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Summary

In the middle of a hard-won morning nap in the basement of police headquarters, Carl Mørck, head of Department Q, receives a call from a colleague working on the Danish island of Bornholm.

Carl is dismissive at first, but then he receives some shocking news. Carl then has no choice but to lead Department Q into the tragic cold case of a vivacious 17-year-old girl who vanished from school, only to be found dead hanging high up in a tree.

The investigation will take them from the remote island of Bornholm to a hidden cult, where Carl and his assistants must stop a string of new murders by a skilled manipulator who refuses to let anything - or anyone - get in the way.

©2016 Jussi Adler-Olsen (P)2015 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator???

I love the department Q books but for me, this book was seriously let down by the choice of narrator. Don't know why Jussi has gone with a different narrator from the previous books but not a good choice. I won't be listening to any future department Q books if Graeme Malcolm is going to be the narrator. Bring back Steven Pacey.

109 of 122 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Imperfect Chemistry

As a long-standing fan of Olsen’s excellent Department Q series I was delighted to find another one had been released on Audible. While this one is still very good quality crime fiction there have been some changes of direction which have changed the experience significantly from the earlier books. Previously Olsen did a fabulous job of mixing the back stories of his characters with a gripping crime story leading to a delicious mix of dark humour and tension-building drama. In this volume Olsen has almost pruned much of the wider character interaction out and trimmed the cast with previously significant characters like his gay lodgers almost removed from the stories. While there are still plenty of Assadisms the characters seem much steadier, less stressed and in turn, sorry to say it just a touch duller.

With this story Olsen has taken just a touch more of the Dan Brown style as the investigators get involved with a Sun God Cult. The story itself has a lot of depth, some intriguing developments and an excellent twist at the end which is tied into a very dramatic and indeed satisfying conclusion. That said, I don’t think it builds the tension in the same way as most of the previous stories. It does deliver as a crime story should, just in a more steady fashion.

Finally though, the change in narrator. It may be that with his change of character and story direction Olsen or his publishers felt a new narrator was in order. To me this just magnified what was missing. Pacey and Department Q were an excellent combination, he was able to deliver the stress, tension, chaos and humour of the earlier books with aplomb and genuinely added to the production mix. Graeme Malcolm operates at pretty much one pace and one tone. I can imagine him doing some books quite well but following on from Pacey his style jars and his delivery drags the whole experience down.

In all this is a quality piece of crime fiction with enough clever nuances, twists and turns to make it a worthwhile purchase. It also gives us a character cliffhanger to entice us into the next book of the series. However, in comparison with previous books in the series it falls down in ways that are significant and simply doesn’t fully deliver what we’ve come to expect from Department Q. For me personally this instalment has moved the series from “Must Buy” to “Worth considering”, especially if they persevere with the same narrator.

56 of 63 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Bring back Steven Pacey as the narrator!

I just couldn't listen to this narrator. So I didn't listen beyond chapter 6. Such a shame as I was so excited to listen to the next Dept Q book 😕

70 of 80 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • paul
  • soham, United Kingdom
  • 07-01-16

WHY O WHY CHANGE NARRATOR!

I have absolutely loved every Dept Q book, the characters were brought alive by Steven Pacey and I was genuinely so excited to see another in the series. I was a little perturbed that the narrator was different but with open mind gave it a go...

Why..... Just why did anyone listen to this guy and think Ahhh he'll follow nicely in Steven Paceys footsteps?????

Im struggling to get past chapter 7 - there's no life to the narration, an awful sing song voice with inflections at the end of words and sentences that shouldn't be there... No distinct characters, Karl and Rose just blend into the background and my favourite Assad has no enthusiasm no wit no comedy value anymore...

Ruined absolutely ruined by the narrator (who sounds better suited to children's books) GUTTED!!!

66 of 76 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Why the change of narrator!!

I discovered the Department Q books quite early on in my Audible experience and they've been a kind of baseline of excellence. Great stories, interesting characters and a narrator that really enhanced the experience. Why then, was the narrator changed at this stage in the series! I tried really hard to be open minded about Graeme Malcolm performance but it really spoiled the book for me. His voice has a really strange way of ending sentences that really jarred with me.
Such a shame, because it's another very good story with lots of twists and turns.

54 of 63 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Horrible, disappointing narrator

Who was your favorite character and why?

The book is very good, I love the 3 main characters.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Too hard to listen, too monotone for me and the difference between the characters so slight I didn't know who was saying what at times Didn't have the same pleasure of listening to the story as I had with the others, and never laughed aloud like before. But as the book is good and I love the previous books I endured.

Any additional comments?

Please choose better narrator next time.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Narrator spoilt the story

What would have made The Hanging Girl better?

Normally love Department Q. Bought it without checking the narrator. Did not recognize any of the characters I have grown to love.

What was most disappointing about Jussi Adler-Olsen’s story?

The narrator.

Would you be willing to try another one of Graeme Malcolm’s performances?

No

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The story was Ok it was changing the narrator that ruined the story.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing...

What did you like best about The Hanging Girl? What did you like least?

Liked least: The narrator

If you’ve listened to books by Jussi Adler-Olsen before, how does this one compare?

Story isn't as good and I kept losing track of where I was due to the narrators voice. It doesn't keep you gripped like previous books in the Department Q series.

What didn’t you like about Graeme Malcolm’s performance?

Wasn't Steven Pacey - who was brilliant at the voices and the general story telling.

Could you see The Hanging Girl being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

No I couldn't. I could imagine other books by Jussi Adler-Olsen working as movie.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story ruined by narrator

The story was as good as the previous ones but the narration was really not good.
Why did they choose this guy over the previous narrator? He has no skill with accents, his default accent is a Jewish/South African that does not suit Swedes, Danes or Norwegians. His interpretation of Assad was poor and lacked the mixture of naivety/common sense that was such a strength of the previous narrator.

Whoever chose this guy should hang their head. Won't buy any more if this guy narrates again.

24 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ann
  • Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 08-01-16

Steven Pacy, where are you?

One of my favourite authors, this book did not disappoint...except, although Graeme Malcom gave a perfectly acceptable reading, and had I not heard the previous books in the series read by Steven Pacy, I would have had no particular criticism, but this is a perfect example of how important the reader of an audio book is. Steven Pacy manages superbly to bring out the humour (and even though the stories are quite grim, there is a lot of wry humour in them).
Malcom's reading is colourless in comparison.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nicole
  • 13-04-17

Enjoyable

What did you love best about The Hanging Girl?

The characters within department Q

What three words best describe Graeme Malcolm’s voice?

He got the characters a little better by the second part

Any additional comments?

Stephen Pacey really nailed the characters and their voices and gave them such a good sense of humour in previous books, which was lost on the new narrator. Story was good but the ending hurried slightly exaggerated to make it work. Nonetheless I really enjoy the book I love the team their antics and the extended friends/family their stories jolly clever writing

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Colleen
  • 28-12-15

What's the big deal

I don't understand this fuss about the change in narrator. I'm a big fan of the series (i purchased every title so far) and thought that Graeme Malcolm did a good job. Admittedly I was a little hesitant as i enjoyed Steven Pacey so much, but the story was so good that I didn't miss him after the first chapter. I really don't care who the narrator is there is no way I'd miss a single installment of this fantastic series!