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The Marco Effect: A Department Q Novel

A Department Q Novel

Department Q Novel Band 5

Jussi Adler-Olsen

This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof

Copyright © 2014 Jussi Adler-Olsen

Autumn 2008

Louis Fon's last morning was as soft as a whisper.

He sat up on the cot with sleep in his eyes and his mind still a muddle, patted the little one who had stroked his cheek, wiped the snot from the tip of her brown nose, and stuck his feet into his flip-flops on the stamped clay of the floor.

He stretched, squinting at the light as the cackle of hens and the distant cries of boys as they cut bananas from the palms drifted into the sunbaked room.

How peaceful it seemed as he took in the sharp aromas of the village. Only the songs of the Baka people when they gathered around their fires on the other side of the river could delight him more. As always, it felt good to return to the Dja region, and to the remote Bantu village of Somolomo.

Behind the hut, children were at play, whirling up the dust from the red earth, shrill voices prompting congregations of weaver birds to burst from the surrounding treetops.

He got to his feet and went toward the light that flooded in from the window, placing his elbows on the sill and beaming a smile at the girl's mother who stood by the hut opposite and was about to sever the head of the day's chicken.

It was the last time Louis would ever smile.

Some two hundred meters away a sinewy man and his escort appeared from the path by the palm grove, an ominous sign right from the start. He recognized Mbomo's muscular frame from Yaoundé, but he had never seen the Caucasian with the chalk-white hair.

"Why is Mbomo here and who's that with him?" he called out to the girl's mother.

She gave a shrug. Tourists were not an unusual sight on the edge of the rain forest, so why should she be concerned? Four or five days' trekking with the Baka in the dense chaos of the Dja jungle, wasn't that what it was all about? At least for a European with plenty of money?

But Louis sensed something more. He could tell by the gravity of the two men and the attitude between them. Something wasn't right. The white man was no tourist, and Mbomo had no business here in the district without first having informed Louis. After all, Louis was in charge of the Danish development project and Mbomo was merely an errand boy for the government officials in Yaoundé. Such were the roles.

Were the two men up to something he wasn't to know about? The idea was by no means unlikely. Strange things went on all the time in the course of the project. Processes were slow, the flow of information had all but dried up, payments were continually delayed or else never transpired. Not exactly what he'd been promised when they hired him for the job.

Louis shook his head. He was a Bantu himself, from the opposite corner of Cameroon, hundreds of kilometers northwest of the village here in the borderland close to Congo. Where he came from, a suspicious nature was something you were born with and perhaps the single most important reason Louis had devoted his life to working for the gentle Baka, the pygmy people of the Dja jungle, whose origins traced back to the time when the forests were virgin. People in whose language malicious words such as "suspicion" did not even exist.

For Louis, these amiable souls were a human oasis of good feeling in an otherwise loathsome world. The close relationships he had established with the Baka and their homeland were Louis's elixir and solace. And yet this suspicion of malice was now upon him.

Could he never be truly free of it?

He found Mbomo's 4x4 parked behind the third row of huts, its driver fast asleep behind the wheel in a sweat-drenched soccer jersey.

"Is Mbomo looking for me, Silou?" he asked the stocky black man, who stretched his limbs and struggled to get his bearings.

The man shook his head. Apparently he had no idea what Louis was talking about.

"Who is the white man Mbomo has with him? Do you know him?" Louis persisted.The driver yawned
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A teenaged boy on the run propels Detective Carl Mørck into Department Q's most sinister case yet in the fifth novel in Jussi Adler-Olsen's New York Times bestselling series.

Fifteen-year-old Marco Jameson longs to become a Danish citizen and go to school like a normal teenager. Unfortunately, his Uncle Zola forces the children of their former gypsy clan to beg and steal for his personal gain. When Marco discovers a dead body that proves the true extent of Zola's criminal activities, he goes on the run. But it turns out his family members aren't the only ones who want to keep Marco silent...forever.

Detective Carl Mørck wants to save the boy, but Marco's trail leads him to 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.

Praise for The Marco Effect

"Engrossing...a roller coaster ride through Copenhagen's seedy underbelly."-Publishers Weekly

"This series goes from triumph to triumph...This is the best book I've read in 2014 so far. Highly recommended."-Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine

"Marco is a compelling hero, the villans are truly odious, and Mørck and his quirky, savvy subordinates ultimately carry the day."-Booklist

"If you like the dark humor, wisecracking, and layered betrayals of Raymond Chandler, then read Adler-Olsen's Department Q series."-Men's Journal

"A tense, pleasurable read."-USA Today

The fast pace, intricate plot, and gritty style will appeal to fans of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch mysteries."-Library Journal

More Praise for Jussi Adler-Olsen's Department Q series

"[A] sordid tale...inspired by actual events during a dark period of Danish history. Ah, but there is more, so much more in this frenzied thriller."-The New York Times Book Review

"This book is not for the faint of heart, but for readers who enjoy dark humor and wisecracking heroes and heroines, you'll love Department Q."-Suspense Magazine

"It can be hard to distinguish Scandinavian crime writers-there are a lot of them, and their names have consonant clusters and umlauts and all that jazz-but Jussi Adler-Olsen is a name to know. In a crowded genre, Adler-Olsen is an outlier."

"Adler-Olsen merges story lines...with ingenious aplomb, effortlessly mixing hilarities with horrors...This crime fiction tour de force could only have been devised by an author who can even turn stomach flu into a belly laugh."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This series has enough twists to captivate contemporary mystery readers and enough substance and background to entertain readers with historical and literary tastes."-Library Journal (starred review)

"When your series relies on cold cases, it's not always easy to craft plots that have both historical interest and an air of urgency, but it's something Adler-Olsen is very good at."-Booklist


Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 512
Altersempfehlung ab 18 Jahr(e)
Erscheinungsdatum 24.02.2015
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-14-751662-6
Verlag Penguin US
Maße (L/B/H) 20.3/13.6/3.2 cm
Gewicht 370 g
Verkaufsrang 2898

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