April 13, 2012

The Boy In The Suitcase

























To me, the great favor which Scandinavian crime novels have enjoyed is greatly overrated. Stieg Larsson, Jussi Adler-Olsen, and Jo Nesbo write thrillers with a great plot, but also with an over abundance of bloody, gory, dehumanizing horror. I haven't really liked any of these crime novels, but I consider The Boy in The Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis, to be the best of the bunch.

When Karin asks her friend Nina to pick up a suitcase in a locker, the last thing Nina expects to find is a little boy inside. When she does, she has unknowingly thrust herself into the middle of a very volatile situation. Searching for the boy is his mother, Sagita, and the man, Jucas, who has stolen him. Who will find him first? Will he be found alive? One wonders if this is yet another tale which involves nothing but destruction and death. Fortunately it is told with compassion, by authors who surely know what it means to be a mother. To have had a mother. Or, at the very least, to honor life.

“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 Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis, and it packs an almighty punch.”—The New York Times Book Review, Notable Crime Book of 2011

11 comments:

  1. Wow, what a story! I haven't tried any Scandinavian crime novels yet but this sounds like a good one to start with.

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  2. Oh this sounds AMAZING!! Onto the list it goes :) You've never steered me wrong in the past. Also, thanks for your wonderful, supportive comments :) Everything went really well between me and my mom…better than I could've hoped for!

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  3. You have definitely piqued my interest with your description of this one.

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  4. This one is on my list. Sounds like a winner and I appreciate what you are saying about the brutality of many of the latest crime novels from Scandinavia. Sometimes I'm OK with reading them and sometimes I have to move on to something else for a while.

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  5. One of the librarians at my local library recommended this to me. Now I need to find time to read it!

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  6. This one sounds like a newfangled version of Nordic crime fiction. Very nice, concise review, Bellezza.

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  7. I’m with you - not such a fan of the Dragon Tattoo series. There is a lot of violence there.

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  8. I've avoided the Dragon Tattoo series because I don't like reading about crime, whether real or fictional, although I'll read the occasional mystery. But, your last paragraph makes me think this might be one I'd like to read . . . someday. :)

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  9. I read this last year. Crime fiction is not really my thing, but I thought this was a great book.

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  10. I couldn't read the Tattoo books. Just not for me at all. I much prefer the Icelandic writer Arnaldur Indridason. I think his books even have a kind of elegance not often seen in this genre.

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    1. I don't know of that author so I'm glad you left the name. I also very much liked the mood created by Peter Hoeg in Smilla's Sense of Snow. To me, the horrific violence of the newer books is not necessary.

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