Guilt – Jussi Adler-Olsen

The fourth in the Department Q series, this crime novel – about the investigative exploits and adventures of Carl Morck and his team of Assad and Rose – is continuing proof of the author’s high standards. It’s a finely meshed tale of several strands, well told, and featuring a raft of interesting, amusing, and enthralling characters.

It starts with a diversionary interest in a current case. It reminds Rose of an old case in their files: the 1987 disappearance without trace, of Rita Nielsen, an escort agency operator. Written off as a suicide, the case now piques Carl’s curiosity.

Whatever happened to Rita seems to be connected to Nete Hermansen. Her story is told in interspersed flashbacks, and we experience her dreadful life. In turn, her connection to Curt Wad, a fascist politician with a belief in eugenics, gives Department Q a lot to tackle. But tackle it, they do.

This time around the author gives Rose and Assad more prominent roles, and that works well in spreading the load, and adding a little sparkle to their interactions.

There are enough moments of tension and plot twists to satisfy the most demanding reader. But, without taking away any of the quality or the edge, the book also offers some commentary on Danish politics, past and present.

Great stuff.