Friday, March 2, 2012

The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol & Agnet Friis

The Boy in the Suitcase garnered a number of accolades from reviewers. This is the first in a series of mysteries written by two women Kaaberol and Friis.

Yet another novel from Scandinavia— Denmark—that contains crisp, almost spartan language, and a devious plot.

The protagonist, Nina Borg, works for the Red Cross and is a rather over zealous soul who often overlooks her own family and safety so that she can be involved in rescue missions. In this first of the series a friend asks her for help. Initially this seems like an easy task—pick up a suitcase at a Copenhagen train station.

What starts out as a simple requests ratchets up when she discovers that the suitcase contains a small boy—drugged and close to death, but alive.

That incident propels the story forward—with numerous threads that at times seem to be unraveling, but do eventually blend together. There's Sigita, the single mother from Lithuania, Jucas who hires himself out to undertake a variety of rather shady and violent tasks, Jan, an upper middle class individual with a family and a lifestyle indicative of a successful individual.

Rather than be a banal book where a killing takes place for no known reason or reasons applicable to the killer, the crimes here revolve around a social issue.

I know I should applaud the author for taking on the story of illegally spiriting children away from their homes and families, but I found the story plodding—or maybe it was the translation that didn't do justice to the original.

Library Book Challenge

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