Sunday, November 9, 2014
The Marco Effect: A Department Q Novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen
All fifteen-year-old Marco Jameson wants is to become a Danish citizen and go to school like a normal teenager. But his uncle Zola rules his former gypsy clan with an iron fist. Revered as a god and feared as a devil, Zola forces the children of the clan to beg and steal for his personal gain. When Marco discovers a dead body—proving the true extent of Zola’s criminal activities—he goes on the run. But his family members aren’t the only ones who’ll go to any lengths to keep Marco silent…forever.
Meanwhile, the last thing Detective Carl Mørck needs is for his assistants, Assad and Rose, to pick up a missing persons case on a whim: Carl’s nemesis is his new boss, and he’s saddled Department Q with an unwelcome addition. But when they learn that a mysterious teen named Marco may have as much insight into the case as he has fear of the police, Carl is determined to solve the mystery and save the boy. Carl’s actions propel the trio into a case that extends from Denmark to Africa, from embezzlers to child soldiers, from seemingly petty crime rings to the very darkest of cover-ups.
Review by Rochelle Weber:
I would have loved to have given The Marco Effect five roses, but it was full of head-hops—abrupt changes of point-of-view. Otherwise, it was a nail-biting chase through Africa, Copenhagen, and even a glimpse of Venezuela, with well-drawn characters. At the center, we have a cop and a thief—strange bedfellows, at best, but oddly with the same goal.
It is said that "the death of a single butterfly in the Amazon rainforest can cause a typhoon in Japan." In this case, Marco Jameson overhears his Uncle Zola planning to possibly maim him, because he’s beginning to look too healthy to beg effectively on the street. He learns the hit-and-run that left his adopted sister’s leg destroyed was not an accident, and decides he does not want to suffer the same fate. So he runs away from home and burrows in a hole near the grave of an animal. Marco stays there all night until he’s sure his family’s search for him has moved away from the area. Only, he’s not near the grave of an animal—he’s in the grave of a man. He eludes his family for a few years, and then comes upon a missing persons poster for a man called William Stark, and recognizes Stark as the corpse with whom he shared that night in the grave. He decides he needs to let the man’s daughter know what happened to him.
Meanwhile, Detective Carl Mørck’s assistants, Assad and Rose, pick up the missing persons case of William Stark. As the case takes them to the top of the Department of of Assistance, which would be something like the Foreign Affairs office of our State Department, and the top of one of the most respected banks in Denmark, they keep running across Marco—and wondering what this fifteen year-old homeless boy had to do with Stark. As he crosses paths with the police at one turn, his uncle’s henchmen at the next, and hit men he doesn’t even recognize, Marco tries to go deeper underground. He wants to flee Copenhagen, but he needs to do two things first. Tell Stark’s daughter where the man is buried, and get to his stash of saved-up escape money. But how can he manage to do either with the noose tightening around him?
Again, The Marco Effect was a great read except for the head-hops, which most readers probably wouldn’t notice. I highly recommend this book.
Length: 496 Pages
Audio CD: $30.91
Audibel Unabridged (Non-Member): $26.95
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