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Customer Review

74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, interesting, well paced, and with some humour as well.., 10 May 2011
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This review is from: Mercy (Department Q 1) (Paperback)
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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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Sep 2011 19:43:40 BDT
noelle says:
'Clunky translation' - yes, v much so. An example of just plain wrong is 'saw up to' instead of, presumably, 'looked'. I found it v heavy going. The detective duo was the best thing about it. But so much wrong with the plot and denouement, I wouldn't know where to start.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Aug 2013 13:24:11 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 12 Aug 2013 13:24:36 BDT]

Posted on 11 Jan 2014 07:39:37 GMT
Helga Kaljas says:
I have read the original and not the translation and suspect the "poor beginning" can mean that it has not been possible to convey in translation the actual political satire in the circumstances of forming Department Q (the reader probably will not know the actual political parties that are referred to) - it is actually so brilliant and the beginning is really funny in the original. Also hiring Assad etc, it really gives a good laugh.
The main characters are well written and interesting. On the down side I would say that the critics against politics, politicians, (gossip) journalists etc is a little bit flat (all so horribly evil of course), I personally do not like this tendency to paint with a very broad brush, it makes the book a bit simplistic. But it is extremely exiting and compelling to the last page.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

DebB
(VINE VOICE)   

Location: Oxfordshire, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,037