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The Marco Effect: A Department Q Novel

The Marco Effect: A Department Q Novel - Jussi Adler-Olsen I received a free advance copy of this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I really like the Department Q series. That's mostly because of the characters in Department Q: Carl, Rose and of course Assad. They make a great trio and contrast with each other nicely. Also, these are crime dramas, not mysteries, so we as readers see the story unfolding from all points of view in parallel: the Department Q folks, the bad guys (who are very very bad -- no nuance there), and Marco the fugitive. I like that construction, and Adler-Olsen is a good story weaver.

Since Marco is a fugitive in the book, there are lots of chase scenes around Copenhagen. Not being familiar with the city, I felt like the chase scenes were too long and too detailed. The building names and street names didn't mean much -- that sort of works in a movie, but not so well in a book. And like all his bad guys, these are exceptionally evil with no cause to be so. Because of that, the body count is high. So all of that mitigated my enthusiasm for the storyline as it went on, but it's a good read in the end.

A lot of different things get pulled in here. The relationship of Denmark's ministry to their aid programs in Africa is at the center, as well as the interests of banks there. There's a rather Dickensian street gang roaming the streets of Copenhagen. All of that was working well. And then midway he threw in... wait for it... former child soldiers! You didn't think we could get through a crime novel that mentions Africa without child soldiers, did you? I dunno. Like I said, I really like this series and it was a good, action-filled, fun read. But the child soldiers thing was excessive. Random. Unnecessary. Questionable. And really made me wonder about how this author's mind works. Wha??