Unlike previous Department Q novels, this is a rather lengthy, complicated tale involving two intertwined plots centered on a resourceful 15-year-old boy. The reader is fully aware of all the facts that Carl Morck and his assistants, Assad and Rose, have to discover in the nearly 500 pages it takes to reach the end.
The boy, Marco Jameson, is part of an extended family illegally in Denmark ruled by a vicious man named Zola who forces them to go out begging and stealing in the streets and turning over all the ill-gotten gains to him. He also commits other crimes and even murder. One of the victims is a bureaucrat in the foreign ministry who uncovers a massive fraud in an African aid program in which the funds are diverted to cover a bank fraud. Marco accidentally finds the body, and the rest of the novel has him running for his life, threatened by Zola and the perpetrators of the fraud.
This is the fifth novel in the series, and is much lengthier than its predecessors, getting off to a slow start. When it finally picks up steam about half-way through, though, it is an exciting read. Especially each time Marco faces deadly peril and manages to wiggle his way out. Missing, unfortunately, is some of the levity between the members of Department Q to which one has become accustomed, but then, this book is much more serious as the group takes on its latest unsolved case, and it is recommended....Continua