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First look: The Hanging Girl

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hanginggirl_firstlook_540_01On 3 September, the Danish author Carl Valdemar Jussi Henry Adler-Olsen will have as many of his Department Q books available in English as he has names. That’s right, because today Crime Fiction Lover was down at the Royal Mail delivery centre picking up a real brick of a book that wouldn’t fit through the mail slot. Handing over the red slip, it turned out to be The Hanging Girl, the sixth Department Q novel which follows on from Buried (entitled The Marco Effect in the United States).

There are plenty of interesting things about the book in addition to it’s remarkable girth at 596 pages. Of course, it sees the return of Carl Morck and his assistants Assad and Rose. But there’s a new character joining in too, called Gordon. The triangular Department Q humour is about go quadratic, it seems. The book is about the cold case of a girl found hanging from a tree years back on one of Denmark’s islands. The cop who tried to solve the case originally has killed himself but as Carl, Assad, Rose and Gordon delve into it they come into contact with a creepy religious cult. It just so happens that when their investigation gets under way, a new series of murders begins.

Conspiracies, cover-ups, a touch of social observation, and the slow unravelling of the over-arching story of Carl and his paralysed former partner Hardy – these are the things Department Q books always deliver and we’re hoping The Hanging Girl will satisfy on all fronts.

The book was originally published in Danish as Den Grænseløse, which translates as The Boundless. Whereas previous translations of Department Q books were published in English by Penguin, now Jussi Adler-Olsen is with Quercus. That’s the independent publisher that brought us the Steig Larsson Millennium trilogy. As you can see, the cover is boasting 12.5 million books sold for the author, and inside his bio says he’s the number one Danish crime author. The Times called him ‘the it boy of Nordic noir’ which is a stretch seeing as he’s 65 years of age, but here on Crime Fiction Lover we have been with him since Mercy first appeared in English and we have remarked on the quality of all the Department Q books so far.

You can read our reviews of Mercy, Disgrace, Redemption, Guilt and The Marco Effect… and we’ll have a review of this one too, closer to publication. It’ll be out as a hardback at £16.99 and as an ebook. You can pre-order yours here.

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