Our middle-aged Danish detective gets to work on his third unsolved case with his cooky assistants, this one revolving around a nutter who likes to kidnap and murder kids from religious cults. If you like the other Department Q mysteries, you’ll probably love this one, though I found the focus on the nastiness of the crimes a little too invasive for me. It’s probable that I’m just getting more squeamish (or prudish) in my old age, but I like the more realistic tales by Henning Mankell, say, than this. I know it’s important to set up just how evil the bad guy is, and how much the innocent suffer in order for us to enjoy the eventual appearance of justice, but there were swathes of text here that were so uncomfortable to absorb, I put the book down and considered not finishing it. Glad I did, but I may need a lie down before contemplating reading another in the series.
No. 53 of 100 books I intend to read and review in 2019.
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Patrick Sherriff, an Englishman who survived 13 years working for newspapers in the US, UK and Japan. Between teaching English lessons at his conversation school in Abiko, Japan, with his wife, he writes and illustrates textbooks for non-native speakers of English, releases Hana Walker mystery novels, short stories, essays and a monthly newsletter highlighting good fiction published in English about Japan. Saku’s Random Book Club is his latest project to spend more time with books.