Mercy (Department Q, #1)Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It took me a while to get into this book, it just felt like there was something missing and although by the end of the book I was really enjoying it, there was still that something not quite there feeling. Mercy is the first book in the Department Q series, which is set in Denmark. It covers the formation of the department with the standard semi maverick cop that nobody particularly likes. I didn’t find him particularly likeable either, as he sat around doing not much for a large chunk of the first half of the book but he did have PTSD, so it was understandable.

Department Q investigates old cold cases and the first case they investigate is that of a missing politician, who disappeared off a ferry 5 years earlier and the narrative switches between the slightly unpleasant cop and the politician. I don’t normally like crime books which spend too much time lingering on what happens to the victim but in this case it was handled quite well and I found myself really rooting for her. Although I did guess who the perpetrator was and the motive very early on in the story.

I spent much of this book thinking that I probably wouldn’t bother reading any of the other books in the series, even though the set up was beginning to look interesting because as well as the slightly unpleasant cop, there was his assistant, a mysterious Syrian refugee, the unpleasant cop’s kooky wife (who he is separated from but still very much tied too), the unpleasant cop’s paralysed colleague in the hospital and the unpleasant cop’s quirky lodger, so I think the group dynamic there could be really good. It was the final sequence though, as they raced to get the bad guy, which I really enjoyed and actually, even though I guessed who did it much earlier on, the whole plot was quite novel, so that excitement plus the interesting side characters, means that yep, I probably will read the next book at some point.

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