Mercy was a no.1 bestseller in Denmark, selling 3 million copies and winning Best Nordic Crime Thriller, an honour previously awarded to books by Nesbo, Larsson and Mankell. The story of Carl Mørck, a maverick police officer, returning to work to find himself sidelined after a shooting which left one colleague dead and another seriously injured, the focus is on the belated search for a politician who vanished five years ago.
This is a competent “cop thriller” with some predictable ingredients – staid colleagues, amiable and quirky sidekick, psychopathic villain a la Stephen King – not as complex or unpredictable as “The Girl…” nor as darkly atmospheric as “Wallander”, what sets this above the run of the mill crime-thriller is Adler-Olsen’s writing.
Verdict: Put simply, he writes a darn good story. ****