In 1987, Nete Hermansen plans revenge on those who abused her—especially Curt Wad, a surgeon who was part of a movement to sterilize wayward girls in the 1950s.
More than twenty years later, Detective Carl Mørck already has plenty on his mind when he is presented with the case of a brothel owner, a woman named Rita, who went missing in the eighties: New evidence has emerged in the case that sent Carl to Department Q.
But when Carl’s assistants, Assad and Rose, learn that numerous other people disappeared around the same weekend as Rita, Carl takes notice. Sifting through the evidence, they inch closer to Curt Wad, who is still committed to his twisted beliefs, and whose treatment of Nete only hints at his capacity for evil.
Praise for The Absent One:
“Adler-Olsen, Denmark’s leading crime fiction author, outdoes his outstanding debut, The Keeper of Lost Causes, with his second Department Q novel.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Adler-Olsen has created a wonderful addition to the detective fiction genre in his sleuth….While the book can be read as a stand-alone novel, readers will be unable to resist seeking out and devouring the first and subsequent series titles.” — Library Journal (starred review)
“The Purity of Vengeance is an enjoyable and eye-opening way to learn about the real Scandinavia, a story so outrageous that not even the best mystery writer can make it up.” - The Boston Globe
“When your series relies on cold cases, it’s not always easy to craft plots that have both historical interest and an air of urgency, but it’s something Adler-Olsen is very good at.” - Booklist
“Adler-Olsen merges story lines…with ingenious aplomb, effortlessly mixing hilarities with horrors…This crime fiction tour de force could only have been devised by an author who can even turn stomach flu into a belly laugh.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Another accomplished exercise in three-decker suspense” - Kirkus Reviews
“Surprises, twists and turns galore” – Bookreporter.com
Praise for Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series:
“From the busy efforts of forensics to some riveting train-and-car chasing near the end, there is no lack of action in A Conspiracy of Faith.” —Houston Chronicle
“A shattering parable of honest individuals caught up in the corruption of our times.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) on A Conspiracy of Faith
“Comparisons [to Stieg Larsson] are inevitable and, while he may lack a Salander, Adler-Olsen’s prose is superior to Larsson’s, his tortures are less discomfiting, and he has a sense of humor.” —Booklist (starred review) on The Keeper of Lost Causes
“Adler-Olsen, Denmark’s leading crime fiction author, outdoes his outstanding debut, The Keeper of Lost Causes, with his second Department Q novel.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Absent One
The second-best thing about a Jussi Adler-Olsen book is the humor that persists throughout his novels. As Publishers Weekly puts it, “Adler-Olsen merges story lines…with ingenious aplomb, effortlessly mixing hilarities with horrors…This crime fiction tour de force could only have been devised by an author who can even turn stomach flu into a belly laugh.”
But the very best thing about a Jussi Adler-Olsen book is that you can read it from the safety of your living room.
In a series of dark, atmospheric, and utterly gripping thrillers, The Purity of Vengeance stands out as one of Detective Carl Mørck’s most sinister cases. There are three taut, engaging, and utterly eerie plotlines— one in the 1950s, one in the 1980s, and one in the present day—that come together in a twisted, impossible-to-guess climax. There are the dangers that Carl and his assistants, Assad and Rose, must face in an attempt to untangle the mystery. And finally, there is the fact that Jussi is drawing on historical fact. The Purity of Vengeance heavily features a real-life location: the island Sprogø, where between 1923 and 1959, Danish women who were deemed pathologically promiscuous were imprisoned and sometimes sterilized against their will.
The Purity of Vengeance is terrifying, funny, and completely absorbing: I promise you won’t be able to put it down.
VP, Editor in Chief