Denmark’s prize winner

The Author

Carl Valdemar Jussi Adler-Olsen is every bit the Danish success story. He is Denmark’s prize winner, having won numerous awards such Danskernes Yndlingsforfatter (Bog & Ide) 2012, and has this year been nominated for The Barry award, for best novel of 2014.

By rights being born in Copenhagen the cultural centre of Denmark almost gives its natives a one way ticket into the arts.

After succumbing to the pull of the music industry as a lead guitarist for a couple of bands as a teen, Jussi Adler-Olsen eventually graduated from the Rodovre school, he then went on to study medicine, sociology and film making.

After a varied and successful career as a publisher and editor-in-chief through the 1980s it was in 2007 when the pivotal moment in his writing career came, with the introduction of the Department Q series of crime books.

With 5 books published in the Department Q series, fans are treated to an in depth narrative of the characters lives, and lets them delve a little longer into not just the crime that is being solved but the history behind each character, which gets them to the situation.

The Department Q series put Jussi Adler-Olsen at the top of the Danish best seller list.

carl jussi-adler author

Copenhagen in the spotlight

These lists have put the spotlight on Copenhagen and its literary circles.

Loyal to his roots Jussi Adler-Olsen sets his books in Copenhagen which allows the reader to move around this city at pace, visualise the cafés and architecture so vividly described and go beyond to Denmark’s dramatic and rugged countryside.

Copenhagen is the place to be for a busy weekend of city escapism. Museums with the likes of The National Gallery of Art and The Museum of Danish Resistance are drawing in tourists by their thousands every year.

Cafes are a welcomed stop to exploring in the old town, and innovative cafes such as Paludan Bogcafe lend you a book to read whilst you sample their coffee.

You could of course take your own Jussi Adler-Olsen novel with you.

Copenhagen is home to the largest fashion week in Scandinavia, this is reflected in the abundance of boutiques and stores to shop in.

Photo credit:JamesZ 

A policeman in need

From these back drops we are pulled into a modern city of culture and it’s inhabitants. The reader is introduced and endeared to Carl Morck the Danish detective who guides us through the darker side of life and under the surface of this colourful and grandeur city. Carl Morck is living with the guilt of his previous colleague dying and carries this into his cases giving him a human side that the reader wants to nurture.

Carl Morck has been designated to the basement of the police department named Department Q. Here he must investigate crimes those above deem not worthy of trying to solve. With his side kick Assad who brings light relief with his broken Danish, the duo are a formidable team.

On Friday 29th August, an adaption of Jussi Adler-Olsens book Mercy will be coming to cinema screens across the UK titled The Keeper of Lost Causes, featuring Nikolaj Lie Kaas as Carl Morck himself.

A series of grit

It is this team who we follow, from their personal and emotional demons to their hardcore morals of right and wrong.

Department Q series is gripping, gritty and stylish all at once thanks to the characters, back drops and content in a style that brings images to the minds eye, all the way through. Translated into English this has given readers in the UK and USA a fascinating insight into Nordic life putting this genre on trend. The first book (Mercy) is a tense read from the start, introducing us to Carl Morck and his traits which have ostracised him from his colleagues but warmed him to the reader who is allowed into the bigger picture.

Danish pride

Denmark is a proud nation, with flags normally flying high for events. They are proud of their history and their future, which seems to be at the forefront of most cultural genres. Jussi Adler-Olsen certainly is a Dane with talent and continues to wave the Red and White flag with pride, enticing travellers over to delve more into this intriguing land. Denmark is up and coming, through its talents. They in turn are promoting the Nation through success. This gives it sustainability for staying there at the top, whilst evolving continuously.
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