The Scarred Woman by Jussi Adler-Olsen

The Scarred Woman

Jussi Adler-Olsen

Perfect for fans of Stieg Larsson,  The Scarred Woman reunites readers with the Department Q cold case division.  This time, they are investigating one of their own. 

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The New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Causes delivers his most captivating and suspenseful Department Q novel yet—perfect for fans of Stieg Larsson.
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.

Advance Galley Reviews

I enjoyed this book even though I haven’t read the others in the series. I intend to read all of Olsen’s books. Great writing!

This was the first book of Olsen's that I have ever read, despite him being a fellow Dane and me loving mysteries. The book is part of the Department Q series but despite not having read any of the previous ones and therefore being unfamiliar with a lot of background information I didn't feel I missed out on anything. An elderly rich lady is found murdered near a park and it is initially assumed that there is a connection to a murder from several years earlier. Then a series of hit-and-run attacks on some young women starts and that is the catalyst to an investigation that requires the best of the department Q as well some old secrets being uncovered. I loved the story-telling, the plot and how everything came together at the end. This will not be the last book of Olsen's that I will read.

This book is part of a series, and I have never read any of the previous books. It seems like this is a series that you need to read in order to be able to understand what is going on with the characters. I felt like I was missing out on something by not reading the other books. Because of this I feel like I couldn't get into the story the way that I wanted to.

This book felt so slow and disconnected at the beginning. I understood that at some point all of these separate story lines were going to come together, but it took entirely too much time for my liking. Having said that, the last 200 pages of the book were thrilling, exciting, and so very enjoyable!!!! The storyline came together in a very satisfying manner. The title of the book was so spot on. It will be interesting to see what happens with Ross's character in the next book. What an exhilarating read. This was my first Jussi Addler-Olsen book and it will definitely not be my last.

I really enjoyed "The Scarred Woman" by Jussi Adler-Olsen, an author new to me. As a fan of Steig Larsson and Jo Nesbo, I was skeptical about Adler-Olsson living up to my expectations; however, as in the other authors' books, I was drawn to the story by the strong and flawed but ultimately admirable main characters. I typically avoid violent books and movies, but the violence in this novel is not gratuitous and as abhorrent to the characters as to the reader. The plot twists seem predictable on the surface but there are surprises for even the most careful reader. I'm grateful to Penguin's First to Read program for introducing me to this author's books.

Unfortunately I ran out of time before I could read The Scarred Woman and my copy expired. I also didn't realize before I requested this book that it was a late part in a series and I don't like reading books out of order. Maybe sometime in the future I will pursue all of the Department Q novels.

I finished reading this book after receiving it from Penguin Book's First To Read program. I have read all of the other Department Q novels by Adler-Olson. I like the interplay between the characters and learning more about each of them as the books progress. I thought the book was very good, but would recommend reading some of the other novels in order to get some context of the environment and the characters. It can be a little slow at times, but I think that is a "feature" of many of these Scandinavian mysteries.

This book started out promising. It did put me in mind of a Stieg Larsson style novel. I was looking forward to continuing but my Adobe Reader files became corrupted and unavailable and I was unable to finish. I hope to be able to continue with First to Read but will try to move any downloads ASAP so this hopefully doesn't happen again.

I received this book for review as a part of Penguin Publishing's First to Read program. I wish I realized this was a book in a part of series or I would not have requested it. I found myself a little lost without some of the information from previous books inthe series. I can't say if I liked or disliked it....I have been busy and didn't get a chance to finish reading it before my time was up on borrowing the book. I would like to give this book another chance.

I received an advance copy of this book from the First to Read program of Penguin Books in exchange for an honest review. Well, I dislike giving bad reviews but I really did not like this book which may be why it took me forever to read. Maybe if I had read this author's books in order I would have better things to say. Perhaps you get invested in the characters or they may be more likable in the earlier books. Starting this book I did not find one redeeming quality in any of the characters. Definitely hard to find a protagonist. I was totally depressed after the first couple of chapters. I did not end up liking or caring about any of the characters through the end of the book. If the person was not without any redeeming qualities then they were either nuts, bizarre or depressing. If you like dark story lines and dark brooding characters without any happiness or light in their lives, then this book is for you. Otherwise, I'd skip this one.

This book was a DNF for me. A first I must say since I've stared with First to Read. I tried really hard to get into the story and connect with the characters but it just wasn't happening. I really wanted to like this book but it just wasn't for me at this time and my TBR pile is way too larger to keep trying for a book I'm just not into. I won't completely write it off, I may come back to it once it's out and try again.

The Scarred Woman starts out like a typical Swedish written novel, full of intrigue and you instantly have to play detective. That is not necessarily a bad thing, and this book is a great example of the fun you can have while you try to figure out the story while delving deeper into a world that seems a bit foreign to you. Like its predecessors, it kept me guessing and switching back and forth on who was the bad guy, although there were plenty to choose from. Once I got used to the writing, I dived in and barely came up for air. This is a four-star read for me, I had to know what was going to happen next, and I couldn’t stop reading until I found out the truth. There are some very complex characters here that I just couldn’t get enough of, they made me angry and my heart break but more importantly, they made me flip the page fast. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author.

I have read almost all the Department Q novels. This one follows a similar format and if you enjoy learning more about the characters you will find this one a good choice. There's something austere about Adler-Olsen's world, there are hardships and grudging friendships. I am amazed how the plot slowly reveals itself. I always want more Assad in the story, but having more Rose was fascinating as she has been mostly just for show in the earlier books. I recommend this book and look forward to the next Department Q adventure.

I jumped into the novel as I am a fan of Stieg Larsson, but I found the characters much less interesting and complex. Perhaps it was the fact that I have not previously read the Department Q Series and struggled to connect with the protagonist. Adler-Olsen handled the tying together of the two plots pretty well, but the addition of Nazism and bringing the father character back at the novel's seemed unnecessary to the story.

This is my first foray into reading the Department Q series. I felt like it had too much backstory going on for someone to jump into the story that leaned heavily into the Department Q history. That said, the story line of the women on the government assistance program was really interesting and was my favorite part of the book. Less favorable was the tying together Nazism with the current murders taking place as it was unnecessary and distracting. I could have read an entire book devoted to the woman who's job it was was to determine who qualified for government aid and her crazed, had all she can take mentality, who decides to rid the country of the modern-day parasite. She was hilarious.

Jussi Adler-Olsen is one of my favorite Nordic noir authors. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The book title is applicable to several of the women in this book but certainly puts the magnifying glass on Rose. I've always liked Rose through all the books and the changes her character has gone through. This book is very satisfying in really showing what Rose has been dealing with her entire life and how it has shaped her. It is heartbreaking. You certainly could read this as a stand alone but it is a much richer book if you have read the previous Department Q books. It will be interesting to see what is in store for Carl going forward - will Mona be back in the picture (there are certainly hints implying so). Now, can we learn more about the ever mysterious Assad, who is such a wonderful character. A very satisfying read.

I just finished reading A Scarred Woman and I must say it was everything I wanted. I read Girl With The Dragon Tattoo but I am not familiar with Department Q. At first, I thought I knew the identity of the title lady but as the story progressed I figured it out. It was a unique take on a crime novel. The pacing was excellent and there were a few surprises for me. I won't spoil it. I usually try to figure out plot points as I read but in this case, I found the story extremely compelling. I let it lead me where it was supposed to go. It seemed possible that these ladies could be just as brutal as men. Rose was a sympathetic character, I think the author treated the subject of her mental illness with a delicate touch. I truly felt for her. Well done storytelling by Jussi Alder-Olsen

This book was a did-not-finish for me. I really wanted to like it, the idea sounded interesting, but I never could get into the book. Each chapter seemed like a big jump and like it came from left field, like each new character that was introduced, it was a different plot line. I had a hard time keeping characters straight and following along. This is not for me.

This was a horrible book, I didn't see the mystery, everything was so obvious. And then the boring characters, the incongruity with Rose and how Department Q cover up her situation.

Normally I love Department Q, but this was one big hot mess. New rule: Unless they are working together, no book should have more than one serial killer. There were just way too many crazy psychos living next door to each other for my taste. As for Department Q itself, I'm excited for Hardy and devastated for Rose. It's about time that Carl faced how he really feels about the people he works with. He's taken them for granted way too long.

This is my first review (?) as a First to Read Member, and I'm afraid it didn't work out. I have failed due to these reasons: this book was part of a series, and I have never read this author before; I believe it was translated from some Scandinavian language, and I have had problem reading this kind of book in the past — there is something about the language (or something) that throws me; I didn't know how difficult it is to read on my computer. I like the feel of a book in my hands, and I like to sit in a more comfortable place. Because of this, it felt more like a job than reading for pleasure; I didn't know books disappeared. After an allotted period of time, the book no longer belongs to me; I thought I would receive a book, but instead I had to download the book, which wasn't easy. Once I did, I couldn't get it to download to the iPad. All of this frustrated me, and since I only have about a week left to read, I'm just letting this one go, along with two others that taught me that the book will never belong to me. I have one book left to go. The text is so light that I'm afraid of my eyes being strained. Add this to the reasons above, and the outlook is bleak to say the least. It also has books in a series before this, and everything else about the other books applies to this one. I can't honestly give this book any stars, I tried to read it and couldn't.

Department Q is devoted to solving cold cases, although here an old case ties to a contemporary one. A social worker who is fed up with her charges is also involved. The various strands are tied together finally in a satisfying conclusion. It would be helpful to read the earlier books in the series for more information about the members of Department Q, especially Rose, although it is not necessary.

I found myself getting impatient with all of the plotlines that were introduced. This was a DNF for me, after fifty pages

The Scarred Woman was my first foray into Department Q with Jussi Adler-Olsen. I'm a fan of Scandinavian crime and I really enjoyed a different perspective working from Cold Cases in Denmark. In this novel, the cold case and current homicide cases begin to overlap along with an ongoing story about one of the main detectives. Being new to the series, I'm sure having a little more backstory on Rose ( a detective in Department Q) would have given this more impact, but I never felt that I couldn't read this as a standalone or follow along. This book took a wild ride through the city and included criminal misdeeds spanning a number of years. Manipulation and conniving was the name of the game for many of the characters and, while most of the people in this book were despicable, I couldn't stop turning pages to see who came out on top. The feeling of the absurd added a humor to many of the situations. What didn't quite jibe with me was the abrupt dialog. I wonder if it is in fact a case of 'lost in translation' as I had the feeling several times that the phrase or word chosen perhaps was meant to be something similar that had a slightly different feel. Would I read another Jussi Adler-Olsen Department Q? Yes. This was highly entertaining

Everything about this book , the storyline, the characters... makes it an interesting read right from the beginning. The characters , plot , interactions and reactions are believable and the story just flows. This is the first book I have read by this author, but look forward to reading more.

This is the 1st of this series of 'Department Q' that I've read, although the series has been on my 'to read' list for some time. It follows a rather original group of characters, investigators in the Swedish Police unit...a bit of a 'rag tag' group.... I found the characters fun/easy to get to know & like, some humor there too! I thought the 1st half of the book read a bit slower than the 2nd half....when the action picked up speed there. The author presents several story lines, but pretty nicely ties them all together, in kind of surprising/interesting ways. I thought the 1st half a bit of an odd mess, but liked the way it all came together at about that halfway point..... I ended up liking the book, & look forward to going back to the beginning of this series to see how this all came I'd say that makes for a positive review! I received this e-ARC in a Penguin First-To-Read Giveaway program, in exchange for my own fair/honest review.

This is one of my favorite international series. This wasn't my favorite in the Department Q series because Rose is so missing from the department dealing with her own history and mental health issues. I hate to see the vulnerability of the Department members because I think we like to look at police officers (and their assistants) as being somewhere superior and able to fix all of our problems. How can they fix all of our societal issues if they can't even fix their own? However, the case(s) they work on in this 7th book are compelling and kept me reading. I have read the previous books in this series and enjoyed them as well.

I really enjoy this series. Anne-Lind Svenson is a welfare case manager. After she finds out she has breast cancer, she snaps. She's tired of the lazy girls that come in with whatever excuse for not getting to work. They sit and gossip about her behind her back so she plans on revenge. They are also investigating the murder of Gismor Zimmerman in a public park with her head bashed in. This is eerily close to an unsolved case from 2004. Are they connected? In the meantime, fellow employee Rose, is going off the deep end all related to the abuse she suffered from her father as a child until he was killed in a work related accident at a steel plant that Rose also worked at she just happened to be there by him when a slab of steel fell on him. All the years of abuse and guilt over his death, was she involved?, have had a lasting impact and she is again in a mental institution. She leaves the psyche ward and promptly disappears. I have always enjoyed this series but this book felt a bit forced and was very convoluted at times. I still would recommend but be prepared to follow closely. I received an ARC from First to Read for my review. Thank you.

There are quite a few plot lines moving through this book, all of them interesting and engaging in their own way. They will all wind their way towards one another, either explicitly or accidentally, in the book's finale. The author's sheer audacity, or genius, is his willingness to invest in characters both central and cursory, and allow them full range in their various subplots. It is not often initially clear if characters are positive or negative when they are first introduced. Readers are forced to suspend judgment or recalibrate opinions as they learn more about characters over time. The tale involves three lazy young women on welfare who refuse to look for work choosing instead illegal activities and their case worker who is fed up with their bad behavior and can't take it any more; the mother, grandmother and grandfather (of one of the lazy young women) with Nazi pasts and very bad attitudes towards 'others'; a beloved police team member who suffers a nervous breakdown and is a next door neighbor of the grandmother just mentioned. This is not a fast book, there is too much going on. But it is worth enjoying. I received my copy from Pengiun's First to Read Program.

I couldn't put this book down! I haven't read the previous installments of the Dept Q series, but I requested this since I am a HUGE fan of everything Nordic Noir. In anticipation, I watched the fantastic movies on Netflix based on adaptations of the1st 3 books, which helped me get up speed with characters & situations. Thank you for the advance copy!

I love this series. I cannot possibly express how much I love these books. This one hits you like a brick. The emotional turmoil caused not only by the cases being investigated but also by learning more about Rose, her background, and her mental state threw me for a loop. The book was incredibly well written and seemed more personal in a lot of ways than some of the others in the series. I cannot recommend this series highly enough.

Absolutely loved this book. A sordid story with dark humor, wisecracks, and layered betrayal. I could not wait to find out what the next event would reveal. A great book and I can see why he has received many prestigious Nordic crime-writing awards

I received a copy of this book for free in return for my honest review. What starts out as a routine investagation into a murder ends with multiple connections and startling revelations is this captivating murder mystery thriller. Delightfully entertaining, suspenseful and engaging.

This book is part of an on-going series starring Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q. In this novel, woman are murdered and what appears at the beginning to be disconnected cases are related by one of the characters. The plot involves murder, conniving, police procedural, and a team of likable police detectives. The book is told from the alternating point of views of its characters including Detective Carl, Assad, Rose and others. This was my first book by the author and you do not have to read the previous books in the series to be able to enjoy this one.  This book reminded me of non-fantasy thrillers by Stephen King, specially Mr. Mercedes. It's dark and can be described as an Scandinavian noir. The novel was a bit long and I felt that some sections could have been excluded. Overall I liked the book and recommend it to all those who enjoy thrillers.

Cold cases can be difficult to solve under the best of circumstances, but when the cases pile up and seem to connect to a member of the department investigating, the situation must be handled delicately, as in The Scarred Woman by Jussi Adler-Olsen. Department Q specializes in investigating stalled cases when the team on the second floor doesn't have any more leads and the trail seems to have gone cold. Leading the department, Detective Carl Mørck's latest case of a 2004 murder closely resembles the recent murder of an elderly woman in a park, creating tension between him and the teams upstairs as their investigations cross paths, playing a large role in determining Department Q's future. Meanwhile, young women dependent on benefits, and perhaps gaming the system, seem to be targeted by violent and fatal attacks, which has also been tasked to Carl to solve. But the stress doesn't stop there as one of his colleagues, Rose, is struggling with her mental health after a recent meltdown and Carl is determined to help her heal from her dark past.  While this book is part of a series with established characters, it stands alone fairly well, providing enough details to allow new readers to keep up fairly easily. With roving perspectives presented from all the key players in the interwoven story lines, much of the building suspense was deflated; the amount of coincidence present in the narrative was too extreme to maintain a level of realistic belief to the story, which made it far too predictable, and having insight into each of the characters made their actions and motivations too clear, preventing enough mystery from shrouding events, inadequately incorporating the mental instability presented for a few of the characters. Overall, I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

I know this book is part of a series, but it is also a good stand alone story. This book was a major thrill ride that started from the first word. I liked how the author took a group of plot lines and tied them together to make a thrilling story. This is why Danish police procedural stories are now become very popular world wide.

This book is by a favorite author of Scandinavian crime, Jussi Adler-Olsen and is a great addition to the series. There is so much going on not only with several violent cases but with Rose, part of the investigative team, who is losing herself. An old case is connected to current events and the team are off and running. The main culprit is unbelievably focused on young women who are draining the resources of the country and decides to eliminate them. The young ladies are involved in their own crime spree. Mystery is unveiled and twists revealed amongst a malignant and cursed family. Rose is circling a whirlpool in the deep end, barely hanging onto reality. Eventually Rose is connected to the victim in her building and through diligence and good police work all the cases are solved in an exciting conclusion. Although the number of inquiries all at once was hard to keep up with and there is a predominate amount of mental instability involved. Well worth picking up for a good read.


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