Monday, December 26, 2011

Reader's Review - Jussi Adler-Olsen (Redemption)

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Let it be said at once: I am a big fan of Jussi Adler-Olsen. He writes with a wonderful mix of humor and suspense - at least when it comes to Department Q series. His cast of characters is incredibly entertaining. Carl Moerk as the grumpy and frustrated police commissioner, who has plenty of problems at home and just want a quiet and uncomplicated working day. Assad started out as a handyman in the department, but promote himself a significant role in the investigation with many unexplained talents and skills. And last but certainly not least, Rose the secretary, which nourishes greater sympathy and understanding for Assad, than for his employer. In this book we are introduced to Rosa's twin sister, Yrsa. The synergy between these four people is indescribable and without them, the books would not be nearly so appealing.

The plot of 'Redemption' unfolds in an environment of religious minorities, where a killer haunts unscrupulously. The plot may be a bit thin and you might wonder why the book should be on the entire 485 pages to get the story told. There are a couple of lot less interesting side plots, which in my eyes are doing nothing but complicating the story. But because of Jussi's amazing cast of characters, I accept it all because the writing was so entertaining. Nevertheless, I have to complain ...

Dear Jussi Adler-Olsen: The first book I read by you, was 'The Washington decree'. I found this book very interesting because you explained that you had been guided by the emergency laws which come into force in crisis situations in the United States. These laws, you explained, all exists and you wanted to show how these laws could be abused to transform a democracy to a totalitarian regime in just seven days. In other words, the book was interesting because you had made a thorough research of the factual laws in the United States. Why did you not make the same efford regarding the research of religious minorities in Denmark? There is practically not a single information of Jehovah's Witnesses there are in line with reality. If you choose to use religious or other existing organizations as a basis for a plot, you owe your readers AND those organizations that you adhere to the facts. If the plot does not fit into an existing communitie, so invent a fictitious one. It seems to me that 'Redemption', serves a personal purpose to make the mentioned communities look naive, superstitious and almost criminal to the readers. It seems like it is your personal opinion and prejudice that made you write this book. Off cause, You are allowed to have your personal opinions, but I think you have an obligation to describe the people and organizations that you include in your stories, in accordance with the truth. There is of course also the possibility that you HAVE made a thorough research in this area, but you have been misinformed. This only emphasizes the importance of double checking your sources.

If I was you, I would get really annoyed having let 'Redemption' go to press. Every time I'd look at the book on my shelf at home, in bookstores or reviewed in the media, I would know that this book represented a well-written story that had been destroyed by a lousy research.

For me, as a reader, one very significant question remains: Can I trust the information in your books, or is everything a fictional set-up with no basis in reality? As for now, your credibility has suffered a serious blow ...


  1. I agree already and I have only read 5 pages. I won't be continuing as this kind of thing makes me crazy and distracts me from the story. I found your article due to a quick search as I had my suspicions. They are obviously correct. What a shame as I love the cast - like you, find them funny and entertaining in their bumbling precision. Oh well. I am jumping to #4 and hope I catch up.

    1. Hi. Thank you for you comment. I'm sorry I haven't replied earlier, but I've had some trouble logging in.
      You are absolutely right. 'Redemption' should never have been written, at least it should have been edited before being released.

      I was afraid that this book would be a warning of what to expect from the upcoming books in the Q-Department series. I'm happy to say that this is not the case. Jussi Adler-Olsen is back on track with a great plot in the next book. It's safe to continue reading the series ;)

      Best regards - Falcon