The Scarred Woman

The Scarred Woman

A Department Q Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q, Copenhagen's cold cases division, meets his toughest challenge yet when the dark, troubled past of one of his own team members collides with a sinister unsolved murder. In a Copenhagen park the body of an elderly woman is discovered. The case bears a striking resemblance to another unsolved homicide investigation from over a decade ago, but the connection between the two victims confounds the police. Across town a group of young women are being hunted. The attacks seem random, but could these brutal acts of violence be related? Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q is charged with solving the mystery. Back at headquarters, Carl and his team are under pressure to deliver results: failure to meet his superiors' expectations will mean the end of Department Q. Solving the case, however, is not their only concern. After an earlier breakdown, their colleague Rose is still struggling to deal with the reemergence of her past--a past in which a terrible crime may have been committed. It is up to Carl, Assad, and Gordon to uncover the dark and violent truth at the heart of Rose's childhood before it is too late"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Dutton,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780525954958
Characteristics: 472 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Frost, William 1978-- Translator


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 14, 2018

No. 7 in this series. Readers new to the series really need to start with "The Keeper of Lost Causes" and cover two or three of the earlier books before picking up this one. I liked it, but it's very fast paced and many of the ongoing characters show up briefly with little or no background info. The exception is Dept Q staffer, Rose Knudson. We find out more about her past, and she is actually a central character here. Adler-Olsen's dark sense-of-Danish humor is at play in this book. Women caught in the corruption of society (welfare queens who plot an armed robbery; a social worker who comes to hate her clients so much much that she turns homicidal; and a young woman who picks up where her Nazi grandfather left off) are the chief sources of mayhem.

Feb 11, 2018

I enjoy the Department Q novels. It helps if you have read the first few so you are familiar the characters and the setting. Many scarred women in this book. A bunch of young welfare abusing women decide to rob a business and reap the rewards. However, a welfare officer hates these girls and decides to extract her personal revenge. One of the girls' grandfather was a Nazi officer (who has since died) but his wife is killed and more murders occur. Department Q finally gets involved, but there is trouble in-house as usual. Rose, their able assistant is having problems that they need to carefully address while looking into the murders as the upstairs homicide team bungles around and Morck and Assad are assigned a television crew to babysit. We learn much more about Rose and her life and we keep getting clues into Assad's unknown background, Morck's personal life always crops up (I find his romantic life pretty dull), his stepson has moved out, his former mother-in-law wants to learn how to use her phone to take nude selfies and buddy Hardy is gaining more physical ability but his mind, as usual, is detective sharp. Author J A-O seems to love making females the bad guys - sometimes it comes across odd/strange because the women/girls often seem very cliched. I found it a quick read as usual, he does mention the previous books in this novel. I want to know more about Assad, but that plot line remains hidden/buried at this time.

Feb 09, 2018

It's confusing when a new character is introduced every chapter for the first six chapters or so, as so many authors are doing now, or jumping from one time frame to another. With this book, there is the added problem that you pretty much need to know the Dept. Q staff before you start, and these you can only know by having read all the previous books. Fortunately, I have, and enjoyed this book immensely, but otherwise, I know I would have been terribly confused, too. To my thinking, this is not a stand-alone book.
Here is the story of a frustrated 50ish Danish social worker, who must give benefits to 20ish young women who are not interested in finding a skill, or even just a job, but spend a great deal of time and (other people's) money on their looks while running little scams on the side to afford some frills.
Running parallel to this is the Dept. Q employee, Rose, who before (in other books) was somewhat mentally ill, and now is quite mentally ill. The descriptions of her particular behavior/thinking are fascinating.

Nov 11, 2017

Too many characters in story. Hard to keep track of who's who. Not as enjoyable as
previous books in series. Even a bit far-fetched.

Nov 06, 2017

The Woman of the title may emerge to be one whom fans of Jussi A-O are already familiar with, but there are many scarred women in this novel which I anticipated for so long - so good to meet the crotchety Carl Morck and the lovely Assad again - but the story did not have connection for me. It was difficult for me to empathize with any of the new characters in this tale because they are quite shallow and single-minded; revenge and gluttony are the themes here and they did not resonate. Is this an indication of how difficult the craft of writing truly is, or something more personal?

Welfare girls who leach off the system, the widow of a Nazi war criminal, a welfare case-worker with a systemic imbalance and Department Q's own Rose Knudsen are among the scarred women whose stories are woven together in this welcome update on the progress of what feels like an old friendship, spanning seven novels. If you've missed Carl and Assad like I have, surely pick this book up, but his earlier Dept Q novels are more tightly constructed with antagonists that seem to pose a greater risk to the balance of society. Not his strongest work.

Nov 06, 2017

We finally make it to Department Q in chapter three. That chapter starts with the fellows there torturing a mentally ill man who has come to confess to a crime he didn't commit. I gave up at that point. Cruelty is not funny. Putting events out of order, and creating a long list of characters who seem to be unrelated to each other or the rest of the story is not how an author convinces me to read a 400 page novel when they is so much well-written thoughtful books I've yet to read.

Oct 13, 2017

I have read (or listened to) all of Jussi Adler-Olsen's Department Q novels, and enjoy them. Although this one started slow and a bit confusing with the chapters in a rather mixed-up date order--my advice is to ignore the dates--it picked up by half way through the book and finished quickly and was quite satisfying. All the familiar characters are present--Carl, Assad, Rose, Hardy, and Mona--but they take on proportions different from previous novels--and the reader will have greater insight into at least one character. Department Q's cold cases extend into ongoing cases. Perpetrators are rather ordinary people, but even ordinary people can be killers.

Oct 01, 2017

His last book I could not get into but I thought I would give this a try. Huge yawn fest and gave up about 100 pages in. Would not recommend.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at CSM

To Top