-Olsen

Translated by Martin Aitken
Published by Plume, December 31, 2013. ISBN 978-0-142-18081-5 (Paperback) 

Carl Morck made his series debut in “The Keeper of Lost Causes.”  In reviewing the follow-up novel in the Department Q series, “The Absent One,” I noted that it was 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.  The same set of characters appears in this newest entry in the series, the third translation into English, but we see a progression in the complexity of the plot construction.

The cold case which falls into their bailiwick occurs when a bottle floats into Scotland containing an almost illegible plea for help, apparently written in blood.  It is determined that the message originated in Denmark, and it is sent to Copenhagen.  The message is dated five years earlier and, decayed almost beyond recognition, offers few clues. But that doesn’t stop the intrepid trio as they look into the case, leading them to a most unusual serial killer.

While the story is pulse-raising, the length of the novel is off-putting and could have used some judicious pruning. Nevertheless, the interactions of the protagonist with not only his assistants, but also others in the Copenhagen police department, sometimes amusing, other times frustrating, soften the harshness of subject matter.  Some readers might question Assad’s almost superhuman ability to decipher the rescue plea and other of his abilities, but that is the nature of the character’s appeal. Recommended.
Reviewer:  Ted Feit

Jussie Adler-Olsen was born Carl Valdemar Jussi Henry Adler-Olsen on 2 August 1950 in Copenhagen, Denmark.  He is a Danish author, publisher, editor and entrepreneur. Jussi Adler-Olsen's career is characterised by his great involvement in a wide range of media related avtivities

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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