I’m not quite sure why the three Scandinavian authors I’ve read include an inordinate amount of the grotesque in their novels; those of whom I speak are Larsson, Nesbo and now Adler-Olsen. Each one has written a novel which includes a woman being essentially tortured. Beyond one’s imaginings.
But, that’s not to say I wasn’t caught up in the novel as if I was watching a slow-motion train wreck. It is compelling reading, to learn what would become of Merete who had been held prisoner for five years in a pressure chamber. Wearing the same shirt for that amount of time was the least of her troubles. Her food was passed through an airlock in a bucket; another bucket was given to her for toilet purposes. The lights were kept on continuously, or off, for alternating periods of time, and every year the atmospheric pressure was raised one level.
It is up to Carl Morck, a detective who is so obstinate that he has been ‘promoted’ to newly established Department Q, to find out what has happened to Merete who’s been long assumed dead. Accompanied by his assistant, Assad, who has the ability to notice the finest detail, they set out to solve her case which had just been lying unresolved in an empty folder. For years.
Penguin tells me, “This is the very first time that the 2010 Glass Key Award winner (previously won by Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbo and Henning Mankell) Adler-Olsen has been translated into English and published in the UK. In Denmark, MERCY hit the No 1 spot remained in the Top 3 for over a year. Jussi has also topped the charts in Germany, remaining on the bestseller list for 60 weeks so far.”
I personally found it a fascinating thriller, and look forward to more of the series which is to come.