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The Scarred Woman
By Jussi Adler-Olsen
I’ve now completed book seven in the Department Q series, it really speaks to the strength of Adler-Olsen’s characters that I’m still so invested in the series; I find all too often with a series that it will go stale over time, but these characters are continually refreshed, with background secrets still just around the next turn.
The best word that I can use to describe The Scarred Woman is ambitious. Not only has Adler-Olsen taken us into his most colorful character’s (Rose) past but he has included eight murders, and so many damaged characters that Carl is beginning to come across as a perfectly adjusted member of society. The dysfunctional family dynamics have been brought up to a whole new level. And he did all of this seamlessly, all of the action flowed perfectly from one set of crimes to the other.
What I love most about this series are the characters. The way that they are all so damaged by their pasts yet function so well together is simply amazing. They say that the truth is stranger than fiction, but this, my friend, is some pretty strange fiction. Where does he get the ideas for these crimes and these criminals? Does Adler-Olsen have some demented deviant locked-up in his cellar and manages to coerce his deepest, darkest schemes from him? If these stories are ripped from the Danish headlines, it must be one heck of a dangerous place.
The best part of finishing The Scarred Woman is knowing that there is more to come. The next book in the series, Victim 2117, promises to delve into Assad’s story. This is one character whose mystery has been building for a long time now. And who knows, could we eventually see some resolution to Carl’s damaged soul?