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Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill Set in Montreal and New York between the wars, a spellbinding story about two orphans whose unusual magnetism and talent allow them to imagine a sensational future, from the bestselling, two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize-shortlisted author.
The Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra One of our most important public intellectuals reveals the hidden history of our current global crisis
Insane Clown President by Matt Taibbi In twenty-five pieces from Rolling Stone—plus two original essays—Matt Taibbi tells the story of Western civilization’s very own train wreck, from its tragicomic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion.
The Evenings by Gerard Reve THE FIRST ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF A POSTWAR MASTERPIECE 'I work in an office. I take cards out of a file. Once I have taken them out, I put them back in again. That is it.'
The Strays by Emily Bitto For readers of Atonement, a hauntingly powerful story about the fierce friendship between three sisters and their friend as they grow up on the outskirts of their parents' wild and bohemian artistic lives.

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Keeper_of_Lost_CausesThe Keeper of Lost Causes, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Plume Books, $17.00

I feel sorry for any Scandinavian mystery writer who has published since Stieg Larsson firebombed the literary community with his Millennium trilogy.  Since 2005, every thriller or mystery novel coming out of any of these countries has been lauded as the NEXT Steig Larsson. This does a disservice to both Mr. Larsson who seems easily emulated; and the new writer who might not be anything like him in style or plot, but is guaranteed some initial sales when the publicity machine rolls out but severe disappointment if potential readers don't get what they expected.

Jussi Adler-Olsen might fall into that category if he wasn't such a fine writer.  If you pick up "Keeper" expecting a Larsson you are trapped so quickly into the fast moving story, you are a third of the way in before you notice it isn't as bleak as a Wallander novel or as graphic as Jo Nesbo.  Maybe it's the translator that adds a more of UK dimension, so the novel comes out like more of a cross between a powerful Ian Rankin character dipped into a Minette Walter's tense psychological setting.  So intense I had to lock myself in the loo just to get those last 50 pages finished before I hurt somebody. 

Detective Carl Morck is the lone standing survivor of a devastating ambush. Now recovered and back to work he is no more personable than before the incident.  His superiors decide to take advantage of a grant from the Danish government to open up a Special Interests/Cold Case section; the money while appreciated has the added bonus of banishing the difficult detective to the basement along with the files.  This suits Carl just fine until they send him a Muslim cleaner (scrubber not thug) and the file of a politician who committed suicide.  But something starts ringing bells for Carl and Assad when they start finding too many unanswered questions the initial investigators overlooked.  But the reader knows something they don't, Merete Lynggaard is still alive, kidnapped and held prisoner in a plot so complicated and obscured, it will take time to unravel.  Time Merete doesn't have.

This novel was a blast of fresh air out of a cold, dark landscape.  Adler-Olsen has a bright sense of humour, and his quirky, sometimes absurd characters add a nice note to the intricate complications of the plot.  I recommend this highly and the minute I put it down I quickly picked up the next Department Q novel "The Absent One" due out in paper this May.  Now it looks like I have the Feature that month in the bag.

New in Paper

Unbroken Furiously
Hidden Figures Nightfall

News and Events

Wednesday, February 22nd - Dennis McConaghy

 Join us on Wednesday, February 22nd  as we welcome Dennis McConaghy and his new book Dysfunction

Dennis will be in the store from 7 to 9p.m. to discuss the book and sign copies.

Canada Reads

Perfect Books has a good supply of all five titles but they disappear quickly. Call or email to reserve your copies. Check out the shortlist here.


 


 

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