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Victim 2117: A Department Q Novel


Victim 2117: A Department Q Novel

Those who have been faithfully reading the Department Q books will rejoice upon cracking the binding of VICTIM 2117, the latest installment in the series.

Jussi Adler-Olsen introduced Assad, the enigmatic and quietly brilliant member of the team, as a bit of a counterbalance to Detective Carl Mørck, who has been heading the initially disrespected, basement-dwelling cold case unit of the Copenhagen police by default. Quite a bit has happened since the introduction of Department Q in THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES, which was published in Adler-Olsen’s native Denmark in 2007. This new entry finds the team getting the appreciation it deserves while supporting Assad in the abrupt arrival of his time of need with all of its considerable brainpower.

"Adler-Olsen is a master of intense suspense. There is really no way to guess how any particular scenario in VICTIM 2117 is going to end. We are talking big budget here, folks."

A photograph of a war refugee whose body has washed ashore in Cyprus launches the events of VICTIM 2117. To the media, the victim is an anonymous casualty of war, the 2,117th refugee (“Victim 2117”) to die in the Mediterranean Sea. Assad recognizes the dead woman as an extremely important part of his past. More revelations occur, leading him to disclose his background to the other members of Department Q as he comes to realize that parts of his life --- both good and bad --- that he thought he had lost forever are, for better or worse, still very much a part of this world.

When it is discovered that the woman was murdered and not drowned, it becomes all the more important for Assad to go to the scene --- not only to rescue some people very dear to him, but to exact revenge against a known terrorist who once attempted to destroy Assad's life and is determined to do so again. In order to implement his plan, he wants Assad to see the havoc he wreaks in person and begins a countdown that is to come to a very personal and cataclysmic ending in Germany.

In the meantime, an extremely troubled and isolated young man in Copenhagen named Alexander has taken notice of Victim 2117. He pins a clipping of the article to the wall in the bedroom that he almost never leaves, glancing at it while playing a first-person online shooter game practically non-stop during his waking hours. Alexander will keep playing until he scores 2,117 hits, at which point he intends to unleash his wrath upon the world outside of his bedroom, beginning with his parents and then the people on the street where he lives and beyond. He cannot resist taunting the police, along with a member of Department Q, about his plans while using an untraceable burner phone.

There is little that can be done other than to hope that Alexander will reveal his plans before fully implementing them. Adler-Olsen (with a very able translation assist from William Frost) keeps twin plot clocks ticking almost in unison as two separate plans by two lunatics head toward their conclusion, even as Department Q races on separate fronts to end them.

Adler-Olsen is a master of intense suspense. There is really no way to guess how any particular scenario in VICTIM 2117 is going to end. We are talking big budget here, folks. Over the course of the past 10 years, he has been lauded frequently and repeatedly by crime fiction organizations, and books such as this one demonstrate why. It is a superior read.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on March 6, 2020

Victim 2117: A Department Q Novel
by Jussi Adler-Olsen

  • Publication Date: March 2, 2021
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton
  • ISBN-10: 1524742562
  • ISBN-13: 9781524742560