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Adler-Olsen supplies everything you could possibly want from a thriller and much, much more.

The eighth docket for Department Q, of the Copenhagen Police, links its most mysterious member to two culprits planning multiple murders.

When down-at-the-heels freelance reporter Joan Aiguader first gets a look at the 2117th refugee to die at the Barcelona shore while attempting to cross the Mediterranean, he’s inspired by the dead woman to put aside thoughts of his own suicide and cover her death. The story turns out to be much bigger than he thinks, for Victim 2117 has been stabbed to death, not drowned, and Joan’s laughably incomplete reportage gets him put under strict orders to dig up the rest of the story within two weeks. For Hafez el-Assad, of Department Q, Victim 2117 means much more. He recognizes her from Joan’s picture as Lely Kababi, the woman who sheltered his family years ago and became a second mother to them. Deeply shaken by her murder, Assad is finally moved to share with DI Carl Mørck, the head of Department Q, some crucial details about his past, from his links to Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison to his real name, Zaid al-Asadi, so that they can take steps against the plot Assad is certain is unfolding. For Abdul Azim, the terrorist now known as Ghaalib, Victim 2117 marks the first step in an epic plot of revenge against the West in general and Assad in particular. And for Alexander, an obsessive video game player, Victim 2117 is the trigger that informs him that once he’s claimed his 2117th victory in “Kill Sublime,” it’ll be time to murder his parents and then go out into the streets of Copenhagen and continue the carnage. Only a wizard could sustain all these plotlines and manage the shifting connections among them, and Adler-Olsen (The Scarred Woman, 2017, etc.) delivers inconsistently on their extravagant promise. But readers hooked by Assad’s fatal tango with Ghaalib or the news that Mørck, now 53, is about to become a father again will keep reading compulsively and do their best to shift gears with the grimly multifoliate story.

Adler-Olsen supplies everything you could possibly want from a thriller and much, much more.

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-524-74255-3

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be...

Box takes another break from his highly successful Joe Pickett series (Stone Cold, 2014, etc.) for a stand-alone about a police detective, a developmentally delayed boy, and a package everyone in North Dakota wants to grab.

Cassandra Dewell can’t leave Montana’s Lewis and Clark County fast enough for her new job as chief investigator for Jon Kirkbride, sheriff of Bakken County. She leaves behind no memories worth keeping: her husband is dead, her boss has made no bones about disliking her, and she’s looking forward to new responsibilities and the higher salary underwritten by North Dakota’s sudden oil boom. But Bakken County has its own issues. For one thing, it’s cold—a whole lot colder than the coldest weather Cassie’s ever imagined. For another, the job she turns out to have been hired for—leading an investigation her new boss doesn’t feel he can entrust to his own force—makes her queasy. The biggest problem, though, is one she doesn’t know about until it slaps her in the face. A fatal car accident that was anything but accidental has jarred loose a stash of methamphetamines and cash that’s become the center of a battle between the Sons of Freedom, Bakken County’s traditional drug sellers, and MS-13, the Salvadorian upstarts who are muscling in on their territory. It’s a setup that leaves scant room for law enforcement officers or for Kyle Westergaard, the 12-year-old paperboy damaged since birth by fetal alcohol syndrome, who’s walked away from the wreck with a prize all too many people would kill for.

A suspenseful, professional-grade north country procedural whose heroine, a deft mix of compassion and attitude, would be welcome to return and tie up the gaping loose end Box leaves. The unrelenting cold makes this the perfect beach read.

Pub Date: July 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-312-58321-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: April 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2015

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