Cover image for Victim 2117
Victim 2117
Physical Description:
pages cm.

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In the heart-pounding next installment of the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling Department Q series, a terrifying international investigation reveals the complex backstory of one of the department's own--the enigmatic Assad.

The newspaper refers to the body only as Victim 2117--the two thousand one hundred and seventeenth refugee to die in the Mediterranean Sea. But to three people, the unnamed victim is so much more, and the death sets off a chain of events that throws Department Q, Copenhagen's cold cases division led by Detective Carl Mørck, into a deeply dangerous--and deeply personal--case. A case that not only reveals dark secrets about the past, but has deadly implications for the future.

For troubled Danish teen Alexander, whose identity is hidden behind his computer screen, the death of Victim 2117 becomes a symbol of everything he resents and the perfect excuse to unleash his murderous impulses in real life. For Ghallib, one of the most brutal tormentors from Abu Ghraib--Saddam Hussein's infamous prison--the death of Victim 2117 was the first step in a terrorist plot years in the making. And for Department Q's Assad, Victim 2117 is a link to his buried past--and the family he assumed was long dead.

With the help of the Department Q squad--Carl, Rose, and Gordon--Assad must finally confront painful memories from his years in the Middle East in order to find and capture Ghallib. But with the clock ticking down to Alexander's first kill and Ghallib's devastating attack, the thinly spread Department Q will need to stay one step ahead of their most lethal adversary yet if they are to prevent the loss of thousands of innocent lives.

Author Notes

Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark's #1 crime writer and a New York Times bestselling author. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in Europe and have sold more than twenty-four million copies around the world. His many prestigious worldwide crime-writing awards include the Barry Award and the Glass Key Award, also won by Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbø, Stieg Larsson, and Peter Høeg.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In bestseller Adler-Olsen's suspenseful eighth Department Q novel featuring Copenhagen's cold-case division (after 2017's The Scarred Woman), journalist Joan Aiguader hopes to revive his reputation with coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis by focusing on an unidentified woman whose corpse washed up on Cyprus; the victim was the 2,117th person to drown in the Mediterranean that year. Those aspirations are dashed when Joan's editor reveals that the woman was actually fatally stabbed, a missed detail that embarrassed the newspaper that ran his story. Photos of those nearby at the time the body reached land leads Department Q mainstay Assad to believe that family members he thought dead are still alive. Meanwhile, a recluse has fixated on an image of Victim 2117 and begins calling the squad to announce that, once he's killed his 2,117th person in his violent online game, he will murder for real, triggering a desperate race to avoid bloodshed. Series fans will relish Assad's gripping backstory. Adler-Olsen does a masterly job juggling plotlines. (Mar.)

Kirkus Review

The eighth docket for Department Q, of the Copenhagen Police, links its most mysterious member to two culprits planning multiple murders.When down-at-the-heels freelance reporter Joan Aiguader first gets a look at the 2117th refugee to die at the Barcelona shore while attempting to cross the Mediterranean, he's inspired by the dead woman to put aside thoughts of his own suicide and cover her death. The story turns out to be much bigger than he thinks, for Victim 2117 has been stabbed to death, not drowned, and Joan's laughably incomplete reportage gets him put under strict orders to dig up the rest of the story within two weeks. For Hafez el-Assad, of Department Q, Victim 2117 means much more. He recognizes her from Joan's picture as Lely Kababi, the woman who sheltered his family years ago and became a second mother to them. Deeply shaken by her murder, Assad is finally moved to share with DI Carl Mrck, the head of Department Q, some crucial details about his past, from his links to Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison to his real name, Zaid al-Asadi, so that they can take steps against the plot Assad is certain is unfolding. For Abdul Azim, the terrorist now known as Ghaalib, Victim 2117 marks the first step in an epic plot of revenge against the West in general and Assad in particular. And for Alexander, an obsessive video game player, Victim 2117 is the trigger that informs him that once he's claimed his 2117th victory in "Kill Sublime," it'll be time to murder his parents and then go out into the streets of Copenhagen and continue the carnage. Only a wizard could sustain all these plotlines and manage the shifting connections among them, and Adler-Olsen (The Scarred Woman, 2017, etc.) delivers inconsistently on their extravagant promise. But readers hooked by Assad's fatal tango with Ghaalib or the news that Mrck, now 53, is about to become a father again will keep reading compulsively and do their best to shift gears with the grimly multifoliate story.Adler-Olsen supplies everything you could possibly want from a thriller and much, much more. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Library Journal Review

Tragically, the Mediterranean claims the life of the 2,117th refugee, with reverberations felt far away in Denmark. Danish teen Alex sees a reason to go violent; Ghallib, a torturer under Saddam Hussein, sees a chance to launch a terrorist plot; and quiet Assad of Department Q, the cold case division of the Copenhagen police, sees evidence that his family may still be alive. Helped by Department Q members, Assad faces his past and starts tracking Ghallib, with Alex threatening disruption. From a Glass Key winner.