The unabridged, digital audiobook edition of Jussi Adler-Olsen's Mercy, Scandinavia's new bestselling crime phenomenon.
Read by the actor Steven Pacey. At first the prisoner scratches at the walls until her fingers bleed. But there is no escaping the room. With no way of measuring time, her days, weeks, months go unrecorded. She vows not to go mad. She will not give her captors the satisfaction. She will die first. Copenhagen detective Carl has been taken off homicide to run a newly created department for unsolved crimes. His first case concerns Merete Lynggaard, who vanished five years ago. Everyone says she's dead. Everyone says it's a waste of time. He thinks they're right.
The voice in the dark is distorted, harsh and without mercy. It says the prisoner's torture will only end when she answers one simple question. It is one she has asked herself a million times: WHY is this happening?
©2012 Jussi Adler-Olsen (P)2012 Penguin Books Ltd
i approached this book with trepidation - was it to be just another scandinavian detective thriller? well, in a nutshell, that's exactly what it is, but it's also more than that.
the main character is semi-burned out, his new companion interesting, the plotting well constructed and the pace apt.
in addition, the narrator does a great job (i do like the application of uk dialects despite this being set in denmark). i'll be buying the next in the series.
I was getting a little fed up of Scandinavian fiction - love Mankell but not sure about Nesbo- so it took me a while to get round to listening to this. I am so pleased I finally listened! It is a superb crime novel, as good as anything Henning Mankell has ever written. It moves along at a really good pace and keeps you guessing most of the way through. The police procedural aspect of it is one of the best I have read for a long time and I love the relationship between the detective Carl and his assistant - the enigmatic Assad. Steven Pacey is one of my favourite narrators - he narrates Susan Hill's Serailler series brilliantly- and he does not disappoint here. I also really liked the use of UK regional accents. I have now downloaded book 2 in the series and cannot wait for the release of the third book in July.
One of the best audibooks I've heard. Its a Danish detective novel with a political sub-plot - similar to the brilliant "The Killing" Danish TV series.
Read superbly by Steven Pacey - one of my favourite narrators. In fact I originally chose this book mainly due to his excellent narration of the marvelous Joe Abercrombie books which I've recently finished.
So glad I did. Just downloaded the sequel - for the continuing story of Dept Q..
This was definitely in the top five of everything I have listened to.
This author, to me, is in the same league as Michael Robotham. He uses humour, excellent characters, intriguing, unusual plots and best of all, suspense.
Assad was wonderful - such an eager to please, kind person. I have a feeling there are depths to Assad that we will find in future books.
Steven Pacey was the main reason I chose this book to read. He could read me the telephone book and I would find it interesting. Thank you again Steven.
I sincerely hope there are many more books by this author and fortunately I have one more queued up to read
The Nordic setting seems to have thrown Steven Pacey quite badly. Bizarrely, he has chosen to use regional UK accents for many of the characters. Are we in the UK, in which case much of the local atmosphere is lost, or is it simply that Denmark, and particularly its police service, is overrun by British expats? His Danish accents are odd and strange. The least successful Steven Pacey narration I've listened to.
The story line is cliched, forced and implausible, even by the accommodating standards of crime writing. Attempts at wit and humour are contrived. The 'dark' side of the plot is all rather trite and sensationalist and what is potentailly a horrific situation becomes just so many words. The different characterisations are pushed too far, presumably in an attempt to make the characters stand out or to be memorable. In brief, all too formulaic to be worth listening too unless you're desperate.
This Northern Reader
5 Words: Brutal, slow, intense, horrific, blah.
I didn't enjoy this at all to start. I wasn't so keen on the narrator and I wasn't keen at all on Carl. But then we were introduced to Merete and I couldn't put it down.
But my, is it a long listen.
I didn't like Carl and the way he consistently objectified women and belittled them for not falling at his feet. It actually made me feel sick and is absolutely NOT what I want from a main protagonist.
The scenes with Merete were pretty brutal. I listened curled up, my hands in fists, my jaw clenched. They were disturbingly well written.
I liked Assad. He brought some well needed humour - and even a thread of mystery - to the story. Without him it would have been too heavy.
The mixture of characters were interesting and great story line. Would like to see more from this author
I listen to audio books on the long drive to work so have listened to a large number of books, but this book kept me enthralled and I couldn't stop listening until the end! Fast paced and nail biting!
Would highly recommend.
Maybe I read/listen to too much detective fiction but I sighed at the beginning of this book as the formulaic clichés of the genre rolled out: maverick cop, separated from wife, insubordinate towards superiors and bolshie over smoking bans. Fortunately once that was out of the way an interesting story slowly emerges. It’s a kidnap and imprisonment case that’s a bit different: complicated but eventually gripping. It takes a while to get used to all the unfamiliar sounding Danish names and the surprise that the Danish cops are differentiated by the narrator by giving them British regional accents. But when one thinks about it, it’s logical: Denmark must be full of regional accents. Two murder cases come into the narrative that don’t add much to the book, particularly the one involving a cyclist killed in a park the solving of which is hastily described without much evidence being provided. The main story is carried by Carl a detective appointed to head a small department looking at old, unsolved cases. Small being the operative word as his only assistant is a Syrian political refugee, Assad, given asylum and ostensibly employed as a cleaner. However Assad is an enigma who displays surprising talents of observation and deduction and gradually becomes Carl’s side-kick. If this is the beginning of a series the cultural and language differences of the duo provide welcome light-relief.
Steven Pacey does a superb job of narration using a wide range of accents from Geordie to Glasgow and encompassing different ages and genders.
Towards the end of this reading I almost had to stop my player because the tension was becoming unbearable. Indeed, I was gripped from start to finish. As others have commented, the burnt-out cop is nothing new, but the satirically comic irony of how he gets his second chance in the novel's plot, as well as this character's sense of humour play well. And yes, his assistant Assad is quite an original, really brought to life by Stephen Pacey who reads the whole book incredibly well. What I also found interesting is the book's examination of Denmark and its politics. As with much Scandinavian crime we are learning the all too familiar problems of these countries, which have in the past seemed to have got so much right in their democracies.
The book is very violent, but for me I did not find it gratuitous or to have the misogyny common to many thrillers. It is extremely well written, by an author who has a fascinating CV. And interestingly he has worked as a publishing editor. Unlike so many books nowadays, this novel really does not need any more editing. Superb.
I've listened to three in a row now (Mercy, Disgrace and Redemption) and found them all utterly compelling - I feel totally bereft now I don't have one to listen to. I love all the flawed characters - makes it so interesting to listen to, and Steven Pacey is brilliant as a narrator, switching voices and accents to different character's speech - marvellous. The only other narrator to compare with him is Derek Jacoby (Pereira Maintains - another brilliant listen). I simply can't rave enough about this, and I'm not usually a raver.
Great Tension Fine written characters
The tone of voice
"Totally weird and awfully gruesome"
This may stretch your imagination. It certainly stretched credibility - to breaking point.
The book is at least twice as long as it ought to be.
"Fantastic Crime Thriller From Denmark"
One of the best crime novels I have ever experienced. This can be favorably compared to the best of Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke, John Sanford and Henning Mankell. A powerful, emotional ending that will remain with me.
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