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police

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The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Copenhagen’s Department Q, led by detective Carl Morck, specializes in very cold cases: this one is 20 years cold with a confessed perpetrator already doing time in prison. The crime: the brutal murder of two teenage siblings in a summer cottage. The suspects: rich and successful members of Denmark’s elite who met in private school and formed a secret rampaging gang inspired by the movie “A Clockwork Orange”. This Nordic crime series has it all—interesting characters, twisty suspense, and plenty of quirky humor.

A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Another entry in the crowded Nordic noir field—but this one actually has some humor (black humor, anyway). Detective Carl Morck is in charge of the cold case department in Copenhagen. In the midst of coping with various bureaucratic office crises, he receives a years-old message in a bottle (written in blood)—passed along by Scottish colleagues after being found along their coastline—that appears to be from a boy in life-threatening danger somewhere on the Danish coast.

Vigilante by Stephen J. Cannell

Not intellectual fare, but wonderful fun and distraction and a great way to recontextualize whatever you're dealing with lately.  "You think you have problems?"  Cannell's recurring hero Shane Scully is up against an evildoer you can picture easily enough in your mind, a lurid "Reality TV star" whose mission in life seems to make life miserable for police.  One measure of a well written story is the solutions you think you have drawn as you move toward the conclusion, telling yourself how good it will feel, and how vindicated you as reader will be, when it turns out you had alre

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

The world is going to end, it is just a matter of time.  In The Last Policeman, they know when and they don’t have too long.  In a world threatened by an impending asteroid strike, Detective Hank Palace might just be the last working policeman.  Crime is on the rise, but who wants to waste the effort bringing criminals to justice, when the asteroid will bring its own.  Palace sets about solving a murder in this first of an anticipated trilogy.  The investigation won’t be easy since the murder looks like a suicide, and those have become all too prevalen

The Nightmare by Lars Kepler

In this breathtaking sequel to Kepler’s The Hypnotist, we find Swedish detective Joona Linna investigating the mysterious murder of a young woman.  The story switches between a terrifying chase scene played out over semi deserted islands, and the political intrigue of international arms deals.  Linna at times comes off as larger than life, but you want to know what he is doing and thinking.  Follow Loona and his colorful cast of heroes and villains in this excellent sequel. 

The Caller by Karin Fossum

Someone is playing strange and nasty pranks on the citizens of Elvestad, and Inspector Konrad Sejer is called in to investigate. What begins as unnverving (one elderly woman reads her own obituary in the newspaper, and a dying man answers the door to find the hearse has arrived to pick him up) becomes increasingly sinister as the novel progresses. Fossum examines the impact of evil on the human mind in this psychological thriller--and provides no comforting conclusion. Another standout book from this Scandinavian author (try The Indian Bride as well).

Ratking by Michael Dibdin

Having enjoyed Zen on Masterpiece Mystery I went looking for the books the series is based on. This is the first of the Aurelio Zen mysteries, oddly enough shown as the third episode in the TV series. The book provides a much more detailed story with many more characters and an ending that doesn't work out quite as simply as on TV.

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo

This is Nesbo’s sixth book to be translated into English starring Inspector Harry Hole.  I have been hooked since his first.  The Leopard finds Hole hiding out in Asia trying to avoid and forget his most recent dealings with murder and serial killers in Norway.  Hole is coerced back to Oslo to face yet another daunting investigative challenge.  Nesbo’s rough around the edges hero and bleak Norwegian environs make for excellent reads. 

The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina

An exceptional crime novel by this Scottish writer, featuring detective inspector Alex Morrow of the Glasgow police. A disgraced millionaire financier hangs himself in London hours before a young woman is brutally murdered in a suburb of Glasgow. The reader knows the two events are related somehow but Alex must connect the dots while managing a tense work situation and her personal ties to some of the working class Glaswegians implicated in the murder.

Heat Rises by Richard Castle

In this audiobook read by Johnny Heller, Nikki Heat--an interesting, tough and sexy New York homicide detective--is trying to solve the murder of a parish priest in a bondage club.  She is thwarted from investigating leads which leads her to a conspiracy inside the Police Department and a death squad trying to gun her down.  She is put on probation and has to turn to a non-policeman to assist her, writer Jameson Rook.

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