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Erbarmen (2007)

Erbarmen (2007)

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3.96 of 5 Votes: 1
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3423247517 (ISBN13: 9783423247511)

About book Erbarmen (2007)

I don't know what it is about Scandinavia, but every book I've read (in translation) by an author from that region of the world has been extraordinary, regardless of genre. Perhaps it's the cold that invites such introspection and spare prose.In 2002, an up-and-coming liberal politician, Merete Lynggaard, vanished from a ferry. She is presumed drowned, although no body was ever recovered; her disabled brother was briefly considered a suspect in her disappearance but he was ultimately dismissed as the culprit and confined to a mental institution.In 2007, Carl Morck (please forgive me for not knowing how to make the special Danish "o") returns to work with the Copenhagen police department after a devastating attack that killed one partner, permanently disabled another, and left Carl himself alive, guilt-ridden, and more than burnt out with his job. Unfortunately, he's not eligible for retirement as of yet, so he occupies space in the squad room and little else. His boss, perhaps in an effort to re-engage Carl in his work (but perhaps not), puts Carl in charge of a new "cold-case" division, Department Q, assigns him an assistant, and moves him to a basement office with a stack of files. This suits Carl just fine -- he can smoke, drink coffee, and nap in peace at his desk -- until Assad, his enthusiastic assistant, brings one particular case to his attention.How these two stories ultimately intersect makes for a compelling narrative. Carl deals with guilt, incompetence, an estranged wife, and possible graft; Merete deals with guilt, politics, a mentally unreachable brother, and eventually personal danger. Both Carl and Merete are stronger and more capable than they know, and while the ultimate outcome of the investigation isn't entirely cheerful, the reader is left satisfied that all involved did their best. Set in Copenhagen, Carl Morck is a police officer recovering from the emotional impact of being in a shooting which killed one of his fellow officers and paralyzed the other. He is now in charge of the new “Department Q”, where he is the only officer dealing with cold cases, and the goal is to keep Carl quiet and out-of-the-way. He begins to investigate a five-year-old case, in which a woman disappeared and was presumed murdered. The story line is intricate, fast-paced, and interesting.

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