Redemption (also known as A Conspiracy of Faith)
Penguin Books Australia
Two young brothers wake tied up and gagged in a boathouse by the sea. Their bonds are inescapable. But, just perhaps, there is a way to cry for help . . .
In Copenhagen’s cold cases division, Detective Inspector Carl Mørck has received a bottle. It holds an old and decayed message, scratched in blood, from two boys. Is it real? Who are they and why weren’t they reported missing? Can they possibly still be alive?
Though the investigation initially appears hopeless, soon Carl and his team find themselves on the trail of not just these missing children – but others. Boys and girls taken – never to be seen again.
And a cold-hearted killer unable to stop . . .
Although this is the 3rd book in the Dept Q series and I have not read the first books I had no problems slipping into this story of misery and crime. I loved the quirkiness of the main characters – imperfect, interesting, unusual… real, are the immediate terms that spring to mind. Each has a background of equally intriguing interest and the 3, investigator and assistants in Dept Q – Copenhagen’s Cold Case Division, are also likable, show a sense of humour, are dedicated and I am pleased that the author allows them to indulge in their uniqueness. My favourite is Assad –I love his sense of humour, his brilliant comedic timing, his misquoted/misunderstood phrases, his wit, mystery and his intelligence. As the book progresses he continues to surprise.
The villain in this piece is a true socio path – superficially charming, callous, lacks empathy, lacks remorse or guilt, with shallow or feigned emotions … (http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html), Adler-Olsen has written a perfectly evil anti hero of the worst kind – one who kidnaps and murders children. This is a fascinating character based read, with great interaction between the incumbents of Dept Q, mixed with wit and humour and portrays a real sense of setting that is emotional, visual and believable.
So we have an interesting set of unique characters (not a stereo type hidden here anywhere), and a great hook (kidnapping/message in a bottle), an intriguing complex plot, and crimes that are heinous and realistic (given the villains background), what more could you ask for? A great read.