The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Carl Mørck is a troublemaker on his Danish homicide squad. When the government decides that it needs to create a new department to solve high profile cold cases, Mørck's bosses decide this is the perfect way to be rid of him. After he returns from leave because he was shot while investigating a murder, they set him up in the basement of the building and give him one assistant, Assad. We aren't too sure where Assad is from (though he says Syria) or what he has done in his past, but he proves quite useful in memorizing files, getting things done, and finding facts.
Assad decides that they are going to work on a case of a missing MP Merete Lynggard. She was never got off the boat on her way to Germany and is presumed to be dead. Though Mørck wants to sleep and be lazy in the basement, where no one can see him, Assad prods him to do work. Despite this, you can tell that Mørck is a good investigator, he just needs some help getting off his butt to start doing the work. Once he's on a roll though, he doesn't stop until he finds what he is looking for.
This book, for me, was primarily character driven. The dynamic between Mørck and Assad is very entertaining and you really want to learn more about Assad. Beyond this, I really liked Mørck as a character. He is smart, a bit smug, and doesn't suffer fools lightly. At the same time, he doesn't stay upset very long but rather shrugs it off with a snide remark.
The mystery itself wasn't fantastic, however the characters and the banter between them is what makes this book so enjoyable.
First Line: "She scratched her fingertips on the smooth walls until they bled, and pounded her fists on the thick panes until she could no longer feel her hands."
Would you share with mom? I wouldn't need to, she read this and wanted me to read it too!