14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A new series of above-par Nordic noir. Recommended,
This review is from: Mercy (Department Q 1) (Paperback)
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'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.