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The Boy in the Suitcase (Nina Borg #1)

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  21,421 ratings  ·  2,451 reviews
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is a compulsive do-gooder who can’t say no when someone asks for help—even when she knows better. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a thr ...more
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Soho Crime (first published 2008)
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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg LarssonThe Snowman by Jo NesbøThe Redbreast by Jo Nesbø
Scandinavian/Nordic Mysteries
17th out of 215 books — 498 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonPippi Longstocking by Astrid LindgrenThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg LarssonHunger by Knut Hamsun
Best Scandinavian and Nordic Literature
54th out of 866 books — 859 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 02, 2011 Aubrey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Liz Mathews, Ingrid Powell, Ron Hogan, Guy Gonzalez, Trudy Russell & Jenny Arch
Recommended to Aubrey by: Juliet Grames
First I have to say---what a tremendous book! I don't usually read thrillers---I usually find them too stressful to read on top of everything else I have to deal with in life---and also the title threw me off initially because reading about atrocities done to children is not something I want to read about (if the last bit throws you off too, take it from me as someone who can't read that sort of stuff, you will be surprised when you open this book what it actually turns out to be---I can't say m ...more
A three-year old Lithuanian boy is kidnapped;his single mother tries desperately to find him. Meanwhile, in Denmark, a nurse named Nina Borg finds him in a suitcase and sets out to find his family. Will mother and child be reunited?

The point of view skips between various characters and countries. The effect is to create suspense: how will all these characters be brought together? The multiple perspectives also humanize the characters, even the villains.

My problem with the book is the character
I liked the story line but that's about it. I don't think it was executed well enough for my tastes or maybe I am judging this book rather harshly after just reading two great books. This is a list of problems I had with this book:
1)I did not like the way the characters were introduced in the book.
2)I do not like keeping track off too many characters that just kept cropping out at the beginning of the book without any idea of how they related to one other.
3)Every chapter was a new character w
Miamikel SS

Remember "it was a dark and stormy night ..." the headline that grabs your attention and leaves you a little jumpy, wondering what's around the next corner? That's THIS book! I loved this book literally AT THE TITLE.

I wanted to know - what boy? Why was he in a suitcase? Alive? Or Not?

This book is John Hart meets Stieg Larsson! Even though this book started out a bit confusing - the characters are jumbled together and introduced a little haphazardly, I found that part of the intrique! It does st
This is just what I needed right now. I've been in such a reading slump that I feel like everything that I've tried to read has just dragged on forever. I don't know if it's the new job or what, but it's been making me crazy to feel like I've been going through the motions of reading without actually feeling or caring about most of what I've read. There've been exceptions, but it's mostly just been a slog of book after book that I just want to be done with so I can try something else.

So this wa
Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated"
An excellent book! What is about the Scandinavian/Northern European mystery/thriller writers?

This book is set in Denmark and the main character is an aid nurse dealing with immigrants. Immigrants in Europe are a touchy subject, a bit like the Hispanic/Mexican illegal immigrants to this country.

The story deals with dark topics and is very gritty. Much grittier, I have to admit, than my view of what Denmark is really like.

A boy is found in a suitcase. What was he doing there? Who put him there?
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Rate 2 stars. Nina Borg, Red Cross nurse, wife and mother of two to the rescue! Reviewer's continually compare this to Steig Larson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Both are action packed by respected Danish authors. It is a really satisfying account of the rescue of an abducted child. My low rating is based on the writing style rather than the plot. It did not flow well, choppy and difficult to follow. In any event it’s still worth reading if this is your genre. ...more
The Boy in the Suitcase is yet another Scandinavian crime novel (this one from Denmark), and it's a solid thriller, but there's nothing that makes it too terribly memorable with the exception of the nearly unbelievable stupidity of one of the main characters, Nina Borg.

Nina is an educated woman, a nurse, but time after time in this novel, she makes unbelievably stupid decisions. Of course, had she made common-sense choices--nothing requiring great wisdom, just simple common sense--then there wou
Lance Charnes
Feb 18, 2012 Lance Charnes rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Scandinavian noir
Shelves: fiction-crime
The Boy in the Suitcase is yet another entry in the growing catalog of Scandinoir coming to these shores, and in many ways fits the general pattern: a socially maladapted protagonist, evil doings involving underage victims, societal rot, Eastern European villains, heat waves. That its central figure isn’t a police detective doesn’t move it very far out of the middle of this particular stream.

Nina Borg (that protagonist) is a Danish Red Cross nurse who allows herself to be badgered by her slightl
Another entry in the Scandinavian mystery/thriller category. This one was very good and not nearly as violent as Steig Larsson's first book (I prefer the lower violence levels). Will read the next book then see if this is a series I want to stick with. This book had lots of characters moving in and out. I did not pay close enough attention to this in the beginning, so sometimes was confused about who was related to whom. I'll do better on the next book!
Syahira Sharif
Mar 18, 2012 Syahira Sharif rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: like thriller and the "hattar kvinnor" dark world in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read this book WHILE I WAS AT DISNEY WORLD, and if you know me, and you know how much I love Disney World, you'll know that's pretty darn significant.

This was not a story I devoured all in one go, like a box of Sugar Babies. I found myself stopping every few chapters, not because I wanted to think about it consciously, but it kind of felt like the story was simmering way back at the base of my brain, like when you put on a batch of ham-and-potato-and-cheese soup in the slow cooker allll day s
I've just finished reading The Boy in the Suitcase and boy what a book, what a thriller, what a story.
The characters are very well described and it's pretty easy to understand who is who despite some of the reviews I read here.
The action and the atmophere are very well described too and it's full of suspense, twists and turns.
But the thing that I liked the most is the fact that many of the actions described in the story seem to be motivated out of love, even the actions that are all but noble. O
The Boy in the Suitcase is the first in a new "Nordic Noir" thriller/mystery series by Lene Kaaberbøl. The setting is Denmark. One of the reasons I love these "Nordic Noir" books is that they smash many of the stereotypes I didn't even realize I held about the ideal state of the Scandinavian countries and their welcoming position to all people-citizens and otherwise.

Wherever do I pick up these ideas?

Nina Borg is a nurse who works with the displaced, Denmark's unwanted immigrants and poor. Her ne
Gail Cooke

This was my introduction to authors Kaaberbol and Friis, and it was a wowser! Their intricate plotting, clean, tight, sometimes visceral prose, and characters about whom we care all combine to form an unforgettable thriller, the first in the Nina Borg trilogy.

A Red Cross nurse, Nina is an inveterate do-gooder with an unshakable belief that she can make almost anything better, much to the chagrin of her husband. This combined with her role as a wife and mother often presents her with frightenin
Nancy Oakes
The Boy in the Suitcase is the opening installment of a series featuring main character Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse and member of an underground-type network that offers help to illegal immigrants in need who have little recourse to official services or other kinds of assistance. It's a series I will be following as the books are published in English; while Boy in the Suitcase has some "thriller"-type moments, it also continues the tradition of voicing concerns regarding social issues, most esp ...more
I saw some of the reviews this book was receiving so I decided to the audio version. Boy was I not disappointed. Katherine Kellgren is a phenomenal reader. I can see why she has won awards. She has gone above and beyond with taking voice lessons working on accents. She brings Nina Borg to life along with the other characters. This is a very well written story not only about Nina but about 3-year-old Mikas who is abducted from his mother Sigita Ramoskiene. The story takes place in Denmark and Lit ...more
Nina, the heroine nurse of the story, is asked by a friend of hers to pick a suitcase for her. She discovers a young boy in the suitcase, and instead of acting like a logical person (such as, calling the police for finding the owner of said drugged three year old), she decides to play a detective and find herself where the boy belongs. She discovers early on that there are some really bad guys after the toddler too, so she flees.
A great start, but it takes forever to get to real action (like mat
I came across this book in a Scandinavian literature list here on Goodreads, and the blurb immediately drew my attention. Having spent some time in Denmark, I still have a soft spot for all things Danish, so this book looked like a treat for me. Turns out, it’s a very good story and quite an enjoyable read. It also tackles some very important phenomena in our society, which should be discussed more often and more openly because in one way or another, they affect the very tissue society is made o ...more
“The boy in the suitcase” by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis is a Scandinavian mystery, following the lives of different characters as a little boy, Mikas, is kidnapped, put in a suitcase, and picked up by the unsuspecting Red Cross nurse, Nina Borg. While Nina has no clue what to do with the boy, one thing is clear as she sees an enraged man with a Nazi haircut beating the locker where the suitcase had lain: they are both in danger.

The same danger is felt acutely by Sigita, Mikas’s mother, afte
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Nina Borg is a Red Cross nurse who works at a clinic by day and by night helps hundreds of illegal immigrants hiding across Denmark. With a history of abruptly leaving her husband Morten and their two young kids for stints in refugee camps in Africa, Nina is passionate, caring and driven to help the unfortunate. When her old friend Karin calls her with an urgent request one day, Nina doesn't say no. Karin gives her a key for a locker at the Copenhagen train station which contains a suitcase. And ...more
A fast-paced, engaging mystery/thriller. The title drew me in and I was hooked by the first page. Not a dull moment in the book. I would recommend The Boy in the Suitcase to any fan of crime fiction. 4 suspenseful stars!
I think this would be a great book for the beach, unfortunately once you started it, you would never make it out to the beach. Its that good. Fast paced, great read.
I know that, objectively speaking, this is not the best book I've ever read. But as someone who enjoys intelligent murder mysteries/thrillers and as a fairly new mom who's wildly in love with her kid, this book went straight to a very emotional place, earning it thereby a rating that I'm not entirely sure I would've given it before I gave birth. The way the main female characters deal with their children and significant others resonated very deeply with me, as did their reactions to the nightmar ...more
Pr Latta
I'm very conflicted about this audiobook and I don't know how much is my own lack of knowledge of the Scandinavian and Eastern European political /cultural situation and my unfamiliarity with names and accents. I don't know if this would be as big an issue in print, since I could go back, look up, etc. I found myself too often lost, not knowing what country I was in or who was actually talking through no fault of the talented narrator. Unlike Sigita (mother of the boy), the main character of the ...more
Soho Press
I love this book so much I'm afraid my review will sound skewed, so instead I'm going to quote Sarah Weinman's piece on it from Publishers Lunch: "Among the best crime novels of the year.... The Boy in the Suitcase doesn't rely on flash and slam-bang twists, crafting suspense and pace from careful attenuation to how people really behave in extremely stressful situations.... Nina Borg, in her first outing as a series character, is a Red Cross nurse who suffers from one key problem of such jobs: s ...more
Lynda Kelly
I got to 29% and jacked it in. I'd had enough of the mistakes and they're nothing to do with the translation or the fact it's a foreign book. It's to do with basic editing and it drove me to utter distraction.
This is another translation that selected American spellings too. That always manages to get my back up when a book isn't set in America. However, the constant use of discrete and discretely and spelling it wrong every single time drove me NUTS ! As did the loss of hyphens.....three-yearold
Diane S.✨
When the book first starts it is a little confusing, trying to figure out who is in what country, but easier as the book goes on and more is revealed. Very well written, with building suspense and a slow reveal. Although what is going on we know from the beginning but the why of it remains a mystery until almost the end.
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Has anyone read this book? What did you think? 68 383 Jan 13, 2015 02:28PM  
Book Broads: 13 1 3 Dec 16, 2014 11:24PM  
concept of "family" in The Boy in the Suitcase 1 17 Jul 13, 2013 02:38PM  
Kindle Book Club ...: SPOILER ALERT: Discussion, The Boy In The Suitcase, Completed Reading 22 68 Oct 09, 2012 06:30AM  
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Jeg kom til verden på Rigshospitalet i København d. 24.3.1960. Overlægen var i kjole og hvidt - han var blevet afbrudt midt i en gallamiddag - men min søster siger, at det er da ikke noget, hendes fødselslæge var i islandsk nationaldragt. Nogen vil mene at det således allerede fra starten var klart at jeg var et ganske særligt barn. Andre vil sikkert påstå at min mor bare var god til at skabe plud ...more
More about Lene Kaaberbøl...

Other Books in the Series

Nina Borg (4 books)
  • Invisible Murder (Nina Borg, #2)
  • Death of a Nightingale (Nina Borg, #3)
  • The Considerate Killer
The Shamer's Daughter (The Shamer Chronicles, #1) The Serpent Gift (The Shamer Chronicles, #3) The Shamer's Signet (The Shamer Chronicles, #2) The Shamer's War (The Shamer Chronicles, #4) Invisible Murder (Nina Borg, #2)

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“She felt as if she was standing at the edge of an abyss, but she was in no way counting on God to rescue her. On the contrary. I don’t believe in any of it. Not anymore.” 4 likes
“If the boy did have a good and loving mother somewhere, surely they would find her.

God only knew how she wanted to believe it. Every single day, she practiced her detachment skills, trying not to care about everything that was wrong with the world. Or care, but in a suitably civilized manner, with an admirable commitment that might still be set aside when she came home to Morten and her family, complete with well-reasoned and coherent opinions of the humanist persuasion. Right now she felt more like one of those manic women from the animal protection societies, with wild hair and ever wilder eyes. Desperate.”
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