Marco, a 15-year-old boy, just wants to be a regular citizen and go to school. But his uncle, who is head of their clan, only sees these dreams as trouble. Forced to steal and beg for money on the streets, Marco secretly does all he can to better himself and learn as much as he can. When he overhears plans to cripple him, forcing him to abandon his dreams and tow the line, he knows he must escape. In his hours hiding from his Uncle and the rest of the clan, Marco makes a terrible discovery. Wanting to do the right thing brings his path across Carl's more than once.
The Marco Effect is the best yet in the Department Q series from Jussi Adler-Olsen. Poor Assad is still recovering from an injury in the previous book, Carl's been out of the country and seems more than his usual out-of-touch self, and Rose is, well, Rose. Readers learn a touch more about the characters, with the usual exception of Carl's assistant Assad—he is still a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Changes in the department and in Carl's personal life leave him as befuddled as ever, but he seems to be less of an ass. At least Rose, although quirky as ever, is looking more and more like an underutilized asset.
The Marco Effect serves up another satisfying ending and case cleared by Department Q.