A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Yet another series I'm just hearing about... and I thought I was on top of things! This is the third in the "Department Q" series and while, as with most mystery series, you don't have to read the previous ones to get what happens, there is a lot of backstory.
There are two mysteries here: the first centers on some arsons that are seemingly unrelated except for the derelict's body found in each fire's remains, the second is a much decayed letter that was apparently written in blood, stuffed in a bottle and dropped into the ocean in Denmark, eventually making its way to Scotland and then back to Denmark. Is the letter a joke? or is it really a plea for help? That's what Carl Morck and his "staff", Assad and Rose, have to figure out.
The answer to those questions is pretty interesting - not as gruesome as some mysteries I've read recently, but definitely not on the "cozy" side of the continuum. What is it with Swedish authors and this multiple POV theme? It's not that difficult to figure out who's speaking, but still, it did get a little tiring at times. The other problem I had was with Assad and Rose. Assad's issues are not only not resolved, but seem to be almost beside the point (unless the whole "who is he Skyping" question is going to be answered in the next installment, ditto his feud with Samir, his actual home, etc.) which made me wonder if they were there as padding to give the character some depth. And the Ysra/Rose thing was just weird and required a suspension of disbelief above and beyond that required for a mystery. There are other tertiary characters as well, all quirky and all much less fleshed out that they should be. Still, the two mysteries outweighed those issues to keep this a solid 4.
ARC provided by publisher.