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