Cake On Some More Makeup To Cover All Those Lines

I know I’ve been MIA all week, but I’ve been a little preoccupied.  On a very positive note, I was offered a new position at my current company!  I won’t begin working in my new department until either the middle or end of this month (they’re still figuring out the best time for me to transition), but I’m very excited about the new opportunity.

Despite the flurry of excitement/nerves in preparing for my internal interview, being offered/accepting the position, and making the announcement to my current coworkers (who were all amazing and supportive of the move!), I managed to complete my third book of 2014.  I realize that’s nothing in the grand scheme of things, and that I’ll need to read like 10 books in a month or something crazy like that in order to reach my goal of 50 for the year … But it’s still something.

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Image courtesy of www.goodreads.com.

The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis

317 pages

I’ll be honest … This book has been sitting untouched on my bookshelf for quite a long time.  Each time I’ve scanned my books to select a new one to start, it’s been noted as one I haven’t yet read … But I always fail to even pull it from the shelf to read the summary.

It’s not that I thought it wouldn’t be an interesting book.  I mean, I bought it for a reason.  But I just wasn’t really in the mood to read a Danish crime thriller.

I’m not sure what prompted me to pick it up this time, but I’m really glad I did.

The Boy in the Suitcase begins by introducing readers to several characters in both Denmark and Lithuania.  The authors do a great job building up the suspense, so much so that I found myself glued to the book, desperate to know what happened next.

The heroine (or, perhaps more accurately, the anti-heroine) in this story is a Danish nurse named Nina Borg.  When an old friend asks her for a huge favor, she finds herself unable to say no.  The favor?  Nina is to pick something up from a public locker in the Copenhagen train station.  She is to pick it up discreetly, and she is not to open it until she’s completely alone.

Inside the locker, Nina finds a suitcase.  And inside the suitcase, as the title suggests, is a naked, drugged three-year-old boy.

Kaaberbol and Friis spend the rest of the novel slowly peeling away the layers of the mystery.  Where did this boy come from?  Does he even have a family?  Why was he targeted specifically?  Who kidnapped him?  What do they want with him?

I won’t go into much detail because I’m very anti-spoiler … But I will say that the authors did a great job of tying all of the characters’ stories together and throwing in a few plot twists that actually kept me guessing.

Although the novel was pretty solid, there were a few things that knocked the rating down a bit.  First, there were several errors (mostly spelling).  As I mentioned in my last book review, this is just something that annoys me and kind of takes away some of the enjoyment of the book.  It may sound a little dramatic, but I’ll be caught up in the story and then suddenly I’m thrown off when I notice that the word “European” is missing a letter.  I know something that trivial wouldn’t bother a lot of people, but it bothers me.

The other issue I had was the fact that some of the characters were only partially developed.  Sure, we don’t need to know everyone’s entire history, but it seemed as though Kaaberbol and Friis initially wanted to share more about specific characters but then changed their minds.  These partially developed characters left me wanting more … But not in a good way.

Overall, though, The Boy in the Suitcase was a very enjoyable read.  I didn’t see the ending coming a mile away (which is, as I’ve mentioned before, a very good thing in my eyes!), and it was one of the better translated novels I’ve read since there weren’t a lot of awkwardly worded phrases.  I’m glad I chose to read it, and would recommend it to anyone interested in crime fiction.

I’d rate The Boy in the Suitcase FOUR STARS.  I would read it again in the future, and I’m now interested in checking out the other novels by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis that feature Nina Borg (there are three so far, including this one).

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