The Boy in the Suitcase: Taut Scandinavian MysteryBy · Comments
Title: The Boy in the Suitcase
Authors: Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis
Scandinavia is the home of IKEA, ABBA, and Volvo, but until late Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy hit the best-seller lists, Scandinavia was not known for its superb mystery novels. Danish authors Kaaberbol and Friis’ book, The Boy in the Suitcase, cements Scandinavia’s reputation as a new hunting ground for tautly-plotted, well-written mysteries.
The Boy in the Suitcase is the first book in a series featuring inveterate do-gooder Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse and mother of two. When an estranged friend leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina retrieves a suitcase from the locker only to find a naked three-year-old boy locked inside the bag. He’s unconscious after having been drugged, but he’s still alive. When he wakes up, he speaks to her in a language that she doesn’t understand. Nina doesn’t know anything about the boy, and she doesn’t know who to trust. For reasons you’ll find out when you read the book, she also won’t go to the police. She knows (with apologies to Hamlet) that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Then the friend who gave her the key to the locker is found brutally murdered, and Nina and the boy flee across Denmark in fear of their lives, while Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, and who is after them. Nina is a brave and determined woman, at once resourceful and tough, yet compassionate.
The Boy in the Suitcase has garnered rave reviews from many major papers, and is 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.