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The Boy in the Suitcase (A Nina Borg Novel) Hardcover – November 8, 2011
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The New York Times Book Review Notable Crime Book of 2011
Strand Magazine Critics Award Nominee
Indie Next List November 2011 Pick
Barry Award Nominee for Best First Novel
Harald Morgensen Award for Best Danish Thriller of the Year
Glass Key Crime Fiction Award Nominee
“Here’s something you don’t often see in Nordic noir fiction—a novel written by two women about the criminal mistreatment of women and children, compassionately told from a feminine perspective and featuring female characters you can believe in . . . the first collaborative effort of Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis, and it packs an almighty punch.”
—The New York Times Book Review, Notable Crime Book of 2011
“Fans of Nordic crime fiction, rejoice: Something is rotten in Denmark. But never fear, Red Cross nurse Nina Borg is on the case . . . A wild ride.”
—New York Post
“Terrific . . . What’s for sure is that, once you start reading, you can’t stop—it’s as if the poor kid’s life depends on your getting to the end as fast as possible . . . looks like another winning entry in the emotionally lacerating Scandinavian mystery sweepstakes.”
—The Washington Post
“Written in that sparse, uniquely Scandinavian style sure to draw comparisons with a certain blockbuster trilogy (this is better), this story packs plenty of emotional suspense and interpersonal friction without veering into melodrama. Kaaberbøl and Friis know when to reveal and when to pull back, presenting just enough back story about Sigita's upbringing and marriage, just enough about Nina's relationship with her family and friends, without ever interrupting the action. The disparate perspectives do as much to humanize all the action as they do to disorient—and I mean that in the best possible sense.”
“A frightening and tautly told story of the lengths to which people will go for family and money.”
“A terrific central character and a great plot . . . As the story builds, each storyline is woven in, and no character, including Nina Borg, is what we think . . . A series to watch.”—Toronto Globe and Mail
"Soho is known for high-quality crime fiction set around the globe, so it's no surprise that this gripping Danish thriller kept me turning pages while its poignant characters lodged in my heart. Denmark has never looked so sinister!"
—Denise Hamilton, Edgar-winning author of the Eve Diamond series, The Last Embrace and Damage Control
"Stunning. Hooked me from the beginning. The Danish bourgeoisie and the criminal underworld collide in a moving, fast-paced thriller with psychological depth."
—Cara Black, bestselling author of Murder in the Marais
"Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnette Friis have created a dark shimmering gem of a crime thriller in The Boy in the Suitcase. Using the reliable skills we’ve come to expect from their Nordic brethren—clean tight prose, recognizably human characters, a fierce social conscience and airtight plotting—they’ve fashioned as engaging a story as you’re going to read anytime soon. The pages blur you read them so quickly, and yet the wallop to your mind and heart is real and deep. There must be something in the water up there—for which we should all be profoundly grateful."
—David Corbett, Edgar-nominated author of Do They Know I’m Running?
“A must for Scandinavian crime fiction aficionados."
—Library Journal, Starred Review
“A great introduction to an award-winning team of Danish authors.”
—November 2011 Indie Next List
“Women characters get star turns in this book, with the most poignant being Sigita, the young single mother desperate to find her missing son. Realizing how acutely alone she is in this pursuit, Sigita summons a pugilistic tenacity in the face of the indifference of family and police to her son’s plight as well as her own.”
“Among the best crime novels of the year . . . marks Kaaberbøl and Friis as serious talents to be reckoned with, ready to be discovered by an American audience.”—Publishers Marketplace
“Stieg Larsson fans will find a lot to like in The Boy in the Suitcase . . . [Nina Borg] will strike many, particularly female readers, as a more appealing version of Lisbeth Salander.”
“Of all the recent Scandinavian thrillers that have been rushed into translation for fans of Stieg Larsson, here’s one whose pair of strong heroines taking on a monstrous conspiracy of men behaving badly is actually reminiscent of the Millennium Trilogy . . . A debut that’s a model of finely tuned suspense.”
“This past-paced, suspenseful thriller intertwines several stories, gradually revealing the motivations of multiple characters and building tremendous suspense. The novel should be recommended to anyone who enjoys Asa Larsson’s Rebecka Martinsson series and, especially, Christian Jungersen’s The Exception (2007), another Danish thriller focused on a group of female characters.”
“The Boy in the Suitcase ratchets along at a breathless pace, skillfully switching points of view in a tightly choreographed arrangement.”
"This is a thrilling and most urgent novel reflecting a terrifying reality."
—Maj Sjowall, bestselling co-author of the Martin Beck series
"Warning! If you open this book, your life will be on stand-by."
"Extraordinary . . . A crime novel where everything is perfectly done."
—The Weekend Newspaper (Denmark)
“The Boy in the Suitcase, cements Scandinavia’s reputation as a new hunting ground for tautly-plotted, well-written mysteries . . . a fast-paced thriller written in tight and sparse prose that seems to be the hallmark of Scandinavian mystery authors. A compelling read that you’ll find hard to put down.”
—Mystery Cime Librarian
"The first in a series of mysteries from Denmark is a highly emotional story of secrets and bad decisions. It is also about women: desperate, scared women; women who refuse to look at choices they’ve made; and most of all, a very determined, brave woman who has to get involved in the lives of others. It starts with a series of short chapters from the viewpoints of seemingly unconnected characters. The writing is sparse, never telling the readers more than they must know at the moment and the action and emotion are continuous. The surprise ending is perfect. You won’t be able to put this down."
“The Boy in the Suitcase is an exceptional crime fiction debut that shines a light on a tragic and real social issue. It manages to address this problem with a seriousness and social conscience that add significant weight to the story. It is an engaging, suspenseful, and excellently written crime fiction novel with complex and well-drawn characters which has been a bestseller throughout Scandinavia. The Boy in the Suitcase is definitely worth a read!”
—Scandinavian Books' Nordic Book Blog
“The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis is another exemplary Scandinavian mystery with a seriously driven heroine, and a most unusual plot and premise, that will keep you guessing until the very end.”
—BookLoons, Recommended Read
“A fast paced thriller that keeps the reader interested and invested from the moment Nina discovers the life stolen away inside that suitcase . . . Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis have written a story about motherhood, immigration, crime and punishment and redemption that needs no comparison.”
About the Author
More About the Author
While fantasy is her preferred genre when writing for children and YA, there is nothing remotely fairytale-like about her crime novels for adults. The Boy in the Suitcase, written in collaboration with Agnete Friis, was called a "first rate thriller" by Michelle Wiener of Associated Press: "Written in that sparse, uniquely Scandinavian style sure to draw comparisons with a certain blockbuster trilogy (this is better), this story packs plenty of emotional suspense and interpersonal friction without veering into melodrama."
"I really enjoy writing in many different worlds - including our own - and for many different audiences. I sometimes feel it's the literary version of living in an auto camper: you can always change the view, and you're constantly meeting new people," says Kaaberbøl, who in real life lives on the small Channel Island of Sark, with her four dogs.
Top Customer Reviews
No, that is not giving away too much since that is pretty much the title of the book, but what the title does not tell you is what got us to this point. Is there more to this story than the obvious dark side of human kind.
Nina Borg is not your usual protagonist, she has some dark secrets of her own and only in future books, do I think, you will see more of what and who she is. Obsessed with her work as a Danish Red Cross nurse and helping immigrant refugees, Nina has seen the good and the bad in people and carries all of their scars; but what Nina finds in the train station locker will spin her world.
There are many storylines going on and the reader is pulled from one to the other knowing that they will all come to a climatic ending. But what ending will it be - as a mother searches for her missing son, a nurse trying to find where a child belongs, and a wealthy man who has set this whole nightmare in motion.
Kaaberbol and Friis know how to bring an intense book to a climatic end. The reader is left with only one thought, "Wow". Riveting and entertaining, this book is a proposed first in a series and I certainly hope that the future storylines will captivate me as this one has
One day as a favor for a friend she collects a suitcase from a locker - and finds a little boy inside, naked and unconscious. She doesn't dare involve the police, for reasons you'll discover when you read the book. She doesn't dare take the boy home, because they're being hunted. And she can't find out where he came from, because, when he wakes, he speaks a language she can't identify. How will Nina handle this insane situation? Read on...
The creepiest thing about the story is that we wonder, not how the boy came to be in the suitcase, but why. What awful fate was in store for him?
The cast of characters includes rich and poor, thugs and do-gooders, nosy neighbors and frightened kids caught in adult dramas. It took me a while to figure out who was who. The plot skips around between countries and characters. But I finally got my bearings and enjoyed the ride. The interesting personality of Nina the nurse is slow to emerge, but I liked her when I got to know her.
Certainly Nina is a handy person to have around when fists fly and guns go off. She can staunch the flow of blood and dress the wounds. I look forward to seeing her talents at work in the next book in the series!
Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis are a new team in the thriller genre and starting out strong. They tell a gripping and original story.
Somehow, all of these people are interrelated, but we must wait patiently while the authors connect the dots. Nina, in an attempt to help a friend, winds up trying to protect a terrified toddler who speaks no Danish. She is reluctant to go to the police, since she is leery of authority figures. The authors shift back and forth between Nina, Jan, Jucas, Sigita, and others. We grow to care about the desperate Sigita, whose son has gone missing, and the driven Nina, who is on the run with a youngster she is determined to shield from harm. It eventually becomes apparent that Sigita, Nina, and the little boy are all in grave danger.
Although Kaaberbøl and Fris maintain a high level of suspense, the plot hinges on a twist (revealed at the end) that is melodramatic and far-fetched.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good, solid thriller about international human smuggling. The author switches between viewpoints to tell the story of the little boy in the suitcase and the web of intrigue... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Marjorie DeLuca
Loved this book....a great read which I couldnt put down.Published 8 days ago by Ms. Robyne M. Tracy
Very slow and the foreign names really slowed down the reading. I struggled to make it to the end expecting at least a really amazing finish because this got good reviews. NOPE. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Alisa Ann Mirabella
In the beginning, I kept wondering why Nina didn't just take the boy to the police. Then as I read, we jumped from character to character. I had no idea who these people were. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Tina Foster
In “The Boy in the Suit Case” by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friss, Nina is asked by a friend to retrieve a suitcase out of a locker. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Heather Martin
What a story. Excellent thriller, one of the best I have read this year. You really need to keep up with the characters, not an easy read, but more than worth your time. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sonja Randall
This was a story with many twists and turns. It is hard to keep me interested, but this one did.Published 1 month ago by Laura M Rosen