A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen is a variation on ‘a message in a bottle.’ This message was written in blood with a heading of HELP in Danish, though Icelandic was first considered. The bottle was found in fishermen nets, on a ship that eventually sunk with all on board, but not before they turned it over to a Scottish policeman who died in a car chase after receiving the bottle. The bottle was eventually picked up about four years later by a curious tech genius who broke the bottle to find the note written in blood. The bottle and note finally arrived in the hands of Carl Morck, a Danish cop with Department Q, the cold case department. To add to their woes, Carl’s offices have asbestos problems so he and his assistants, Rose and Assad have to find new temporary office space in an already overstaffed office building.
We know the note was written by one of two boys being held by a man who was going to presumably kill these lads. The one lad with hands bound and mouth duct taped, somehow wrote this note behind his back in his own blood and forced it into a bottle that was floating in the debris that was around them in the fjord water they were being held. One lad was killed while the other was not returned after a ransom was paid with instructions that the murderer would find them if they told the cops. Their fate and murderer is the subject of this mystery.
Religious cults, rebellious sons, and pay back are the backbone of this devilish plot. The incarnate himself is a master of planning, of observing, and then striking with a wrath equal to none. And with the single purpose of wiping the smile off his father’s face at the expense of others. He is plodding along one God loving soul at a time, while the other is there as a reminder. But even for him it gets complicated.
Chaplin was much funnier than the chaplain’s son.