The Hanging Girl

Dutton. Sept. 2015. 432p. tr. from Danish by William Frost. ISBN 9780525954941. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698194335. F
Cold Case Department Q gets pulled into an investigation on the Danish Island of Bornholm after receiving a mysterious email from retiring officer Christian Habersaat, who has just committed suicide. Twenty years ago, a young girl was found hanging dead in a tree, apparently hit by a car. While the local police ruled her death an accident, Habersaat ruined his career and family life determined to find the killer. It quickly becomes clear that things are more complicated than a simple hit-and-run, and Carl, Assad, Rose, and newcomer Gordon begin a near-impossible search for a mysterious man who may be the key to solving the case. By the end of the book, they will have not only found the killer but also uncovered nefarious activities connected to a secretive sun cult.
VERDICT While the plot is as intricate as expected in a Department Q novel (The Marco Effect ), the story itself becomes bogged down and overly complex, leading to a less rewarding read than previous books in the series. Still, added insight into Assad's background will make this an intriguing read for devoted fans. [See Prepub Alert, 3/16/15.]
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