The Scarred Woman ~ by Jussi Adler-Olsen

** Note:   This is number 7 in a series which is really best read in order! **

And it’s good stuff but not a who-done-it because we know who’s doing it – and we know who the victims are.  The problem is how in the world are the detectives going to apprehend this nut case – or – will someone else get her first?    It’s a murder-suspense-thriller of the first order with a couple of real sickos involved,  but the violence is never sexual.

The Scarred Woman opens with a Prologue set on Saturday November 18, 1995.  A young girl named Dorrit is with her parents visiting her grandparents at their large country home.  But Dorrit’s father has left following a fight between himself and Dorrit’s mother.  In the aftermath Dorrit wanders the house and finds her grandfather with his World War II treasures – photos and a gun,  a flag with a cross on it.   He’s proud of them.  But her grandmother is upset by Dorrit’s seeing it.  We know he’s an ex-Nazi,  but Dorrit doesn’t understand at the time.   What Dorrit does realize, however, is that she will always remember what she has seen.  The her mother and father break up.


The Scarred Woman
by Jussi Adler-Olsen
2016/ 472 pages
translated by William Frost
read by Graeme Malcolm 14h 25m
rating:  A /  crime – procedural
(Dept Q series #7) 


Chapter 1 opens in April,  2016.  Denise lives in a rundown apartment/hotel and is nagged at viscously by her mother and grandmother although she’s not really capable of much herself  –  earns money from prostitution.  But Denise viscously spews her anger back the other two, too.

Sadly,  there is a connection between the characters of the Prologue and those in Chapter 1.

Then in Chapter 2  Rose,  a regular character employed by  Dept Q,  enters the picture.   I’ve read all six of the prior Dept Q novels –  it’s the” Department of Lost Causes” run by Detective Carl Mørck of Copenhagen’s Cold Case Division.   Rose, who has some prior mental difficulties,  works with an Arab man named Assad who is brilliant and very funny guy but he has a really mysterious past and home situation.    And there’s Gordon who helps in many ways and is in love with Rose.   The four of them make up the team working out of Dept Q’s police headquarters basement offices.

There is a group of four young women who are being hunted by someone and killing them via hit-and-run.  This resembles a case from years prior which is why Dept Q is involved.  And an old lady has also been found dead – what connects these victims?

There is an over-arching story line continuing throughout the series which involves the private lives of the members of Dept Q.   This is why it’s important to read the series in order.  But the other two threads are equally fascinating –  one thread follows the killer while the other thread follows the victims.    Good stuff,  but it’s no who-done-it.

Yes,  it’s dark – but the lack of sexual crimes helped keep it from going over the edge – for me anyway.

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