Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Danish crime writer Adler-Olsen delivers a third thriller as inventive and suspenseful as previous novels in the Department Q series (The Keeper of Lost Causes; The Absent One).Å Det. Carl Morck and his unconventional team investigate cold cases long abandoned by the Copenhagen Police Force. A message in a bottle leads to a decades-old kidnapping that was never reported. Morck soon realizes that not only were several crimes never reported, but the kidnapper is still at it, targeting the families of religious sects that are reluctant to involve the police. Managing the kidnapping investigation, a current arson case, office politics, and his tricky living situation, the wily cop proves he is still up for a challenge. VERDICT Adler-Olsen's cast might seem like stock crime-fiction characters at first glance-the curmudgeonly detective, the flighty secretary, the suspiciously resourceful assistant-but in his hands they are unpredictable and entertaining. This series has enough twists to captivate contemporary mystery readers and enough substance and background to entertain readers with historical and literary tastes. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/12.]-Catherine Lantz, Morton Coll. Lib., Cicero, IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

A cold 14-year-old murder-arson case preoccupies crotchety Copenhagen Deputy Det. Supt. Carl Morck in bestseller Adler-Olsen's third Department Q thriller (after 2012's The Absent One), a shattering parable of honest individuals caught up in the corruption of our times. Morck must also contend with such problems as an office torn asunder by idiotic governmental asbestos mitigation; the replacement of his assistant Rose by even quirkier Yrsa; his enigmatic Arabic deputy, Assad, gone bonkers; his wayward wife, Vigga, threatening to return; and his paralyzed partner, Hardy, in residence in his living room. To complicate matters further, a mysterious SOS in a bottle puts Morck on the trail of one of the most cannily conceived serial child-killers imaginable. Morck faces these heart-wrenchers, small and large, by perceiving them as essentially analogues to everything that Denmark's welfare state has turned rotten-problems that are all immaterial, Morck insists, as long as he's doing his job. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Carl Morck, the cranky head of Copenhagen's cold-case squad, Department Q, has a knack for catching forgotten cases where lives still hang in the balance. Often the victims are trapped and hidden, as in Adler-Olsen's excellent The Keeper of Lost Causes (2011) but if the author revisits the scenes of his fictional crimes, at least he twists the tales in new and devious ways. Morck is dealing with the usual headaches at work, including the mysterious idiosyncrasies of his assistants, Assad and Rose, when a message in a bottle lands on his desk. Inside is a plea for help, written in blood. The bad guy here, a kidnapper and killer who targets families belonging to fringe religions, is Adler-Olsen's best yet. The closer Morck and Assad get to this cunning chameleon with a seemingly endless number of identities and exit plans, the more he eludes their grasp. Series fans may begin to wonder why Morck doesn't investigate his own assistants as assiduously as he does his cases, but this mix of offbeat departmental politics, puzzling clues, and pulse-pounding pursuit delivers the goods.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2010 Booklist