A Conspiracy Of Faith: A Department Q Novel

Hardcover | May 28, 2013

byJussi Adler-olsen

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The New York Times and # 1 international bestselling author Jussi Adler-Olsen returns with another shocking cold case in his exhilarating Department Q series.

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 in a desperate marriage- her husband refuses to tell her where he goes, what he does, how long he will be away. For days on end she waits, and when he returns she must endure his wants, his moods, his threats. But enough is enough. She will find out the truth, no matter the cost to her husband—or to herself.

Carl and his colleagues Assad and Rose must use all of their resources to uncover the horrifying truth in this heart-pounding Nordic thriller from the #1 international bestselling author Jussi Adler-Olsen.

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The New York Times and # 1 international bestselling author Jussi Adler-Olsen returns with another shocking cold case in his exhilarating Department Q series. 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 boatho...

JUSSI ADLER-OLSEN is Denmark's #1 crime writer and a New York Times bestseller. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in Europe, and he's won many prestigious Nordic crime-writing awards, including the Glass Key Award—also won by Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbø, Stieg Larsson, and Peter Høeg. He lives in Denmark.

other books by Jussi Adler-olsen

The Hanging Girl: A Department Q Novel
The Hanging Girl: A Department Q Novel

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The Alphabet House: A Novel
The Alphabet House: A Novel

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The Keeper Of Lost Causes: The First Department Q Novel
The Keeper Of Lost Causes: The First Department Q Novel

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:512 pages, 9.25 × 6.38 × 1.5 inPublished:May 28, 2013Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0525954007

ISBN - 13:9780525954002

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this series Also under the title “Redemption” Book 3, in the department Q series The two previous novels had politics and money as their main topics it is of no surprise to find in this latest page-turning psychological thriller Detective Carl Morck and his team from Department Q pinned down by reclusive religious sects. As the previous novels it was a hard book to put down. The story relies on psychological insight, a complex and intense plotting and nonstop action to maintain suspense up to its climax. Although the heart of the story may be gruesome the author lightens the mood with well-placed humour and along the way we get to know the protagonist and the other players a bit more. We have a very compelling main plot and as in all thrillers we have a side plot to distract and confuse us a bit. I like the characters they are far from being stereotypes and come across quite genuine. This is the most convoluted novel created by Mr. Adler Olsen so far alternating several points of view as the story shifts among characters and time period. The main theme concerns a professional kidnapper who preys on families austere religious sects, exploiting their reclusive nature to ransom two siblings at a time without the police being notified. This is a thick book over 500 pages it kicks off when one of two kidnapped brothers held captive in a boathouse sends out an obscure note in a bottle with an urgent plea for HELP written in his blood. It took years before it eventually washed ashore and reached the hands of Department Q. This message is a puzzle they need to decipher and the hunt solving the mystery reaches outlandish proportions and somehow clues emerge slowly just to tease us till the next installment. It is a tough read although well-worth it.
Date published: 2013-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great plotting and characters You many remember me raving about the first two books in this wonderful series. The third book in Jussi Adler-Olsen's series has just released in North America - A Conspiracy of Faith. Detective Carl Morck works for Department Q - housed in the basement of the Denmark Police Department. Department Q deals with old and cold cases. The department isn't very large - it's Carl and Assad - an enigmatic Syrian who started off as the cleaner, but has proven to be invaluable to Carl. They have been joined by Rose - and her sister Ursa this time 'round - both decidedly 'different'. Adler-Olsen hooked me right from the start. A pair of boys is being held captive in a remote boathouse. The older brother knows they are going to die, but ingeniously manages to put together a message in a bottle and toss it through a crack into the ocean. Years later the bottle finally makes it's way to Carl's desk. And the hunt begins for a killer. Now, we as readers, know who the killer is - and that he is still operating. His chapters are especially chilling. Adler- Olsen paints a particularly frightening picture of a sociopath. The hunt is on and we can only urge Carl and team to hurry - another pair of children are being held in the same old boathouse. Adler-Olsen's plotting is excellent and the action and sense of urgency translated into late night reading for me. But what makes this series really shine are the protagonists. Carl is a brilliant investigator but is a man with a complicated personal life. The secondary storyline gives him more depth as a character, rather than just confining him to the police station. Assad is still a mystery, but Adler-Olsen has let a few more details slip about this intriguing character's background. The interplay and dialogue between the two pulls the reader in. I've read the first two books, but chose to listen to this third entry. I didn't realize who the reader was until the opening lines of the first disc - then realized it was one of my favourites - Graeme Malcolm. He has such a rich, full sonorous voice. He has a Scottish accent, but bends it to fit Carl's personality. The voice he chose for Assad also worked well. Malcolm uses his voice very effectively - the killer's mind set was all the more chilling with the dispassionate tones employed. His voice was easy to listen to, extremely expressive and really brought the book to life. A five star read and series for this reader. I can't wait to read the next Department Q book!
Date published: 2013-07-10

Extra Content

Read from the Book

PrologueIt was the third morning, and the smell of tar and seaweed had got into his clothes. Under the boathouse floor, the mush of ice lapped soundlessly against the wooden stilts and awakened memories of days when everything had been all right.He lifted his upper body from the bedding of waste paper and pulled himself sufficiently upright as to be able to make out his younger brother’s face, which even in sleep seemed tormented, chilled to the bone.Soon, he would wake and glance around in panic. He would feel the leather straps tight around his wrists and waist and hear the jangle of the chain that constrained him. He would see the snowstorm and the light as it struggled to penetrate the tarred timber planks. And then he would start to pray.Countless were the times desperation had sprung forth in his brother’s eyes. Through the heavy-duty tape that covered his mouth came the repeated sound of his muffled pleas that Jehovah have mercy upon them.Yet both of them knew that Jehovah no longer paid heed, for blood had passed their lips. Blood that their jailer had let drip into their cups. The cups from which he had allowed them to drink before revealing to them what they had contained. They had drunk water, but in the water was blood, so forbidden, and now they were damned for ever. And for that reason, shame pierced deeper even than thirst.What do you think he’ll do to us? his brother’s frightened eyes seemed so incessantly to ask. But how could he ever know the answer? All he knew was that he had an instinctive feeling that it would all soon be over.He leaned backwards and scanned the room once again in the dim light, allowing his gaze to pass across the collar beams and through the formations of cobwebs, noting each and every projection, each and every knot. The worn paddles and oars that hung from the apex of the ceiling. The rotten fishing nets that had long since made their last catch.And then he discovered the bottle. A gleam of sunlight played momentarily on the blue-white glass to dazzle him.So near, and yet so hard to reach. It was just behind him, wedged between the thick, rough-hewn planks of the floor.He stuck his fingers through the gap and tried to prise the bottle upwards by the neck, but the air froze upon his skin. When the thing came loose, he would smash it and use the shards to cut through the strap that kept his hands tied tight together behind his back. And when it succumbed, his numb fingers would find the buckle at his spine. He would loosen it, tear the tape from his mouth, remove the straps from around his waist and thighs, and as soon as the chain that was fastened to the leather strap at his waist no longer held him back, he would lunge forward and free his brother. He would draw him towards him and hold him tight until their bodies ceased to tremble.Then, he imagined, he would use all his strength to gouge into the timber around the door with the broken glass. He would see if he could hollow out the planks on which the hinges were placed. And if the worst should happen and the car came before he was finished, he would lie in wait for the man. He would stand poised behind the door with the broken glass in his hand. That was what he told himself he would do.He leaned forward, folded his freezing fingers behind his back and prayed for forgiveness for his wicked thought.Then he scraped again in the space between the planks to try to free the bottle. He scraped and scratched until the neck angled enough for him to grab hold of it.He listened.Was that an engine? Yes, it was. The powerful engine of a large car. But was it approaching or simply passing by in the distance out there?For a moment, the low, deep sound seemed to get louder. He began to pull so desperately at the neck of the bottle that his knuckles cracked audibly. But then the sound died away. Had it been the wind turbines, rumbling and whirring? Maybe it was something else entirely. He had no idea.He expelled warm breath from his nostrils. It steamed the air around his face. He wasn’t so afraid any more, not now. As long as he thought about the grace of Jehovah, he felt better.He pressed his lips together and laboured on. And when finally the bottle came free, he struck it so hard against the timber of the floor that his brother lifted his head with a startled jolt and looked around in terror.Again and again, he brought the bottle down against the floor. It was hard to get purchase with his hands behind his back. Too hard. Eventually, when his fingers were no longer able to maintain their grip, he let the bottle slide from his hand, turned himself around and stared emptily at it as dust gently descended through the cramped space from the beams.He couldn’t break it. He simply wasn’t able. A pathetic little bottle. Was it because they had drunk blood? Had Jehovah abandoned them?He looked at his brother, who rolled himself slowly into his blanket and fell back on to his bedding. He was silent, not even attempting to mumble a word through the tape that sealed his lips.It took a while to gather the things he needed. The hardest part was stretching himself, confined by his chain, to reach the tar between the roofing planks with the tips of his fingers. Everything else was at hand: the bottle, the sharp sliver of wood from the timbered floor, the paper on which he was sitting.He pushed off one of his shoes and stabbed so sharply at his wrist with the sliver that tears welled in his eyes. He let the blood drip on to his polished shoe for a minute, perhaps two. Then he tore a large shred of paper from his bedding, dipped the wooden fragment in his blood and twisted his body, pulling at his chain, until he was able to see what he was writing behind his back. As best he could, and in the smallest of handwriting, he put down in words what was happening to them. When he had finished, he signed the letter with his name, rolled up the paper and stuffed it inside the bottle.He allowed himself plenty of time to press the lump of tar down into the neck. He shifted his weight so as to see better, and checked and double-checked to make sure it was well done.When finally there was no more to do, he heard the dull sound of a car engine. This time there was no mistake. He cast a pained glance at his little brother and stretched with all his might towards the light that seeped in through a broad crack in the timbered wall, the only opening through which the bottle would be able to pass.Then the door was opened and a thick shadow entered amid a flurry of white snow.Silence.And then the plop.The bottle was released.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for A Conspiracy of Faith“A shattering parable of honest individuals caught up in the corruption of our times.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review)"VERDICT Adler-Olsen's cast might seem like stock crime-fiction characters at first glance - the curmudgeonly detective, the flighty secretary, the suspiciously resourceful assistant - but in his hands they are unpredictable and entertaining. This series has enough twists to captivate contemporary mystery readers and enough substance and background to entertain readers with historical and literary tastes." —Library Journal (starred review)“[T]his mix of offbeat departmental politics, puzzling clues, and pulse pounding pursuit delivers the goods.”—Booklist"The heroes and villains of A Conspiracy of Faith are compelling, and it's impossible to put down the book" —Associated Press"A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH is great reading, exhausting in all of the best ways, double-barrel loaded with a puzzling mystery on one side and an edge-of-your-seat, ticking-clock threat on the other..." —Bookreporter.comPraise for The Absent One:“Adler-Olsen, Denmark’s leading crime fiction author, outdoes his outstanding debut, The Keeper of Lost Causes, with his second Department Q novel.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)“Adler-Olsen has created a wonderful addition to the detective fiction genre in his sleuth….While the book can be read as a stand-alone novel, readers will be unable to resist seeking out and devouring the first and subsequent series titles.” — Library Journal  (starred review)Praise for The Keeper of Lost Causes:“The pages fly by as the twisty puzzle unfolds. Stieg Larsson fans will be delighted.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)“[An] absorbing psychological thriller.”  — Library Journal (starred review)“Comparisons [to Stieg Larsson] are inevitable and, while he may lack a Salander, Adler-Olsen’s prose is superior to Larsson’s, his tortures are less discomfiting, and he has a sense of humor.”— Booklist (starred review)“Plan on putting everything else in your life on hold if you pick up this book.” — The Oregonian