The Boy in the Suitcase
Review: Originally published by Danish co-authors Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis in 2008 as Drengen i kufferten, The Boy in the Suitcase introduces Red Cross nurse Nina Borg.
Nina hasn't spoken to her friend Karin in many months, but she can't ignore the history of their nearly 20-year friendship when Karin calls with an odd request: pick up a railway station locker key and retrieve the contents, a suitcase. The favor also comes with an even odder caveat: don't let anyone see you do it, and don't open the suitcase until you are alone. Nina agrees, and when she has it, she is shocked to discover that a toddler, a small boy, has been stuffed inside. He had been drugged but otherwise seems in good health. Not wanting to get involved in what is sure to be a time-consuming, legal proceeding involving the child, she attempts to return him to Karin, unaware that there are others also looking for the boy, including his estranged parents.
It's really hard to enjoy The Boy in the Suitcase when the basic plot premise is so impossible to accept: that an intelligent and caring woman, whose job involves to a large degree the safety and security of children, finds a boy stuffed into a suitcase and doesn't notify the authorities. She doesn't do so even after finding her friend Karin beaten to death. To be sure, much is made of the dilemma she faces, the mental anguish in deciding what to do … but there is only one choice and it's a simple one that any reasonable person would make in a heartbeat. Of course, had she done the obvious there would be nothing more for the authors to write about, which is another problem with the book: there isn't much of a story anyway. The Boy in the Suitcase opens with multiple characters involved in their own subplots. All well and good … as far as it goes. But none of the characters are really all that engaging and there is little suspense in what follows, with the flatly written and minimally developed storylines converging in a reasonable, predictable, even passive manner.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided a copy of The Boy in the Suitcase for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Soho Crime (Hardcover), October 2012
ISBN-13: 9781616951702; ISBN-10: 1616951702
Location(s) referenced in The Boy in the Suitcase: Denmark
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The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis — A Nina Borg Crime Novel
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: November 2011
List Price: $24.00