"In the old Vesterbro apartment buildings on the other side of the street, she could see into the still-lit kitchens. On the ground floor, a young man was making coffee in a bistro coffeepot, calling back his half of a conversation to someone behind him. He put the coffeepot on a tray with a collection of cups and turned away from the window with a smile on his face. Nina couldn’t help wondering if the lives of other people were really as simple as they looked. As simple, and as happy.
Probably not, she thought drily. It was a distortion of a kind she was an expert at providing for herself, or so her therapist had informed her. She was always busy telling herself that she was the only one who didn’t fit in, while everyone else was one big happy community. And she was also an expert at making herself believe that she was the only one who could save the world an put things right, while others were too busy buying flat-screen televisions and redecorating their kitchens and making bistro coffee and being happy."
Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis. The boy in the suitcase. Soho Crime, 2011, p. 164
Given the title, this you expect: A suitcase pulled out of a locker at the Copenhagen train station contains a 3-year-old boy. This you don’t: He’s alive. With that single detail what might have been a mere homicide morphs into a more bizarre puzzle. Holding the bag, as it were, is Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse and the star of the best-selling Danish crime series of which this is the first book. She’s afraid of what will happen to the boy if she turns him over to the authorities, and soon enough she finds the beaten body of the friend who’d given her the locker’s key without explanation. Adding to her confusion, she doesn’t speak the boy’s language. In the city’s red-light district, where many nationalities gather, Nina finds a language match — Lithuanian — and a kind prostitute to act as translator. At the same time the boy’s mother discovers that he was kidnapped for the same man who had adopted her first-born. “He collects my children, she thought, with a chill of horror.
The NewYork Times
By Susannah Meadows
Published: November 16, 2011