The Keeper of Lost Causes


Shortly after a violent attack leaves one of his colleagues dead and another permanently paralyzed, detective Carl Mørck is shocked to be put in charge of a brand-new department at Copenhagen's police headquarters.  However, he soon discovers that the newly formed Department Q consists only of Mørck himself, an enthusiastic assistant named Assad, and a towering stack of old, unsolved crimes.  Their first case is the disappearance of Merete Lynggaard, a well-known politician who vanished five years earlier.  Told in alternating narratives that show Mørck's progress on the case and the days following Merete's abduction, The Keeper of Lost Causes is a suspenseful, finely crafted detective novel.

"She'd been lying on the floor thinking about books.  That was something she often did in order not to think about the life she might have had, if only she'd made different choices.  When she thought about books, she could move into a whole different world.  Just remembering the feeling of the dry surface and inexplicable roughness of the paper could ignite a blaze of yearning inside of her.  The scent of evaporated cellulose and printer's ink.  Thousands of times now she'd sent her thoughts into her imaginary library and selected the only book in the world that she knew she could recall without embellishing it."

Jussi Adler-Olsen is a Danish author, editor, and publisher.  His books have been translated into more than 40 languages, and he has published six novels in his acclaimed Department Q series.

Published:  2007 in Danish; 2011 in English
Length:  395 pages
Set in:  Copenhagen, Denmark
Translated by: 
Lisa Hartford