Review: Nurse Nina Borg comes to the aid of a young Roma boy, who is suffering from a mysterious malady of unknown origin, in Invisible Murder, the second crime novel in this series by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis, originally published in 2010 in Denmark as Et stille umærkeligt drab.
Nina's passion is caring for the underprivileged of Denmark and she is especially drawn towards children. She finds a group within the undocumented Roma (Eastern European gypsy) population, who are living in a converted garage workshop. They are dehydrated and exhibiting various symptoms of illness. Despite Nina's promise to her husband that she won't get involved, she does, though she feels helpless as the condition of the weakest continues to deteriorate. Meanwhile, a couple of youths get involved in the trade of apparently worthless items from their native Hungary to a buyer in Denmark, not realizing what they are selling are being used in a most dangerous manner …
It's probably wrong to state that Invisible Murder lacks focus, but there is a real sense that the authors intentionally allowed the numerous tangential storylines — at least a couple of which don't seem to add much value — to become a distraction … though to what literary end isn't at all clear. The primary crime itself is intricately devised though its development takes a very long, circuitous path through the book, which isn't so much of a whodunit as it is a whydunit. (The clever title is a clue to answering the latter question, and is explained in the final pages.) Nina's role is not exactly secondary, but does seem rather incidental to the events as the play out. Fans of the first book in this series may well take to this one, too, but it's likely that other readers will find Invisible Murder to be far too heavy on social commentary and far too light on crime and suspense, a very difficult novel to both follow and enjoy.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Invisible Murder for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Boy in the Suitcase
Soho Crime (Hardcover), November 2011
ISBN-13: 9781569479810; ISBN-10: 156947981X
Location(s) referenced in Invisible Murder: Denmark; Hungary
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Invisible Murder by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis — A Nina Borg Crime Novel
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: October 2012
List Price: $25.00