The Keeper of Lost Causes

Movel of the Month

The Keeper of Lost CausesWhat a book!  I’d have to say I was more intrigued by it than Steig Larsson’s series.  I definitely would read the others that follow this one.  Even though there are some disturbing things, there is also a lot of humor—which gives it a good balance for a thriller.  Carl Morck is a Chief detective who has just returned from some time off because of an incident which left one of his partners dead and the other paralyzed for life.  Carl has meanwhile survived the traumatic experience but suffered from a gunshot wound to his head and is coming to terms with the episode.  Upon his arrival back at police headquarters, he is told that he will now be part of Department Q, working on unsolved mysteries.  He is also informed that he is the head of this new formation and the sole person in it.  Peeved that he has taken the back seat, Carl requests from his boss an assistant to help him organize the cases, clean up the office and prepare cups of coffee when needed.  Who Carl ends up being paired with is Hafez el-Assad, a Syrian immigrant, who is more on the ball than he lets on.  The odd couple end up solving a mystery involving a young female politician’s five year disappearance.  This novel will keep you up and you will want to flip through the pages as fast as possible to find out the conclusion.  Indeed, an entertaining and worthwhile read—I was never bored!

HisLit title read-alikes:
If you liked this particular title and want something similar, here are some suggestions.
Worth Dying For by Lee Child
Stay Close by Harlan Coben
The Spire by Richard North Patterson

HisLit author read-alikes:
I think, for a Scandinavian author, I have really enjoyed reading Jussi Adler-Olsen.  I, myself, would like to read other authors who write in his style and have the same feel when it comes to plot and tone.  Here are some writers that can be compared to him:
-Stieg Larsson (An obvious choice, Stieg Larsson wrote fast paced stories with complex characters.  As with Adler-Olsen, his stories often revolve around conspiracies and detectives fighting injustice. The complex plotting, violence, and compelling characters make the stories page-turners.  The books also have a strong sense of place.  Start with, of course, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.)
-Arne Dahl (A Scandinavian author as well, Dahl writes police procedurals that feature a troubled detective who has a strong guilt complex.  The man is usually a loner with a strong sense of justice; the complex plots are violent and filled with twists and turns.  His  books, likewise, have a strong sense of place.  Start with Misterioso.)
-Robert Goddard (His works are suspenseful and compelling and like Adler-Olsen, shares the Suspense and Psychological Suspense genres.  His stories tend to focus on cold cases in criminal investigation, which usually include conspiracies.  Start with Past Caring.)

Personally, there is more energy and laughs with Adler-Olsen’s stories than with Larsson’s trilogy, mostly because of the partnership between Carl and Assad.  That, and the way Carl fawns over every gorgeous woman he meets or works with.  I know fans of Larsson, however, enjoy how women can overcome injustices simply by incorporating his witty and strong character, Lisbeth—which I must agree with.  Scandinavian thrillers are generally well done and The Keeper of Lost Causes is in my top five for that genre.  But I’ll allow you to decide!

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