27 August 2014

Danish police mystery

Someone, somewhen recommended Jussi Adler-Olsen's The Keeper of Lost Causes. It ended up at the top of my alphabetical "to read" list.

Adler-Olsen's whole name is Carl Valdemar Jussi Henry Adler-Olsen. An online biography notes that he grew up in "several mental hospitals" in Denmark. (His father was a doctor at the hospitals.) He studied medicine and politics, authored cartoon scripts and comic books, and, in 1997, began writing fiction.  

The Keeper of Lost Causes is his first fiction publication. At 400 pages it's about 100 pages too long.

The mystery is satisfyingly complex and the detective work seems deftly done. There are truly awful sections about a kidnap victim tortured for years in isolation.  

Adler-Olsen keeps things moving adequately in the main story line. But there are too many words.

I nearly awarded this an improbability medal for the way Adler-Olsen wrapped things up at the end. I don't think things work that way.

This was not one of those books I wanted to read because I enjoyed the reading. It wasn't so awful that I wanted to drop it in the wastebasket. I did have to keep taking breaks while reading.

The main character is a middle aged detective who is in the midst of his mid-life crisis and PTSD. In spite of his determination to take advantage of his situation to hide until retirement, he gets sucked into this cold case.

It was made into a movie in Denmark in 2013. It's showing in selected US "art houses" now.

Okay. Anyone else read The Keeper of Lost Causes? What did you think? Write. Tell us in this little bit of the world how you reacted.

No comments: