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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Pressure from Start to Finish!
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...
Published on 26 Mar. 2011 by C. Hawkes

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but with serious flaws
I enjoyed this novel and would have given it three and a half stars but that option isn't available. It is a conventional page-turning Nordic noir crime thriller, and if that's the sort of thing you like, you will probably like this. There is nothing original or extraordinary about it. It clunks a bit in places but it's difficult to tell if that is the original writing...
Published 16 months ago by Gregory F Naylor


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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you enjoyed "The Killing" you will love this., 15 April 2011
By 
Mrs. K. A. P. Wright - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mercy (Department Q 1) (Paperback)
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This is an excellent thriller, set in Denmark, told almost exclusively from two points of view, the investigating policeman's and the victim's. For once the writer is not using this device to avoid problems with the narrative. In this book it has been used as a totally justifiable method of developing the characters and the plot. The writer, in fact, tells us very little about the characters. They explain themselves with their words and actions and as such we get to know them gradually as one would in life.

At the book's heart is a crime of physical and mental violence that is truly horrific. However, we only ever hear about it from the victim's point of view so our perceptions are coloured by her refusal to give in to her tormentors or be intimidated by them. This does not mean to say that she is some sort of superhuman who can overcome whatever is thrown at her. Far from it, we feel her fear and desperation and her determination to regain some control.

In parallel to this we follow the story of Carl, a detective suffering the traumatic after effects of surviving a shooting incident that has killed and crippled the two members of his team. Because of his awkward behaviour he is sidelined to look into old cases and reluctantly begins looking at the disappearance/suicide of a young politician five years before. At first sight, one might be tempted to call Carl "a maverick cop", but he does not conform to any easy stereotypes. He is an individual. The investigation is slow and often frustrating but gradually the pieces come together so that we can understand what has happened and the reasons for it.

I found this book enthralling. I did not want to put it down until I found out what happened. I became completely involved with the characters and their fates. What happened to them mattered.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable!, 1 April 2011
By 
Ms. M. Cheung (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mercy (Department Q 1) (Paperback)
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I really enjoyed this book, it drew me in from the first chapter and I found that I devoted all my spare time to reading it. I even took it to work and ignored my iPad - every spare minute that I had was consumed by this book until I had finally finished it. That doesn't happen all that often, so I could tell that this was something special.

I came to this book with an open mind. I know people are comparing it to Stieg Larsson, but I don't think that's fair and it should be considered on its own merit. It is pacy, easy to read, the plot is easy to follow (though by no means simple), and the dialogue and descriptions are sometimes downright funny.

The characters are believable and likeable, although with their own faults, and the interaction between Carl and his partner (and office cleaner!) Assad is funny and a key part of the book's attraction. Assad is a great character, he is mysterious and skilful, but has a shady past which we never discover. He provides a lot of the laughs, and it's unlikely but somehow plausible that a guy employed to do the cleaning and photocopying can support his boss by aiding with the investigation.

This book is more light-hearted than other crime thrillers. I don't mean it's not serious, or that the crime or investigation aren't serious, just that sometimes I could not suppress a smile or two. I have read a lot of crime thrillers from Scandinavia, the US and UK, but none have the humour of Adler-Olsen.

I look forward to the other two books in the series, to follow in 2012 and 2013. Definitely would recommend.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Well-crafted Thriller!, 23 Mar. 2011
By 
J. Mcdonald "Yelochre" (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mercy (Department Q 1) (Paperback)
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I enjoyed this book immensely. The blurb on the jacket makes comparisons with Steig Larsson which had me thinking "yeah, right" expecting just another Scandinavian also- ran, but I quickly found the well judged pace of the narrative pulling me in - Adler-Olsen isn't Larsson, he's a sufficiently different and interesting storyteller in his own right.
The structure of the thriller is a little unusual; Mørck`s "Department Q" has been set up to revisit unsolved cases, so the reader is presented with scenes starting and progressing from the time of the incident alternating with those set in the present, until the two timelines converge; the idea isn't new, but it is very effectively employed to build up tension as the investigation slowly builds to the final dénouement. Adler-Olsen also weaves two other investigations into the fabric, including the case dealing with the shooting of Mørck and his former team; these serve to reveal different aspects of the outwardly lazy and somewhat belligerent detective, who is far more sensitive and dedicated than he appears to his colleagues.
Assad is in some sense the secondary character, hard-working, eager, cheerful, efficient and rather mysterious - I at first felt that his character was slightly underwritten, but I see now that this was probably the intention - he is an intriguing figure in the partnership and I expect future stories will exploit his shadowy past by degrees; all in all the pairing works very well. There are moments of sly humour, both characters have lives outside their work, the writing is clear, no nonsense and vivid - it all bodes well for the series.
I look forward to the next one and I recommend "Mercy" without reservation; this excellent crime-thriller deserves you attention!
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow, 9 Mar. 2015
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What a great read, unusual too will read more from this writer. I'm a big fan of Scandi thrillers. Xx
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mercy, 31 Dec. 2014
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A really good book. Can't wait to read the rest of the series. As good as Mankell in my opinion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 Sept. 2014
Excellent reading, just about to order the second book Disgrace. If it's half as good Happy Days
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the search for merete, 5 April 2011
By 
misswise (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mercy (Department Q 1) (Paperback)
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I really enjoyed reading this book; it kept me wanting to read it as I found myself gripped by the well written plot and characters. Carl is a police suprintendent who returned to duty after been shot and finds himself in charge of a new police department which solves impossible cases and is expected to solve them with the help of his one staff member; the cleaner/unofficial assistant Asad. The case of Merete Lynngard's disappearance/suspected suicide seems to be a lost cause but the author cleverly weaves the story revealing twists and hidden depths to various characters that keep you interested right up until the end. I can't wait to read the next instalment in the series by the author and will definitely love to see the movie when it comes out !
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nasty but good, 3 Jun. 2011
By 
Ann Fairweather (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mercy (Department Q 1) (Paperback)
While I was reading this book I was finding it more akin to an horror story than a crime one. The device used by the 'bad-guy' is absolutely horrific and it was one of the most painful story I ever read. So to say I 'enjoyed' it would be slightly wrong but rather I should say that yes I found it worked and it definitely is a writer I will read again. His detective character is good if a little cliche in his yet again world-weary attitude. But his unexpected help, Assad is a much more original and enjoyable character. What I disliked but cannot explain without revealing the ending, is the very unsatisfactory ending precisely. Not in term of plot but in term of resolution.
One of the most negative ever. And one does not want that in a crime book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller!, 2 July 2014
By 
Asp (Hertfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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You should consider making a go of it. I must now move on to the next book in the series
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still much enjoyed. Try to sequential from now on, 19 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Mercy (Department Q) (Paperback)
Read three now - but in wrong order. Still much enjoyed. Try to sequential from now on.
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