Department Q Books

Department Q is a series authored by Danish author, Carl Valdemar Jussi Henry Adler-Olsen. It is based on Carl Morck, a homicide detective in Copenhagen. His main duty is to work on cold cases for the department. The entire series is made up of 5 books, with the first one being ‘Kvinden I buret’ (‘The Woman in the Cage’). Adler-Olsen’s books have different titles, based on geographical area and translation. His first book that features Department Q is titled ‘Mercy’ in the UK and ‘The Keeper of Lost Causes’.

Order of Department Q Series

# Read Title Published
1 The Keeper of Lost Causes 2011
2 The Absent One 2012
3 The Purity of Vengeance 2013
4 A Conspiracy of Faith 2013
5 The Marco Effect 2014
6 The Hanging Girl 2015
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Jussi Adler-Olsen is a dynamic person by many standards. He not only studied a number of subjects but has also done a lot of jobs. He has been a lead guitarist, a publisher in cartoon-scripting, magazine editor, and proofreader. He later went into full-time fiction writing. Adler-Olsen studied medicine, politics, sociology, and film.

Department Q Awards:

The Department Q. series has won a number of awards. ‘The Keeper of Lost Causes’, won the Sealed Room Award 2012, the Barry Award (Best Novel 2012), the Prix Plume du Thriller international’ and the CRIME Award 2015. The other book in the Department Q. series Flaskepost fra P. (titled ‘A Conspiracy of Faith’ in the US) has also won numerous awards like the Harald Mogensen Prize, the Glass Key award, and the Læsernes Bogpris, Berlingske Tidende. The book was nominated for the Barry Award in 2014 as the best novel of the year.

Department Q Books into Movies

Books in the department Q. Series have been adapted into films, thanks to the popularity of the series. In 2012, book one in Adler-Olsen’s popular series was adapted into a film titled ‘The Keeper of Lost Causes’. It became the Denmark top film in the box office the following year. Its sequel, ‘The Absent One’ was released in 2014 with ‘A Conspiracy of Faith’ being released in 2016. The film adaptations star Fares Fares and Nikolaj Lie Kaas.

Best Department Q Books

Adler-Olsen’s best books are undoubtedly, ‘The Keeper of Lost Causes’, ‘A Conspiracy of Faith’, and ‘The Purity of Vengeance’. The first two are part of the Department Q. series. Let us delve more into them below:

The Keeper of Lost Causes which is the first novel in the Department Q series introduces us to Detective Carl Mørck. His colleagues are killed and he is wallowing in guilt and pain for not even attempting to draw his gun to try and protect them. He is transferred to a department full of files with unresolved cases, becoming the keeper of lost causes’. He asks for an assistant. He is assigned a Syrian immigrant, Assad, who is quite experienced with janitorial work and other menial work. Assad turns out to have an aptitude for investigative work that soon proves worthwhile.

The first case they resolve is one of a politician who had disappeared for 5 years. She was assumed to be dead. They find out that she has been held captive. She had been involved in an accident and the victims, members of one family blamed her because she had injured several of them. They put her in a compression chamber, where they kept increasing the air pressure. They were to release maximum pressure to crush and kill her on the day of the accident’s anniversary.

A Conspiracy of Faith, the third book in the Department Q. series involves saving two brothers who have been kidnapped by a serial killer. One of the brothers, whose cell is a waterside hut, writes a plea for help using his own blood and puts it in a bottle. He drops it in water. Quite a tall order. After 8 years, it gets to a Scotland shore. Only one word is legible: help.

Department Q has to crack the puzzle, amidst several sub-plots revolving around Morck’s guilt, his dead-end job, and how the women the kidnapper brings into his life lead to his own undoing.

Other Books series you may like

If you enjoy reading the Department Q. series, an equally good option would be “Justice Overdue”. This is a crime series based on the lives of two private investigators. It is penned by Rayven T. Hill. After taking a break from their hectic schedule, their peaceful weekend is disrupted by a convict on the loose, threatening people’s lives around him. He leaves behind a trail of destruction all the way from a sleepy town to the Northern wilderness, endangering even the lives of the private investigators themselves. Get engrossed in the unfolding mystery series revolving around the unpredictable Varick Lucas.