Marco Jameson is in an impossible situation. Brought to Denmark as part of a clan led by his uncle, he has no legal citizenship, no legal identity, and no real education. Everyone in the clan is at the mercy of Marco’s uncle, including Marco’s own father. So when Marco makes a dangerous discovery that threatens his very life, he has no one to turn to. Alone and on the run, Marco vows to do the right thing but now the very people he once called family are out for his blood.
Meanwhile, Department Q is about to undergo a bit of a change. The head of homicide is stepping down and Carl Mørck’s own worst enemy has been put in charge. Mørck is pretty well determined to continue on as usual until ordered otherwise. After all, his department has a highly successful solve rate and is the frequent praise of local media.
After solving yet another case, one bungled by Department A, Mørck reluctantly allows his assistants to choose their next case. It’s a missing persons almost three years old involving a ministry employee who vanished after returning from a trip to Africa. The case is as cold as can be and there are no real leads to speak of. Not until Marco Jameson crosses their paths, that is.
My favorite grumpy detective and his crew are back! Yes, Mørck’s gruff and brash nature is one of the things that makes this series a favorite of mine. He’s just a fascinating character – one that Adler-Olsen does a truly wonderful job giving the reader real insight into. Mørck’s own inner monologue throughout the narrative shows that in spite of being a clever detective, he’s a bit clueless when it comes with interacting with other people.
Part of it, of course, comes from the events laid out in The Keeper of Lost Causes – the case that cost him a colleague and left his partner paralyzed from the neck down. Since then, Mørck has taken it upon himself to give Hardy a home and plays a pretty big role in the man’s recuperation. He does have redeemable characteristics after all.
And while all three of the main characters – Mørck, Assad, and Rose – continue to grow and evolve as the series progresses, Adler-Olsen always has a great cast of supporting characters in each book. In The Marco Effect it’s Marco himself who really shines.
Another excelling addition to the Department Q series, and one that can easily be read as a stand alone if you’re new to Adler-Olsen’s work.
09/14 Becky LeJeune
THE MARCO EFFECT by Jussi Adler-Olsen. Dutton Adult (September 9, 2014). ISBN 978-0525954026. 496p.