by Jussi Adler-Olsen [translated from the Danish by Lisa Hartford]
Just so you know, I read this book so you wouldn't have to. Idiotic but yeah, OK, still a nominally entertaining thriller--at least until the second half of the thing when the resolution of a sensationalistic but terribly uninterestingly depicted crime begins to take one dopey wrong turn after another as if guided by a defective black market storytelling GPS which only wants to drive you further and further down Implausible Lane. The chemistry between burnt out Danish cold case detective Carl Mørck and his enthusiastic new assistant, Syrian immigrant Hafez el-Assad, is fine as far as these things go, but clunky dialogue and an unerring eye for the most farfetched and hamfisted of genre devices make Adler-Olsen a writer I'll prob. try and avoid in the future. But why take my word for it? People who suspect that maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the reviewing bed today can judge for themselves based on the following faux tough guy lowlight from pages 238-239:
"If your investigative work is as limp as your dick, you might as well leave right now," she snarled.
Her reaction was surprisingly fierce and provocative. So it probably wasn't the corridors of management that she frequented, Carl thought, drawing his face away.
"My brother was all right. Do you hear me?" she went on. "And if you want to make any progress in what you're farting around with, I advise you to remember what I just said." Then she patted him on the crotch and stepped back. It was a shocking metamorphosis. Suddenly she seemed gentle and open and credible again. It was a hell of a profession he'd gotten himself involved in.
He frowned and took a step toward her. "The next time you touch my equipment, I'm going to puncture your silicon boobs and then claim it happened because you resisted arrest after threatening to slug me with one of your brother's ugly trophies. When I slap the cuffs on you, and you're waiting for the doctor as you stare at the blank white wall of a prison cell in Hillerød, you'll dream about taking back that pat you gave me. Shall we proceed, or do you have anything to add regarding my nobler parts?"