The Scarred Woman: A Department Q Novel Series #7. Jussie Adler Olsen. Penguin Random House Publishing Group. September 2017. ISBN #: 9781524702489.
Get ready for a thriller rollercoaster ride! Carl Marck, the head of Copenhagen’s Department Q dealing with cold cases, becomes interested in parallel details of two cases, one the murder of an elder woman years ago and a similar present murder. Department Q is in trouble and in competition with upstairs Divisions, as the politicians and police brass are interested in the number of cases completed and reported on and those begun but never finished. The outcome could be financial cuts. That is until Carl enters the scene.
In a Social Services office in Copenhagen, a social worker, Anneli, is sick and tired of young woman dressed quite fashionably who show up for their unemployment benefits. They can’t or won’t get jobs. Anneli wishes she could do something about it but doesn’t do anything. But then disaster strikes when she is diagnosed with breast cancer and decides to not only fight for her life but to make her job meaningful by taking care of these leeches on Dutch society. From that decisive moment, her portion of the story becomes non-stop riveting, pulse-pushing horror! Denise, Michelle and Jazmine, predators on society, love their lives but are now the hunted rather than hunters.
Rose, the main character in this novel, starts the ball rolling by being yelled out in Department Q for not completing her reports. There’s something about one of these cases that completely unravels Rose’s sanity, and the eventual involvement of Carl and Assad turns up Rose’s nightmare past, including twists and turns with murders and familial hatred beyond one’s imagination.
These stories eventually coalesce, with a balanced amount of humor and serious investigation, that is pleasing. Although many of the actions in these scenes are quite wrong, this author makes the reader root for all the characters involved herein.
This reviewer hasn’t read the other novels in this series but intends to do so soon. Fans of Stieg Larsson will love this novel as the desire for revenge wreaks its path across the city of Copenhagen. The Scarred Woman is a remarkable crime thriller highly recommended for all readers!