The Purity of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel

Jussi Adler-Olsen, Author
Jussi Adler-Olsen, trans. from the Danish by Martin Aitkin. Dutton, $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-95401-9
Reviewed on: 10/21/2013
Release date: 12/31/2013
Hardcover - 679 pages - 978-1-62899-008-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-62923-248-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-62923-246-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-61176-239-6
Paperback - 500 pages - 978-0-14-218131-7
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Adler-Olsen’s fourth installment of his brilliant Department Q series is full of Danish jokes: pungent, dark, often excoriating ironies wrapped up in sarcastic Copenhagen Det. Carl Mørck’s latest personal and professional entanglements. He’s investigating a missing madam case from the 1980s, as well as trumped up accusations of his involvement in the debacle that killed one of his partners, incapacitated another, and exiled Mørck himself to the musty basement of the Department Q headquarters. Mørck may also be implicated in his own uncle’s drowning death. Meanwhile, villainous abortionist Dr. Carl Wad, the leader of the Purity Party, wants to cleanse Denmark, which he and his neo-Nazi followers believe is rotten, by forcibly sterilizing wayward and retarded women. Adler-Olsen merges story lines from 1955, 1987, and 2010 with ingenious aplomb, effortlessly mixing hilarities with horrors as one of Wad’s victims, Nete Hermansen, plans and executes a Hitchcockian revenge. This crime fiction tour de force could only have been devised by an author who can even turn stomach flu into a belly laugh. (Dec.)
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