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Department Q books in order

Looking for Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q books in order? Look no further!

Discover Scandinavia’s bestselling writing sensation Jussi Adler-Olsen with his engrossing series featuring Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q, Copenhagen’s cold cases division.

Unflinchingly brutal, unapologetically dark and with a surprising twist of humour, it’s no wonder that several of the stories have already made it to the big screen.

Fans of Steig Larsson and Nordic noir will love these Scandi thrillers and you’re unlikely to find another series quite like Department Q.

Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q books in order:

Mercy by Jussi Adler-Olsen

1. Mercy (2011)
Film: The Keeper of Lost Causes

Copenhagen detective Carl Mørck has been taken off homicide to run a newly created department for unsolved crimes. His first case concerns politician Merete Lynggaard, who vanished five years ago. Everyone says she’s dead. Everyone says it’s a waste of time. He thinks they’re right.

But she isn’t dead… yet. Can they save her in time?

Disgrace by Jussi Adler-Olsen

2. Disgrace (2012)
Film: The Absent One

Department Q solves the unsolvable. So when a file on the brutal murder of a brother and sister 20 years ago lands on the desk of Detective Carl Mørck he doesn’t understand why, because the killer has already been found, and the case is closed.

Why has it turned up on Carl’s desk? And who put it there?

Redemption by Jussi Adler-Olsen

3. Redemption (2013)

In Copenhagen’s cold cases division, Carl Mørck has received a bottle. It holds an old and decayed message, written in blood.

It is a cry for help from two boys. Is it real? Who are they and why weren’t they reported missing? Can they possibly still be alive? Carl needs to find out, and fast…

Guilt by Jussi Adler-Olsen

4. Guilt (2013)

1987: Nete Rosen thought she’d put her traumatic youth behind her. Her caring foster parents and loving husband helped her start again. But then a man from her past reappears, who threatens to destroy her new life. She won’t be drawn back into that nightmare – she won’t be a victim again.

2010: Detective Carl Mørck from Copenhagen’s cold case division is looking into the disappearance of Rita Nielsen, an escort agency owner. But as he investigates, he discovers that Rita is only one piece of the puzzle. It’s not a one-off incident, but part of a disturbing pattern that’s been hidden for over 20 years…

Buried by Jussi Adler-Olsen

5. Buried (2014)

Over three years ago, a civil servant vanished after returning from a work trip to Africa. Presumed dead, his family still want answers. It’s up to Department Q, Denmark’s cold cases department, to find out the truth. But what Detective Carl Morck doesn’t know, is that the key to the investigation is right here in Copenhagen.

Fifteen-year-old Marco Jameson is tough, smart and very suspicious of police. Sleeping rough and hiding in the shadows is his way of life. But what does he know worth killing for – and will the police find him before whoever he is running from?

The Hanging Girl by Jussi Adler-Olsen

6. The Hanging Girl (2015)

In the middle of a hard-won morning nap in the basement of police headquarters, Carl Mørck receives a call from a colleague working on the Danish island of Bornholm. Carl is dismissive at first, but then he receives some shocking news. Carl then has no choice but to lead Department Q into the tragic cold case of a vivacious seventeen-year-old girl who vanished from school, only to be found dead hanging high up in a tree.

The investigation will take them from the remote island of Bornholm to a hidden cult, where Carl and his assistants must stop a string of new murders by a skilled manipulator who refuses to let anything-or anyone-get in the way.

The Scarred Woman by Jussi Adler-Olsen

7. The Scarred Woman (2017)

In a Copenhagen park the body of an elderly woman is discovered. Though the case bears a striking resemblance to another unsolved homicide from over a decade ago, the police cannot find any connection between the two victims. Across town a group of young women are being hunted down. The attacks seem random, but could these brutal acts of violence be related? 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 a breakdown, their colleague Rose is struggling to deal with the ghosts of her past – a past seemingly connected to one of the division’s most sinister case-files. It is up to Carl, Assad and Gordon to unearth the dark and violent truth plaguing Rose before it is too late.

Victim 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen

8. Victim 2117 (2020)

The newspaper refers to the dead body only as Victim 2117 – the two thousand, one hundred and seventeenth refugee to die in the Mediterranean Sea.

But to three people, the victim is so much more, and the death sets off a chain of events that throws Department Q, Copenhagen’s cold cases division led by Detective Carl Mørck, into a deeply dangerous – and deeply personal – case: a case that not only reveals dark secrets about the past, but has deadly implications for the future.

For a troubled Danish teen, the death of Victim 2117 becomes a symbol of everything he resents and is the perfect excuse to unleash his murderous impulses. For Ghallib, a brutal tormentor from the notorious prison Abu Ghraib, the death of Victim 2117 was the first step in a terrorist plot, years in the making. And for Department Q’s Assad, Victim 2117 is a link to his buried past and to the family he assumed was long dead.

The Shadow Murders by Jussi Adler-Olsen

9. The Shadow Murders (2022)

On her 60th birthday, a woman takes her own life. When the case lands on Detective Carl Mørck’s desk, he can’t imagine what this has to do with Department Q, Copenhagen’s cold cases division. It’s a tragedy to be sure, but the cause of death seems to be clear. But his superior, Marcus Jacobsen, is convinced that this is not in fact a suicide, but a murder related to an unsolved case that has been plaguing him since 1988.

At Marcus’ behest, Carl and the Department Q gang-Rose, Assad, and Gordon-reluctantly begin to investigate. However, they quickly discover that Marcus is on to something: Every two years for the past three decades, there have been unusual, impeccably timed deaths with connections between them that cannot be ignored. As they dig deeper, it transpires that these “accidents” are in fact murders by a very cunning and violent criminal.

Faced with their toughest case yet, made only more difficult with COVID-19 restrictions and the challenges of their own personal lives, the Department Q team must race to find the culprit before the next murder is committed, as it is becoming increasingly clear that the killer is far from finished.

There you have it – Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q books in order! How many have you read? Let us know in the comments below!

Books Like Department Q:


    Read them all. Book 10 is also out in German as it is on Audible. No sign anywhere of an English version though odd.

    Read all of them. I know nr 10 is out, saw a Dutch translation, but not the English one.
    Don’t know the English title. In Dutch it
    Is “een raam, geen sleutel”, which translates ino “one window, no key”. But I don’t know what the actual English translation will be

    I have read them all . Unfair the end of the “Shadow Murders ” . When can we read the next one .?…

    Have read them Al. Can’t wait for the next one to discover the final resolution of The Shadow Murders.

    When is the 10th book coming? Can’t wait to see how they get out of this one! Then we can let Carl, Mona and Lucia have a fulfilling retirement and let the team take over. I wish they were real people. Just the kind I would like for friends. Are they based on real people?

    Just read Mercy, found I was reading faster because the pressure was dropping near the end, very good, will be reading the rest.

    Read them all bar victim 2117. Brilliant reads

    Reading “Mercy”, my first Adler-Olsen book. Love how the story is building! Translation is excellent. I’m hooked.

    I have read them all, twice! I hope there will soon be another Dept ‘Q’ book.

    Have read them all. Brilliant plots and written with real humor.

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