In the heart-pounding next installment of the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling Department Q series, a terrifying international investigation reveals the complex backstory of one of the department's own—the enigmatic Assad.

The newspaper refers to the body only as Victim 2117—the two thousand one hundred and seventeenth refugee to die in the Mediterranean Sea. But to three people, the unnamed 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 troubled Danish teen Alex, whose identity is hidden behind his computer screen, the death of Victim 2117 becomes a symbol of everything he resents and the perfect excuse to unleash his murderous impulses in real life. For Ghallib, one of the most brutal tormentors from Abu Ghraib—Saddam Hussein’s infamous prison—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 the family he assumed was long dead.

With the help of the Department Q squad—Carl, Rose, and Gordon—Assad must finally confront painful memories from his years in the Middle East in order to find and capture Ghallib. But with the clock ticking down to Alex’s first kill and Ghallib’s devastating attack, the thinly spread Department Q will need to stay one step ahead of their most lethal adversary yet if they are to prevent the loss of thousands of innocent lives.
Praise for Jussi Adler-Olsen's Department Q series

“Scandinavian crime novels don’t get much darker than Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q police procedurals.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“It can be hard to distinguish Scandinavian crime writers... but Jussi Adler-Olsen is a name to know. In a crowded genre, Adler-Olsen is an outlier.”—GQ.com 

“If you like the dark humor, wisecracking, and layered betrayals of Raymond Chandler, then read Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series.”—Men's Journal

“Thrilling, clever, and driven by a rough-hewn protagonist.”—Paste Magazine

“A tense, pleasurable read.”—USA Today

“This series has enough twists to captivate contemporary mystery readers and enough substance and background to entertain readers with historical and literary tastes.”—Library Journal (starred review)