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The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen Reviewed By happyruby

Carl Morck was an exceptional homicide detective in Copenhagen until a bullet struck him down. He lived but two of his colleagues weren’t so lucky. Carl suffers from guilt since he didn’t even get his gun drawn during the battle. Fellow workers have begun to complain about Carl. He arrives late to work, rides the staff, interferes with other cases and will not return phone calls. Marcus Jacobsen, Chief of Homicide, decided that he could kill two birds with one stone. The Denmark Party is making speeches and complaining about cases that have not been solved. Marcus makes a decision to create a new department called Department Q. With outside pressure to create such a department for unsolved cases and with adequate funds to fund the department Carl Morck is put in charge of Department Q. What appears to be a promotion is actually a demotion. Carl is given a small office in the basement of headquarters and a ton of unsolved cases.

Carl is not one to be outsmarted though. Realizing that money is coming in to fund his department but that none is drifting his way he makes demands for equipment and an assistant. His assistant is very unusual. His name is Assad and he is from Syria. Carl realized immediately that he had made a mistake in asking for an assistant. With an assistant nearby he could no longer sleep in his chair or work Sudoku puzzles to pass away the time. The more chores he found for Assad the faster Assad accomplished the tasks. Soon they both begin to sift through some of the cold case files and the case of the disappearance of Merete Lynggaard caught their interest.

Merete Lynggaard is a very attractive woman who served as Vice-President of the Social Democrats. Merete had a beautiful home but her private life she kept secret from the people she worked with. At night, she hurries home to spend the evening with her special needs brother.

Carl and Assad are sure that Merete is dead but determine to find out exactly what happened to her. Merete is not dead but has been held captive for years. She has almost given up hope of anyone locating her and setting her free.

The book skips back and forth between Carl’s actions and Merete’s struggles as told by Merete. Although the search for Merete is very serious, there are many humorous incidents between Carl and his assistant. Carl also has a way of getting what he wants from his superiors from the large budget allotted to Department Q.

“The Keeper of Lost Causes” is a long book but I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and I didn’t want the book to end. The cover of the book states that this is the first installment in the Department Q series and I cannot wait for the next installment.

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About happyruby

HappyRuby is a combination of the names of two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels that I owned - Happy Talk and Karri's Ruby, both deceased now but I do have a dog and cat. I live in the Midwest so enjoy a change of seasons. I am an office manager for two plants that process pet food ingredients. I worked a number of years as an office manager for a law office. I only work part-time now which gives me more time to read. My daughter lives in W. VA and is a huge fan of mystery - the darker the better. My other daughter is into reading romance and my granddaughter loves fantasy. I very much enjoy reading mystery, hard-boiled or cozy.
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