"The Purity of Vengeance", by Jussi Adler-Olsen

The Purity of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel - Jussi Adler-Olsen

Also under the title “Guilt” and as “Dossier 64”

Book 4 in the Department Q series

Exploring cold cases is what the squad at Department Q does best, add a little history, mix a bit of humour and plunge your reader into a fascinating mystery and you have a good combination that surely will please most suspense buffs.

In this latest the three person unit headed up by Carl Morck come against an old intricate plot of social engineering going back to 1929, the desire for a pure race and the legal sterilization of the “mentally retarded”.

In a few words:

The opening scene brings our trio on a case of a missing brothel owner who disappeared decades ago while they were investigating the life of a woman who killed her husband and has attempted suicide not long after. As expected this intricate mystery doesn't stay there soon weaved into it is the case of a strange mix of people who had all gone missing the same day while on their way to Copenhagen. All of them were visiting the same elderly and reclusive woman at the time of their disappearance. This part was my preferred section, totally suspenseful and expertly written to provide everything one wish in a mystery.

Eventually all threads intersects and comes together thanks to the hilarious Assad and the multiple-personality plagued Rose who played a huge part in finding links to solving this bouillabaisse of suspense. Although the investigations are ultimately resolved, there are plenty of personal and professional issues left to explore for the next installment.

Even if the subject is rather gruesome this book is overall a winner. It is written with nifty twists, many surprises and turns galore some difficult to foresee. We have cold, callous villains, bigots and extreme nationalists etc. playing roles to highlight the distasteful aspects of life in Denmark. These characters are well-drawn and very engaging. This is a suspense novel with a degree of depth that most mysteries lack and is populated with personalities that have substance.

This book may be a bit long that it needed to be but is a worthy addition to any library.