Anna's Reviews > The Keeper of Lost Causes

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen
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Nov 26, 2011

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bookshelves: apl, 2011, audiobook

My rating for this book is probably lower than it would be if I had read the book as a printed book, and not suffered thru it as an audiobook.

The audiobook has an awesome job in the characters getting a very Danish accent, it reminded my very much of the Danish (and Nordic) colleagues I worked with in Ireland. Fortunately none of the characters had the worst kind of Copenhagen accent. The accents were fun to listen, but it started to get quite grating after the first 15 % of the story. Also I would guess that the Aasad (Aasaad? Arsaad? Asad? Couldn't they pick one way to pronounce the names in the story, and not pronounce them a dozen different ways. Oh wait, since it's supposed to be an Arabic name, I would guess it's supposed to be Assad) character, a Syrian refugee working mysteriously in the new department Q was probably not meant to sound like he had a strong Albanian and Russian accent when he spoke. His character definitely did not sound Syrian. What accent was he supposed to have?

The names suffered in the audiobook, since they were pronounced in so many ways and without consistency. I know the protagonist's last name was supposed to be Mørck or Mörck, but it most of the time sounded like Moorck (the 'oor' part like in door), which definitely is not how neither Mørck nor Mörck is supposed to be pronounced. Then there was the kidnapped woman, Möreeda - Møreeda - Moreeda... with the equally inconsistent last name - Lynggoo, Lungoo, Lüngool, and her brother, Uufa. (And just to mention, I did study Swedish for a few years in school so I would know how to spell the Swedish and most Nordic names if they were pronounced like they should have. There's no way that e.g. Möreeda could possibly be a real odd pronunciation of Merete). All the other names remind me too strongly of Håkan Nesser's Van Veeteren's environments as well; generic Dutch-ish made up names. Haadi. Cafè Bankaroo. Hafes El-Aarsad. Ademos - Armos? Jespa. Moorten. Crestjansboo. Thèa (Theja?) Bauesen. Buue Baack. Laasa. Äne-Liise. Maijane. Copenhagen where the beginning is pronounced like 'coop', not like in Copenhagen.

The pace of the audiobook seemed a bit too slow. The story moves in today (2007), and five years before when Möreeda is kidnapped by some person or group that makes no sense to her. Many of the detectives give a good whiff of the bureaucratic Denmark. Arsaad brings in fresh air, yet how he got to his job with his background (or the lack of it) is a mystery. If I was Moorck, I would have asked a new colleague just because in their job with the risks and responsibilities it provides, one should be able to rely and trust the other person by 200%. Even if Arsaad has some very good investigative, social engineering, and computer skills, I don't think I'd trust him. Moorck has (like so many Nordic detectives) a very annoying ex-wife, Viiga.

Overall, the characters are interesting, and there's nothing too weird in the story. Arsaad is painted in a bit too stereotypical way, but maybe he develops in the next books of the series. Moorck doesn't seem to have too interesting a character and doesn't seem to do most of the investigator work and not fly solo, so he'd probably benefit of adding 4-5 other intereting detectives in his team and let them run the stories and investigations forward. Also the villains were painted too much in black and white. The villains skill set should always be above the skill set of the good guys to keep enough tension. I'll definitely try (as a printed book) the next one in the series once it's available here.

Mental note to self: in the future, just skip all the audiobooks where the characters have a Danish, Afrikaans, Finnish, any Eastern European, or an Israeli accent. To be on the safe side, Scottish accents never get boring.
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