The Purity Of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel

Paperback | July 29, 2014

byJussi Adler-olsen

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The fourth book in his Department Q series, New York Times bestselling author and Denmark’s #1 crime writer Jussi Adler-Olsen returns with Detective Carl Mørck’s most sinister case yet.
 
In 1987, Nete Hermansen plans revenge on those who abused her—especially Curt Wad, a surgeon who was part of a movement to sterilize wayward girls in the 1950s.
More than twenty years later, Detective Carl Mørck already has plenty on his mind when he is presented with the case of a brothel owner, a woman named Rita, who went missing in the eighties: New evidence has emerged in the case that sent Carl to Department Q.

But when Carl’s assistants, Assad and Rose, learn that numerous other people disappeared around the same weekend as Rita, Carl takes notice. Sifting through the evidence, they inch closer to Curt Wad, who is still committed to his twisted beliefs, and whose treatment of Nete only hints at his capacity for evil.

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From the Publisher

The fourth book in his Department Q series, New York Times bestselling author and Denmark’s #1 crime writer Jussi Adler-Olsen returns with Detective Carl Mørck’s most sinister case yet. In 1987, Nete Hermansen plans revenge on those who abused her—especially Curt Wad, a surgeon who was part of a movement to sterilize wayward girls in t...

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 have sold more than fourteen million copies around the world. His many prestigious Nordic crime-writing awards include the Glass Key Award, also won by Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbø, Stieg Larsson, and ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 8 × 5.3 × 1.2 inPublished:July 29, 2014Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142181315

ISBN - 13:9780142181317

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Customer Reviews of The Purity Of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought-Provoking Case Centres on Eugenics and Forced Abortions I love this series! I did find this one a bit different than the previous ones thus had a slow start but once I got into the plot it was great reading from then on. The difference here is that it isn't quite the same type of crime story/investigation. The reader knew what was going on as the narrative switched from the real-time events in the past of the crime being committed and the current events of the Carl's Q squad investigation. There's also a third narrative which goes even further back in history to the perpetrator's backstory. It isn't until quite close to the end that the reader is given a twist and a shock and we are finally surprised with something. While I do find the mystery of not knowing the perpetrator more exciting, I can also enjoy this type of presentation as well, as we watch how the police manage to track down the person we know who is hiding. I must say I also found the theme of this book, forced abortions and eugenics, highly thought-provoking. I am pro-life and with both of these issues no less prevalent in today's world than they were in the '50s was very well-pleased with how the subject was handled. The last book concentrated on Rose, giving us insight into her character. Now, this 4th book, concentrates on Hassad. He is such a mysterious character that we aren't exactly given any answers but we are shown more of him and his character allowing our thoughts and speculation to being that much closer to the truth. Originally, this was promoted as a four book series but with the ending of this book, it is obvious a sequel will be continuing the story and I would really hope we have many more yet to come!
Date published: 2014-04-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from This book certainly was captivating from the begining. I almost read it in one sitting. The book is both exciting, shocking, entertaining and humorous. Some of the events are quite schocking especially the mistreatment of Nete. Some of the events surrounding Carl and conversations he has really made me smile or chuckle. Although some heavy themes are handled, like mistreatment of women in the not too distant past, the rise of populist parties in Europe, and of course the theme of revenge, the book never becomes heavy-handed. Still the treatment of these themes to my disstatifaction was a bit shallow. I did not really gain deeper insights in the problems mentioned from this book. Take for instance the theme of revenge. Although there is a moment Nete doubts her course of action when one of her victims shows remorse, it seems she never doubts whether revenge actually solves anything let alone whether it really gives the possiblity to start with a clean slate. The writer avoids an overly simplistic black and white sheme, for instance in showing that Nete is capable of quite gruesome deeds, and that Curt Wad is capable of loving his wife. Still both Nete and Curt do never seem to feel something of a dilemma. The plot of the book has both strong and weak elements. The denouement really took me by surprise and was very creative. However there is some lack of psychological realism and credibility there. [Spoiler alert] Is it credible that an alcoholic could live for 20 years entirely on her own (without any contacts with either family or friends) without starting to neglect herself or her house or without Korsakoff's disease setting in. Is it credible that Nete, who has wonderful foster parents who rescued her from a horrible life would simply lose contact with them? Well, I don't know, but in the end the plot is not really satisfying to my taste. Maybe the biggest drawback of the book is it coarse language. Well, I understand that this contributes to the drawing of the atmosphere, but this aim would also have been reached by a cutback of 90% of foul language.
Date published: 2014-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Something New in the Mystery Genre Jussi Adler-Olsen is a Danish author with a huge following right across Europe. I have been enjoying the Department Q series since it first arrived here in North America and each time another is released I have to read it right away. I have enjoyed all the books and am always amazed how each book is better than the last......the translation is excellent and so smooth it would never cross your mind you were reading a translation. If you like lots of action, well defined characters, and some quirky humor and a lovely twisted surprise at the end, then this series is for you......enjoy!!!!
Date published: 2014-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Purity of Vengence-ADept Q Novel This novel never drags or misses as the Dept Q team try to resolve a set of multiple disappearences that all took place on the same day in 1987. Lots of surprises and action.
Date published: 2014-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great absorbing read! Love this author. Every new release better than the last. Characters come to life again. This is one you won't want to put down until the very end, then you'll wish you had the next installment.
Date published: 2014-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Purity of Vengeance Department Q novels just keep getting better and better. I could not put this one down. All of the main characters are still flawed but exhibit strengths that make you love them and want more.
Date published: 2014-01-23

Extra Content

Read from the Book

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof.***Copyright © 2013 by Jussi Adler-OlsenTranslation copyright © by Martin AitkenPROLOGUENovember 1985The feeling could get the better of her in an unguarded moment. The cool, delicate champagne glass between her fingers, the hum of voices, and the light hand of her husband at her waist. Apart from being in love, only brief flashbacks of a distant childhood reminded her of it. The security of her grandmother’s chatter. Subdued laughter as she fell into a slumber. The laughter of people long since gone. Nete pressed her lips together to stem the emotion. Sometimes it got the better of her. She collected herself and gazed out upon the palette of colorful eve­ning gowns and proud figures. The celebratory banquet in honor of the Danish recipient of the year’s Nordic Prize for Medicine had drawn many guests. Scholars, physicians, pillars of society. Circles into which she cer­tainly hadn’t been born but in which she nevertheless had come to feel increasingly comfortable as the years passed. She took a deep breath and was about to let out a contented sigh when she became acutely aware that a pair of eyes had latched onto her through the array of festive coiffures and men in tight bow ties. The inexplicable, unsettling charges of electricity only ever emitted by eyes that wished no good. Instinctively she moved aside, like a hunted animal seeking cover in undergrowth. She put her hand on her husband’s arm and tried to smile as her gaze flickered across the shimmer guests and the elegantly dressed of the candelabra. A woman tossed back her head in a moment’s laughter, suddenly opening up a clear view to the rear end of the hall. And there he stood. His figure towered like a lighthouse above all the others. Despite the stooping posture and crooked legs, a great, strutting wild animal whose eyes swept over the crowd like a pair of searchlights. Again she sensed his intense surveillance to the very core of her being and knew for certain that if she didn’t react now her entire life would collapse in seconds. “Andreas,” she said, putting her hand to her throat, which was already sticky with perspiration. “Can’t we leave now? I’m not feeling well.” Further entreaty was unnecessary. Her husband raised his dark eye­brows, nodded to those nearest, and turned away from the throng, tak­ing her arm in his. It was typical of him, and she loved him for it. “Thank you,” she said. “I’m afraid it’s my headache again.” He nodded, all too familiar with the affliction himself. Long, dark evenings in the drawing room, his migraine pounding. It was yet another thing they had in common. As they approached the majestic staircase the tall man stole forward and stepped in front of them. He looked much older now, she noted. The eyes that once had spar­kled had lost their luster. His hair was unrecognizable. Twenty-five years had taken their toll. “Nete, are you here? You’re the last person I would have expected to see in such company,” he said bluntly. She stepped to one side and drew her husband past, but her stalker was undeterred. “Don’t you remember me, Nete?” came his voice from behind. “Of course you do. Curt Wad. How could you ever forget me?” Halfway down the stairs he caught up with them. “So you’re Rosen’s tart now, is that it? Imagine you, of all people, reaching such heights.” She tugged at her husband’s arm to hasten him along, but Andreas Rosen was not known for turning his back on a problem. The present situation was no exception. “Would you be so kind as to leave my wife alone?” he asked, his words accompanied by a glare that warned of rage. “Oh, I see.” The unwelcome guest took a step backward. “So you’ve actually lured Andreas Rosen into your web, Nete. Well done.” He flashed what others might have taken to be a wry smile, but she knew better. “That piece of information seems to have completely passed me by, I’m afraid. But then I don’t usually frequent such circles. Never read the gossip magazines.” In slow motion she saw her husband shake his head in disdain. Felt the grip of his hand on hers as he drew her on. For a moment she was able to breathe again. Their footsteps clattered, asynchronous echoes, urging them away. They reached the downstairs cloakroom before the voice behind them spoke once more. “Mr. Rosen! Perhaps you are unaware that your wife is a whore? A simple girl from Sprogø who isn’t fussy about who she opens her legs for. Her feeble mind cannot distinguish between truth and lies, and—” She felt a wrench of her wrist as her husband spun round. Several guests were trying to subdue the man who had interrupted their festiv­ities. A couple of younger doctors leaned menacingly toward the tall man’s chest, making it clear he was not wanted there. “Andreas, don’t,” she shouted as her husband stepped toward the cluster of individuals that now surrounded her tormentor, but he was oblivious. Her alpha male was marking out his territory. “I don’t know who you are,” he said, “but I strongly suggest you re­frain from showing yourself in public again until you’ve learned how to behave in decent company.” The thin figure raised his head above the men who were holding him back and everyone present focused on his moistureless lips: the ladies behind the counter who were sorting the furs from the cotton coats, guests slinking their way past, the private chauffeurs waiting in front of the swing doors. And then came the words that should never have been uttered. “Why don’t you ask Nete where she was sterilized? Ask her how many abortions she’s had. Ask her what an isolation cell feels like after five days. Ask her, and leave lecturing me on social skills to your betters, Andreas Rosen.” Curt Wad extracted himself from those restraining him and stepped aside, eyes aflame with hatred. “I’m leaving now!” he spat. “And you, Nete!” He extended a trembling finger toward her. “You can go to hell, where you belong.” The room was a buzz of voices even before the swing doors closed behind him. “That was Curt Wad,” someone whispered. “An old student friend of the prizewinner, which is about the only good thing that can be said of him.” But the trap had sprung. She had been revealed. All eyes were upon her now. Searching for signs of her true self. Was her neckline too plunging? Were her hips too vulgar? Were her lips? They collected their coats, and the cloakroom lady’s warm breath felt almost poisonous. You’re no better than me, her expression said. It happened that quickly. She lowered her gaze and took her husband’s arm. Her beloved husband, whose eyes she hadn’t the courage to look into. She listened to the quiet purr of the engine. They had not spoken a word to each other, staring past the swish of the windshield wipers into the autumn darkness through which they passed.Perhaps he was waiting for her denials, but she had none to offer. Perhaps she was expecting him to accommodate her. To help her out of her predicament. To look into her eyes and tell her it didn’t matter, whatever it was, and that what counted were the eleven years they had been together. Not the thirty-seven she had lived before that. But he turned on the radio and filled the car with jangling remoteness, Sting accompanying them south across Sjælland, Sade and Madonna over Falster and the Guldborgsund strait to Lolland. Strange, young voices in the night. The only thing that bound them together. Everything else was gone. A few hundred meters before the village of Blans, still a couple of kilometers from the manor farm, he pulled in to the edge of the fields. “Now tell me,” he said, his gaze fastened to the darkness outside. His words were without warmth. He didn’t even utter her name by way of comfort. All he had was Tell me! She closed her eyes. Pleaded with him to understand there were un­derlying events that explained everything, and that the man who had confronted her was the very cause of her misfortune. But apart from that, what he had said had been the truth. She admit­ted it, her voice a whisper. It was true. All of it. For an agonizing, all-consuming moment only his breathing was heard. Then he turned toward her with darkness in his eyes. “So that’s why we’ve never been able to have children,” he said. She nodded. Pressed her lips together and told it like it was. Yes, she was guilty of lies and deceit. She came clean. As a young girl she had been committed to Sprogø, through no fault of her own. A chain of mis­understandings, abuse of power, betrayal. There was no other reason. And yes, she’d had abortions and had been sterilized, but the dreadful man they had just encountered . . . He laid his hand on her arm, and its coldness went through her like an electric shock, prompting her to stop. Then he put the car into gear, released the clutch, and drove slowly through the village before accelerating quickly past the meadows and the darkened view of the water. “I’m sorry, Nete. But I can’t forgive your allowing me to live all these years blindly believing we could become parents together. I simply can’t. And as for the rest of what you’ve told me, quite frankly I’m disgusted.” He paused, and she felt an icy tingle at her temples, the muscles of her neck tensing. He raised his head. Arrogantly, the way he did when negotiating with people he deemed unworthy of his respect. Confidently, as when ignoring poor advice. “I shall pack some things,” he said firmly. “In the meantime, you have a week to make other arrangements. Take whatever you need from Havn­gaard. You won’t be left wanting.” She turned her face slowly away from him and stared out over the sea. Rolled the window down slightly and drew in the smell of seaweed borne by waves as black as ink, waves that might take her once and for all. And the feeling returned to her of lonely, desperate days on Sprogø, when the same lapping sea had tried to lure her into putting an end to her miserable life. “You won’t be left wanting,” he had said, as though it mattered. He knew nothing about her. She glanced at her watch and fixed the date in her mind, the fourteenth of November 1985, and felt her lips quiver as she turned to look at him. His dark eyes were cavities in his face. Only the bends in the road ahead claimed his interest. She lifted one hand slowly and grasped the steering wheel, wrenching it to the right as hard as she could just as he opened his mouth in protest. The engine roared in vain as the road vanished beneath them, and as they hurtled through the windbreak the sound of rasping metal drowned out her husband’s final protests. When they hit the sea it, was almost like coming home.

Editorial Reviews

Praise 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 Purity of Vengeance:“[A] sordid tale… inspired by actual events during a dark period of Danish history. Ah, but there more, so much more in this frenzied thriller…” -The New York Times Book Review"The Purity of Vengeance is an enjoyable and eye-opening way to learn about the real Scandinavia, a story so outrageous that not even the best mystery writer can make it up." - The Boston Globe “When your series relies on cold cases, it’s not always easy to craft plots that have both historical interest and an air of urgency, but it’s something Adler-Olsen is very good at.” - Booklist"Adler-Olsen merges story lines...with ingenious aplomb, effortlessly mixing hilarities with horrors...This crime fiction tour de force could only have been devised by an author who can even turn stomach flu into a belly laugh." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Another accomplished exercise in three-decker suspense" - Kirkus Reviews"Surprises, twists and turns galore" - Bookreporter.com Praise for Jussi Adler-Olsen's Department Q series:“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) on A Conspiracy of Faith"From the busy efforts of forensics to some riveting train-and-car chasing near the end, there is no lack of action in A Conspiracy of Faith."—Houston Chronicle“A shattering parable of honest individuals caught up in the corruption of our times.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on A Conspiracy of Faith “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) on The Keeper of Lost Causes“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) on The Absent One