In 2007 Copenhagen a post-traumatically stressed cop who is getting on the nerves of his colleagues is kicked upstairs (actually to an office in the basement) to head a new cold-case unit for all of Denmark. The unit is comprised of himself, a car and an assistant, a refugee Arab, ostensibly from Syria, called Assad.
So as to be seen to be doing something the cop, Carl, with the encouragement of Assad, who begins to display remarkable initiative as well as unexplained investigative talents, start looking into the disappearance in 2002 of a young female politician. Their motivation is that of all the cases they could look into this is the only one they vaguely remember.
The book alternates between this apparently hopeless 2007 investigation, and the experiences, beginning in 2002 of the politician, Merete, and her efforts to survive and stay sane in the face of an apparently senseless kidnapping.
The three central characters of Merete, Carl and Assad are well drawn and hugely likeable. And so as the two stories converge in 2007 worry for how things will turn out for them builds considerable tension.
The Keeper of Lost Causes is a gripping and hugely satisfying piece of work, the start of a series featuring the cold case unit, nicknamed Department Q. It is a series I look forward to reading more of.