The Scarred Woman by Jussi Adler-Olsen

The Scarred Woman (Department Q #7)

  • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Editions: audiobook, ebook, hardcover, paperback
  • Published: September 19th 2017 by Dutton Books (first published October 6th 2016)
  • Genre: Adult Mystery / Thriller
  • Source: NetGalley
  • In a Flutter: A lot of potential, but it just fell flat for me…
  • D N F

    Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q, Copenhagen’s cold cases division, meets his toughest challenge yet when the dark, troubled past of one of his own team members collides with a sinister unsolved murder.
    In a Copenhagen park the body of an elderly woman is discovered. The case bears a striking resemblance to another unsolved homicide investigation from over a decade ago, but the connection between the two victims confounds the police. Across town a group of young women are being hunted. The attacks seem random, but could these brutal acts of violence be related? Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q is charged with solving the mystery.
    Back at headquarters, Carl and his team are under pressure to deliver results: failure to meet his superiors’ expectations will mean the end of Department Q. Solving the case, however, is not their only concern. After an earlier breakdown, their colleague Rose is still struggling to deal with the reemergence of her past—a past in which a terrible crime may have been committed. It is up to Carl, Assad, and Gordon to uncover the dark and violent truth at the heart of Rose’s childhood before it is too late.

    ~ Goodreads

    Amazon | Book Depository

    Fluttering Thoughts:

    Worldbuilding: The Copenhagen setting seemed very promising, though the heavy emphasis on social services and how people on welfare were essentially useless and scammers kind of killed my mood, both as a topic, and as a message.
    Characters: One of the things that made the characters fall flat for me was the number of them. While each of their situation had potential to move me, neither of them actually did. The focus changing between characters only made matters worse, as I didn’t connect with either and didn’t find it in me to care even one bit.
    Plot: The story seemed interesting, but I got to about 20% into the book and by then things just started to happen – slow to start off would be something of an understatement. If I’d connected with either of the characters, maybe that might have been doable, but as it was, I didn’t find it in me to muster enough interest in how the different stories would entwine (and I’m sure they do, it’s obvious at this point). Up to this point, the pace of relevant events was slow to the point of torture for me.
    Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, multi-POV. The writing style seemed choppy somehow. I think the original language and the author’s style is just one of those combos that don’t “translate” well into English. It just seemed off, and if the writing doesn’t flow well, it keeps popping me out of the story.
    Curb Appeal: Nicely creepy cover, hooking blurb – it seemed like an interesting candidate for my mystery/thriller cravings.

    All in all, things just didn’t work out between me and The Scarred Woman. I’m sure that the story in itself is interesting, but the pace and the writing style really worked against my enjoyment, and the characters fell flat for me.
    I’m not sure if I do recommend it to someone in particular, as I didn’t get a sense of what its strong points are.


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