The Purity of Vengeance by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Genre: Crime Fiction / Mystery
Series: #4 in the Department Q series
Publication Date: 2013 (Originally published 2009)
Source: e-galley provided by publisher
The Short Version:
Shifting between the 1950’s, late 1980’s and present day a story of revenge threads it’s way through many lives.
Why I Read It:
I’ve enjoyed the Department Q series so far although some more than others. At this point I’m always eager to read the next one to be translated and available in the US.
From the publisher:
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.
This series has been a bit up and down for me. I loved the first and the third but the second one was not one I liked nearly as well. They all include a primary cold case that Detective Morck and his associates Assad and Rose investigate. At the same time the ongoing stories of these three characters is as interesting to me as the primary mystery in each book. They all have a past that is slowly being revealed as the series continues.
This one landed in the interesting but I wish it was better category. The primary mystery bounced back and forth in time and at time became overly bloated with the details of Nete’s life and reason for exacting revenge on those she felt had wronged her. The story of Nete is alternated with Curt Wad’s story as well as the current goings on with the Department Q staff. There is also the ongoing story of the incident in which Carl’s partner was paralyzed and another detective was killed. Plus Carl is now named by his cousin as complicit in his uncle’s death years ago.
While the book was good and I enjoyed it I felt is was a bit bloated with too many storylines and as a result I found myself easily distracted from it. I think that’s part of the reason it took me longer than it normally would for me to read a book of this length.
The good news is that if the pattern so far with this series continues the next one will be excellent and I’m looking forward to reading it when it comes out in the fall.