Copenhagen cold case investigator Carl Mørck rocketed onto the Scandinavian noir scene with last year's The Keeper of Lost Causes, and he returns in The Absent One to seek justice for a decades-old unsolved murder. This tale of revenge and sociopathic socialites is proof that Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen has easily joined the front of the Nordic thriller pack.
Adler-Olsen answered our questions all the way from Iceland. He kept things short and sweet—well, maybe more salty than sweet.
Describe your book in one sentence.
Would you make a good investigator?
Oh yes, I solved my first mystery in 1960: Who scratched Per's father's car? (It was Per's younger brother.) It took me 10 minutes to solve.
The report of each nation's happiness index ranks Denmark as the happiest country in the world. Why are you guys so happy?
We are happy from absolute necessity. With the damp, cold winters and rainy summers, we have to, or else the suicide rate would go sky-high.
Why does happy Denmark make such a great setting for your crime novels?
Because I know everything about it.
What is one book you think every thriller fan should read?
A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin.
What is the greatest writing advice you've ever received?
Use the bathroom before taking your seat in front of the PC.
What are you working on next?
My next book.