Victim 2117: Department Q Thriller - Jussi Adler-Olsen

Victim 2117: Department Q Thriller - Jussi Adler-Olsen

A physically large and weighty book, which only seems to add to the quality of the writing.

I really do like these Scandinavian thrillers, even if occasionally the translation is questionable; though I must add that is most definitely not the case with this tome.

The book is tight and moves along at a very crisp pace, with credible and well-rounded characters.

This book appears to be the 8th in a planned series of 10 about department Q and stands alone very well; though it may well have helped to have read the earlier books to understand the full implications and the relationships between the key characters and their backgrounds. However, the fact that I’d not read the earlier books didn’t spoil things for me.

The story is what I’d call a slow burner. It doesn’t get up to speed straight away, but once it’s there you’re glad you persevered and it bubbles along at a fair old rate.

Apparently, Department Q specialises in cold cases so it’s quite a surprise to find them mixed up in a current case that involves migrants, people trafficking and lone-wolf terrorists. I’d say that although a work of fiction, the book is certainly topical, and a fair amount of research into the subject seems to have been carried out.

The book jumps seamlessly between the topics and gradually, the common theme becomes apparent.

One feature of this book that really suited me, and I recognise that it might not suit others, was the small chapter sizes: they were ideal in size for reading in bed at night, and they left very convenient cut-off points, which is why it took me longer to get through the book than it ought to have.

One minor point that did frustrate me was that the name of one of the central male characters translated as a female name. The first few changes of topic caught me out with this, and I was left wondering who the woman was and where she’d come from.

The story in a nutshell. A dead refugee is washed ashore. This is our title victim, 2117. A has-been journalist latches on to the story but becomes inseparably entwined into a terrorist plot. Meanwhile, an oddball kid sees a news article about the dead body and decides that after he has reached a score of 2117 on an internet game, he will launch a murderous rage on the city. The common link, Department Q, have to unravel it all and bring it to a satisfactory conclusion. But this is muddied by one of the department’s staff being intricately involved with the terrorists via his past. A deadly, yet exciting, game of cat and mouse is played out in Germany with one of Department Qs officers being used as live bait.

I’m more than happy to run to 4 1/2 anchors, this was a damned good read and one that I thoroughly recommend.

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