Flaskepost fra P

Flaskepost fra P

Detective Carl Mørck holds in his hands a bottle that contains old and decayed message, written in blood. It is a cry for help from two young brothers, tied and bound in a boathouse by the sea. Could it be real? Who are these boys, and why weren’t they reported missing? Could they possibly still be alive?Carl’s investigation will force him to cross paths with a woman stuck...

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Title:Flaskepost fra P
Author:Jussi Adler-Olsen
Rating:
Edition Language:Danish

Flaskepost fra P Reviews

  • Jean-Paul Adriaansen

    What a great combination of action, suspense, and humor. Jussi Adler-Olsen is a master in the art of writing police novels. This book is even better than

    .

    An old message in a bottle puts Department Q in full swing. While Carl Morck has to deal with personal issues (ex-wife, friends, and his dream woman Mona), his work at the office gets "kind-a-complicated." Assad and a new assistant are overly eager to solve the case and health-inspectors are threatening to close his

    What a great combination of action, suspense, and humor. Jussi Adler-Olsen is a master in the art of writing police novels. This book is even better than

    .

    An old message in a bottle puts Department Q in full swing. While Carl Morck has to deal with personal issues (ex-wife, friends, and his dream woman Mona), his work at the office gets "kind-a-complicated." Assad and a new assistant are overly eager to solve the case and health-inspectors are threatening to close his downstairs offices.

    Start reading on a Friday evening, you can't put this one down!

  • Harry

    Ok, if you're looking for the 4th in this series...you'll have to wait until end December of this year. And, if you're totally confused as to the actual title of the 4th: look for

    . And, if you're looking for a terrible site, go to Penguin.com, where a search for their own author turns up...nothing.

    The 3rd in the

    series does not disappoint. In fact, each installment in this series gets better and better and I've upped the star rating for this one a

    Ok, if you're looking for the 4th in this series...you'll have to wait until end December of this year. And, if you're totally confused as to the actual title of the 4th: look for

    . And, if you're looking for a terrible site, go to Penguin.com, where a search for their own author turns up...nothing.

    The 3rd in the

    series does not disappoint. In fact, each installment in this series gets better and better and I've upped the star rating for this one as a result.

    Before I go on, GR has some anomalies with the image of this book. Selecting the English title gives you an English cover, which then shows up in my-books with a Danish cover. Ah well, so be it...

    My friend, Jeffrey and I have had a few discussions about what images to include in a review, whether or not this can take away from a novel by supplanting the reader's imagination with a picture placed in a review (for example: a reader might have an image of what Walt Longmire looks like, carefully crafted from the reader's imagination, but when a reviewer posts a picture of the actor from the A&E series, suddenly that image supplants the image we might have carried throughout the series). Same goes for googling for images of what the reviewer thought a setting looked like and posting it in the review. This is not to say images ought not to be included, but caution should be taken, if not respect for the reader's own imagination when doing so.

    What was the result of this dialogue? Well, Jeffrey still populates his reviews with images, and they're still some of the best reviews out there! But it was a fun dialogue...:-) And I know that as he writes reviews, way in the back of his mind, he remembers our dialogue and approaches images with a tiny bit more caution. Right Jeffrey? Haha

    Why do I mention this? In the genre which I read, it is all about the story, the mystery (not just who-did-it?...but also the why-do-it? (the latter being focal to the Nordic thrillers of which this book is an example). The particular genre here is Nordic Noir...or perhaps you might refer to it as Scandinavian Noir.

    So I had a question: Does the enjoyment of reading a novel in this genre increase if initial research into the genre (Nordic Noir), the setting, and/or author takes place prior to the actual reading of it? And is this more relevant to American readers who may not be aware of the underpinnings of what foreign mystery writers choose as their crime and subject?

    Remaining relatively ignorant on this subject through my readings of Nesbo, the earlier installments of Adler-Olson, Larsson, etc. I decided to do a little digging

    . That led me all over the Bing and Google landscape the crumbs of which I'm too lazy to repeat here.

    But, the answer is yes: doing so informs the reader and gives greater delight when that knowledge is acknowledged by the author through snippets of writing. For example: why is Nazism relevant to the plot structure found in Scandinavian Noir, even now in the 21st century? How did Denmark, and Sweden (known as neutral, peaceful countries during times of war) lose their innocence? How did a murder (to this day unresolved) cause Sweden to lose that innocence?

    Why do most such books snub their noses at bureaucracies and governmental edicts? Why is birth, motherhood, and abortion viewed differently between say Sweden and Iceland?

    What is the relationship of religion to the highly secular society found in Scandinavia? What is the relationship between God and the State? How do religion and government differ in their views towards population control?

    And how do these notions relate to crimes being committed in Nordic fiction? What emotions guide the Nordic writer? Guilt? Anger? Depression? Knowing a bit more about such things from a Scandinavian perspective, to be sure, increases the pleasure at reading one of these novels. At least, for me it does.

    As to

    . Here Adler-Olson explores religion in a secular society. The character of Carl MØrck really takes hold of the reader's imagination: a somber man, undeniably lazy, acerbic and funny at the same time, coming suddenly alive when his interest is captured (which admittedly, is not often).

    In one scene, Carl is engaged in battle with an alpha fly which has been buzzing around his office for quite some time disrupting Carl's naps. (flies are a frequent occurrence with Carl. Why did the author choose this mechanism to reveal Carl's character?). But never mind that. After an unsuccessful kill attempt with a bottle of White-Out...

    Carl finally corners the thing in a small office where a deft snap of his secretary's finger finds Carl's nemesis launched into a cup of coffee:

    Who said Nordic writers do not have a sense of humor! (It was probably me). Ha ha. This book is full of them, despite the macabre crimes that lead the reader by the nose to the finale.

    Assad, Rose and Yrsa (a new comer) form the trinity that surround Carl. And still, as with previous books, his colleagues remain shrouded in mystery. Who is Assad, really? Where does he live? Who was the middle eastern man with whom he was skyping? And what about Rose? Who is she, really? You're in for a bit of a shock on that one! The plot is superb, point of view expertly handled as we move into the minds of the various players in this excellent novel.

    Enjoy!

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1950. Known for his 3 stand-alones (

    , and

    and the famous

    novels his popularity in Denmark has finally migrated over to the U.S.

    All Department Q novels are set in Denmark and reveal the writings of an author intensely interested in criticizing politics while simultaenously being agnostic to parties in general. Not that this is any great revelation as for the most part politics is the mainstay of most European dinner table conversations. On this topic of politics, the author says:

    Through his protagonist Carl MØrck, a lone detective absconded to the basement of police headquarters, heading a cold case department of one, and for all the world a detective ostracized for his unsociable and arrogant manner we bump head-on into the political machinations of Denmark's finest if not the corruption of a government beyond. Not that corruption threatens to take over the story. The author is careful about that:

    Born a son to a father with a psychiatric degree and living on the premises of such mental institutions a portion of his life, Jussi Adler-Olsen has developed a keen insight into a human's boundlessness, self-centeredness if not the degree to which human beings can succumb to a lack of affection.

    As with most Nordic thrillers (Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell, Larson, etc), there's a certain ennui that pervades the populace. Perhaps that is due to the unique form of Scandinavian democracy that today seems to be under siege by more globalistic tendencies, a slight leaning to the right that highly values the individual instead of the public society so prominent in Scandinavian countries. As with these other thriller writers, we view a somber if not morose society...practical, but not affluent in that affection mentioned by the author.

    But what is it about novels that is captivating readers across the globe? I can only speak for myself.

    As always, translations must be kept in mind and my hat's off to those who attempt to translate a foreign language into English. It is an art in and of itself. Especially when one considers that it is possible to have thoughts in one language that are not possible in another. Being bilingual myself, I still wrestle with certain idioms not available to me when communicating in English. In this sense, Lisa Hartford does an excellent job in her translation from Danish to English. Indeed, in terms of immediate and enduring attention grabbing, Adler-Olsen is in the Chandler class.

    As with most European and Scandinavian mystery/crime novels, the causation behind the crime is usually a simple event rationalized by an unhealthy mind. I love this about Nordic thrillers...how we are brought to fully understand motivation as part of the unravelling of a mystery. You could say that this is exactly what is wrong with Hollywood where everything is sensationalized, instead of sprung forth out of ordinary life.

    Junior Detective Superintendent Carl MØrck has a brilliant mind and as is usually the case, brilliance inspires envy, and envy destroys achievements. The way Jussi Adler-Olsen portrays this within the Danish police force cannot be dismissed. Ever critical, he has created a character both perfectly ordinary as well as constantly critical of everything set before him. There is a quiet humor behind the man who has no qualms about doing nothing but placing his feet on his desk and complain that he is too busy...until of course he becomes interested at which point he becomes a Danish bloodhound.

    The plots are exquisite, driven not by the unveiling of a carefully kept ending held close to the chest by the author (I've read reviews where some partially dismiss this author for guessing the who-dun-it half way through) but rather by the unveiling of the true motivation behind the crime which gives the reader an entirely different satisfaction. Cold cases are tough and most of them are not solved. But, as Adler-Olson says:

    This review will be the same for all Department Q novels...so if you've read this one, you've read 'em all. Updates will be included in subsequent novels in this series, if warranted.

    Enjoy!

  • Jaksen

    Wonderful mystery.

    Carl Morck of Department Q, is once again given a cold case to research, and this one is tantalizing from the start. Based on a note in a bottle found in the waters off Scotland, then traced to events in Denmark, it's a chilling story of a serial killer-kidnapper who targets the families belonging to reclusive religious sects. He kidnaps two children, demands a ransom, then kills one of the children to maintain the silence of the family. Fantastic premise, the story is high-ten

    Wonderful mystery.

    Carl Morck of Department Q, is once again given a cold case to research, and this one is tantalizing from the start. Based on a note in a bottle found in the waters off Scotland, then traced to events in Denmark, it's a chilling story of a serial killer-kidnapper who targets the families belonging to reclusive religious sects. He kidnaps two children, demands a ransom, then kills one of the children to maintain the silence of the family. Fantastic premise, the story is high-tension throughout, and tempered only by the fact that Carl's two assistants - the weird Rose (and her sister Yrsa who replaces Rose briefly,) and Assad the Syrian - allow for some comic breathing space. (Though both will earn their badges for bravery in this book.)

    The characters in this series are so well-written, so devoid of the usual stereotypes, that reading Adler-Olsen is a true delight. And other than the fact that I was on edge the whole time reading it, and needed breaks myself, (as I don't usually like criminal stories with 'children in peril,') this was a great read.

    Looking forward to the next by Adler-Olsen.

  • Phrynne

    I read this on kindle and had no idea it was 500 pages long until I saw the stats when I came to write the review. I can assure you those 500 pages flew by so fast and I enjoyed every moment of them.

    This is proving to be such a good series. I like that Carl, the main character, has low points like all fictional detectives, but he also has highs like normal people. He works hard at solving his cases despite the erratic assistance of Assad and Rose. So there is good, solid police work and there is

    I read this on kindle and had no idea it was 500 pages long until I saw the stats when I came to write the review. I can assure you those 500 pages flew by so fast and I enjoyed every moment of them.

    This is proving to be such a good series. I like that Carl, the main character, has low points like all fictional detectives, but he also has highs like normal people. He works hard at solving his cases despite the erratic assistance of Assad and Rose. So there is good, solid police work and there is humour in the relationships between the characters which keeps things light.

    There is also a lot of tension especially towards the end when events build up to a great climax. This author always manages to leave the reader on a high with a really successful and exciting conclusion. Love it and am looking forward to book 4.

  • Paula Kalin

    This is a terrific mystery series. Well worth the time. The police character studies are what make the books. The day-to-day work life of Carl, Asaad, and Rose are hysterical!

    The first of the series is still my favorite.

  • Wanda

    I like Detective Carl Mørck, despite a couple of his unlovable characteristics—he is quite a prejudiced guy, not really giving his assistants, Assad and Rose, much credit. He is also a gold-bricker, trying his very best to sleep through his final years in the cold case division before retirement. Despite his intentions, the case of this mysterious letter, written in blood and pleading for help, eventually galvanizes him into action and even into danger. It takes a lot of prodding on his assistan

    I like Detective Carl Mørck, despite a couple of his unlovable characteristics—he is quite a prejudiced guy, not really giving his assistants, Assad and Rose, much credit. He is also a gold-bricker, trying his very best to sleep through his final years in the cold case division before retirement. Despite his intentions, the case of this mysterious letter, written in blood and pleading for help, eventually galvanizes him into action and even into danger. It takes a lot of prodding on his assistants’ part to get Mørck moving, but eventually he is taking the situation seriously and starts to expect more of them in return.

    The translation of this work annoyed me somewhat, however—the translator used British idioms, some of which sounded silly in the conversation of a Danish investigator. There were an awful lot of people who “couldn’t be arsed to do something.” Not a common turn of phrase in North America, although easily understood. There were several mentions of “stroppy teenagers,” which I’m guessing is a shortening of obstreperous. I found those things rather distracting, but decipherable. Those are the two that stick in my memory, although I remember having to decode another couple of expressions.

    What I’m now wondering about is how much of the racism in the book (directed mostly toward Assad, the Syrian immigrant on police staff) is in the original and how much was influenced by the translator. Assad is referred to as a “camel driver” on one occasion, is shown getting into a fist fight with an Iranian officer [presumably about country-of-origin issues], and being less than truthful about where he lives. Much is made of how dark his skin and hair are and how much he stands out from the rest of the staff. I was relieved that by the book’s end, Mørck is treating him much more like an equal, valuing his input and his back-up in the field. Assad is definitely willing to work and finds all kinds of connections to current cases, stirring up several investigations and being the brains behind the operation on several occasions. And he is certainly the muscle during stressful situations. Mørck also comes to value Rose more highly and perhaps not to judge her by her appearance and gender.

    Her work assignments also gain in importance as things progress and she gets treated more kindly.

    In addition, there is a confusing situation in which Mørck’s former common-law wife takes up with a man of Indian origin—although Carl wanted her to find someone else & move on, he still seems affronted that she has chosen an Indian man and once again, skin colour and turban are referenced in uncomplimentary ways.

    I think my Canadian-ness may be showing through here, as we are quite used to have a multi-ethnic society and think nothing of encountering Asian, Arab, African, etc. people on an everyday basis. [I found that as a very-white Caucasian, I really stood out in some areas of China that I visited and people would be quite pushy about wanting to be photographed with our tour group because we were considered so unusual. Since I have cousins who have Chinese and Korean ancestry, it took me a while to figure out what the fuss was about].

    Enough of the anthropological dissection of the novel, however, on to the rest of the book! The action is well-planned and engrossing, plus the villain is suitably deadly, cunning, and mysterious. The plot is sufficiently convoluted to keep the reader interested. The exploration of religions of various sorts in a secular society also adds to the mix. Excellent summer reading!

  • Bettie
  • Terri Wino

    3-1/2 stars rounded up to 4.

    Another solid entry in a series whose recurring characters are just as interesting and unusual as the storylines.

    This book had one of the most diabolical and clever villains that I've ever come across in a realistic setting. Meaning, the crimes he committed are things that could actually happen. This wasn't a superhuman that did fantastical things...which made him all the more chilling because of what he was capable of and how he carried out his atrocities. Cold, calc

    3-1/2 stars rounded up to 4.

    Another solid entry in a series whose recurring characters are just as interesting and unusual as the storylines.

    This book had one of the most diabolical and clever villains that I've ever come across in a realistic setting. Meaning, the crimes he committed are things that could actually happen. This wasn't a superhuman that did fantastical things...which made him all the more chilling because of what he was capable of and how he carried out his atrocities. Cold, calculating, and clever for sure.

    The only reason I knocked a half star off of my rating is that this was yet another book that suffered from being about 100 pages too long. There were several passages I felt should have been tighter or eliminated, as it caused my attention to waiver. The book lost some suspense because of this.

    However, I still definitely recommend this series. I found each book I've read so far just a little difficult to get into initially, but I was soon drawn into the story and engrossed in the unfolding events. Well worth the read.

  • Jayson

    | Good

    A clever enough crime, though a book of this length needs livelier, less trivial subplots to tent-pole its saggy middle.

  • Jamie Rose

    This felt like hard work...Maybe I'm missing something...

    The book is over 600 pages long. I don't mind long books, however...The actual crime part is probably half of that. The rest seems to be utter nonsense about the various individuals employed by the police and those involved in Carl's life. These digressions into his personal life seem to have no point and certainly little or no relevance to the story overall...

    I don't know if the Danish are racist as a nation, however this author certainl

    This felt like hard work...Maybe I'm missing something...

    The book is over 600 pages long. I don't mind long books, however...The actual crime part is probably half of that. The rest seems to be utter nonsense about the various individuals employed by the police and those involved in Carl's life. These digressions into his personal life seem to have no point and certainly little or no relevance to the story overall...

    I don't know if the Danish are racist as a nation, however this author certainly portrays them as such.

    I really liked the first book by this author, but have been slightly underwhelmed by the second two stories in this series.

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