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Mercy (Department Q 1) Paperback – 12 May 2011


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  • Read a Q&A with the author, Jussi Adler-Olsen. [PDF file viewer required]




Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (12 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141399961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141399966
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (269 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 183,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

An unusually fine and extremely fascinating thriller which will keep you breathless till the very last page (politiken.dk )

Jussi Adler-Olsen tells his stories as wickedly as Dean Koontz and has his detectives work as hard as Stieg Larsson (Jydske Vestkysten )

About the Author

Jussi Adler-Olsen was born in Copenhagen and studied medicine, sociology, politics and film. He worked as a magazine editor and publisher before starting to write fiction. So far he has written three Department Q thrillers, which all hit the Danish bestseller lists on publication and stayed there ever since.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By DebB VINE VOICE on 10 May 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is good, although both I and my other half who read it before me both found the beginning poor. He didn't like the very quick time changes, but those soon settle down, and I thought the translation was a bit clunky, although flicking back now I can't find anything specific to quote! HOWEVER, that all disappears and this quickly settles down into a gripping, well paced, interesting book, with a scary story line and the odd unexpected lift of humour.
I liked our battered, stressed, damaged hero, loved his sidekick who started out as a bit of light entertainment, but acquired depth and character towards the end - and left unanswered questions, such as who was he, and how the heck did he get the job in the first place? The "heroine" is one tough cookie, and I read her chapters with as much interest and anticipation as I did the others - the author's trick of sliding her time line up to meet the book's present day created a gradual increase in tension that kept me seriously interested in what happened next.
So - I recommend this, I will be passing it onto other friends and family, and I'll keep an eye open for other work from this author.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Hawkes TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jussi Adler-Olsen's Mercy, written as it is by a Scandinavian author, is inevitably going to invite comparison with Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. However, I have to confess at this point that although I've read all three of Larrson's novels, I failed to be convinced by them, finding the plot intricate, the characters engaging, but the novels over-written and underedited. As my 5 star review for this Danish novel suggests, I found Mercy much more compelling a read.

The plot is stark and gripping, segueing between Carl Mørck, damaged detective placed in charge of "Department Q", a police department ostensibly set up to look at significant unsolved cases (but actually intended as a means of sidelining Mørck, a potentially troublesome non-team player) and abductee Merete Lynggaard, imprisoned in a pressure chamber. Both characters are well drawn, and the plot moves at a relentless pace as the two narrative strands move closer.

Another feature of the novel I found fascinating was the relationship between Mørck and his assistant, Assad: these two oddball characters complement each other well, and the dynamic built up between them is a major factor in the novel's success.

Adler-Olsen has written two other novels about Department Q; all three have been bestsellers in Denmark, and I am sure that they will be received here with the same enthusiasm. I thoroughly recommend this novel to any reader interested in crime fiction - and wait eagerly for the translation and publication in Britain of the next two volumes!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 28 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
'Mercy' contains all the correct ingredients to become a classic Scandinavian crime thriller. The lead detective is an on-the-edge maverick and soon is saddled with a quirky-yet-indispensible assistant. Sidelined into a pointless Police dept, they start peeling back the layers of what seems to be an old, cold case... and it suddenly comes alive.
Meanwhile, the action swaps to the appalling predicament of a young woman, kidnapped, brutalised and imprisoned. Her captors intend to kill her in a most unpleasant way, and the tension of her incarceration stretches taut throughout the novel. The final chapters race past as you scamper to the end to see what happens, and whether she can actually be rescued from the appalling prison in which she has spent years -- dazzled by bright light, or plunged into absolute darkness.
Although I didn't much warm to the character of the main protagonist, the has-been, irrascible detective, I thoroughly enjoyed the plot (even its far-fetched moments) and his intriguing assistant. After a slightly slow beginning -- this novel takes its time to establish the key characters and drags a little in the opening quarter -- the pace picks up and the story soon became compelling. (Had an extra-long bath to finish it!).
There are quite a few moments of bleak and sinister chills, lightened by an underlying thread of humour and not-too-much background domestic aggravation. Overall, 'Mercy' is a very competant and enjoyable thriller, and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
8/10
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By johnverp on 5 Feb. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Carl, a grumpy but likeable detective, is given a basement office to head up a new department which is to work on cold cases. Assad, an alleged Syrian refugee, who is not a policeman, is assigned to help him. The first case they work on is the disappearance of a female politician some 5 years earlier.

This is a good, well-constructed and well-delivered story. It is related in the third person and switches between 2002 (the disappearance) and 2007 (the cold-case investigation) pretty seamlessly. I think observations in some reviews that Adler-Olsen is a poor man's Larsson and that the translation effort was poor are unfair and overly critical. I actually believe the translator did well in drawing on common English sayings to get equivalent meanings across. The reader is required to stretch her/his imagination a little but we do not have nonsense-overload here.

There were a couple of typos in the Kindle version but not serious enough to annoy.

Adler-Olsen has done enough with this book to get me interested in any sequels which may emerge - the plot and story-telling here kept me happy and I would also like to see how some some smaller open matters from this one are dealt with. 9/10
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