Monday 29 July 2013

Redemption by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Two boys, brothers, wake tied and bound in a boathouse by the sea. Their kidnapper has gone, but soon he will return. Their bonds are inescapable. But there is a bottle and tar to seal it. Paper and a splinter for writing; blood for ink. A message begging for help...Her husband will not tell the truth: where he goes, what he does, how long he will be away. For days on end she waits and when he returns she must endure his wants, his moods, his threats. But enough is enough. She will find out the truth, no matter the cost to him - or to herself. In Copenhagen's cold cases division Carl Morck has received a bottle. It holds an old and decayed message, written in blood. It is a cry for help from two boys. Is it real? Who are they and why weren't they reported missing? Can they possibly still be alive?

This is the first book that I have read by Jussi Adler-Olsen and even though this is the third book in the series of Carl Morck, even though I have not read books one and two it was still very easy to get into and I only had some tiny questions about a few of the characters, but I was still able to gather the relationships between them.

Jussi Adler-Olsen instantly draws us in with a gripping prologue full of questions. Two boys have been tied up and gagged in a boathouse, but why are they there? Where and who is their kidnapper and what does he want with them? One of the boys manages to write a message in his own blood and send it out to sea in a bottle. But it's unclear whether the bottle will make it and who will find it. What will happen to the two boys?

We are then introduced (or re-introduced if you have read the previous two novels) to detective Carl Morck. Carl is your typical detective, very grumpy and swears a lot. He has a lot of personal issues as well such as his ex-wife and paraplegic friend Hardy. The message in the bottle finally ends up with Carl and his team; Assad and Rose. But it is many years later when the message from the bottle is given to Department Q and due to sun damage and condensation the note is indecipherable and Department Q are unsure whether it is just a prank.

I also liked that there were parallel stories running throughout the book. The author cleverly changes each chapter to key characters points of view. The most gripping and chilling chapters were obviously the ones in the view of the killer. I thought he was extremely well developed, the author really got into the mind of the killer and we gradually learn more about him and what happened in his past which has had an impact on the way he is now. The character of Mia also had my interest with her mysterious husband who goes away for long periods of time and doesn't tell her where he goes, claiming that he can't tell her because of his job. Also the viewpoints of his (potential) victims had my heart racing; desperately wanting them to be safe.

All of the characters are very complex, they each have hidden agendas and are therefore flawed in this way and this is what helped make this story so good. They were more believable this way and were perfect characters for a crime novel. The only characters that I found a little strange was Rose and her twin sister Yrsa, I wasn't entirely sure what was going on with these characters.

This was an extremely gripping read! It definitely gets your heart rate going and there is definitely a dark atmosphere in the novel which is portrayed so well and you are completely sucked in. The author keeps you guessing and on your toes throughout the majority of the novel and even though it was over 600 pages long I read it very quickly.

What I also really liked was that it was not a gruesome thriller. I do not like crime novels that go overboard with horrible bloody scenes as I do not think it is always necessary and it prevents me from reading on, so this story definitely had the right balance.

This a fantastic story from Jussi Adler-Olsen and I will reiterate that you do not need to read the first two stories to read this one as this is a story in its own right. It's a must read for all you crime fans out there!

Redemption is out now.



  1. I loved the first Adler-Olsen's book and thought it was one of the best debut novels I had ever read. The second one, I couldn't finish reading as there was a lot of animal cruelty and hunting in it. I love animals and don't want to read that kind of stuff.

    Sounds like the third book is a return to form:)

    1. I don't like the sound of the second one at all!! I think I will check out the first one though, thank you for the recommendation :). Yes I think you will enjoy his third novel :)