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The Boy in the Suitcase

(Nina Borg #1)

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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  32,202 ratings  ·  3,298 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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LeAnne: GeezerMom
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
LeAnne: GeezerMom You can absolutely read this as a stand alone. You could do the same with the others, however Nina has some quirks about her personality that are hint…moreYou can absolutely read this as a stand alone. You could do the same with the others, however Nina has some quirks about her personality that are hinted at throughout and then explained near the end of "Suitcase." I would recommend reading this before the others - her motivations will be more meaningful.(less)

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Average rating 3.61  · 
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Jim Fonseca
Scandinavian noir, this time from Denmark. This was the first of four novels in the Nina Borg series.

A super-wealthy Danish man sends his assistant to the train station lockers to pick up a package. It’s a suitcase with a three-year old boy inside, asleep and drugged. His assistant, paralyzed about what to do, calls Nina, the heroine of the series. The assistant ends up brutally murdered and Nina becomes responsible for the boy. Nina, like the reader, has no idea at this point what is going on.
...more
Aubrey
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Doreen
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
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
...more
Britany
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, 2017
Could you imagine opening a suitcase and finding a tiny little boy inside? What would you do?

I really enjoyed this one. It's been at the top of my tbr for what feels like forever, and I can finally replace it with another older book that I haven't gotten to yet. Nina Borg- a red cross nurse in Denmark gets sucked into an ill advised plan when she opens the locker containing the aforementioned suitcase. This one moved at a pretty fast pace, and rotated between the cast of characters narrating the
...more
Mathura
Apr 25, 2012 rated it liked it
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
...more
Helen Power
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Initial thoughts: What an intriguing read! While I predicted the twist from approximately halfway through, I still greatly enjoyed the journey. This book is very fast paced and much easier to read than other Nordic Noir fiction I've read.
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Synopsis
Nina Borg's old friend Karin gives her a key and tells her to follow her vague instructions, to go to the train station to pick up what's in a locker, no questions asked. When Nina does this, she finds a suitcase with a tiny three-year-old boy
...more
Miamikel SS
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing


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 s
...more
Lyn
Nov 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Danish writer Lene Kaaberbol’s 2008 novel The Boy in the Suitcase, originally published as Drengen i kufferten, introduces us to the very original mystery heroine Nina Borg.

Neither a police detective nor a prosecutor, Nina is a Red Cross nurse working in a welfare clinic, down in the trenches dealing with domestic violence and substance abuse. I liked her and I was digging how Kaaberbol put this unique but contextually understandable protagonist and crime situation together.

A little three-year-
...more
Becky
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
...more
Kirsten
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?
...more
LeAnne: GeezerMom
This was an outstanding psychological thriller set in Denmark with a main character you could not help but care about and yet be frustrated by at the same time. Nina, a nurse at the local camp for foreign refugees, also secretly helps out illegal immigrants with medical emergencies.

These people, ill or injured, cannot visit the hospital or regular doctors no matter how badly off they are health-wise. Should they do so, they would be reported to the authorities and then shipped back to the horri
...more
Lance Charnes
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Fans of Scandinavian noir
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
...more
Vivian
Oct 23, 2017 marked it as dnf
I'm quitting this book. It might be interesting, it might not, but I really don't like four different point of views for telling a story. Twenty-two pages in, five chapters and four characters; it's a nauseating whirl. This isn't the first time I've seen this technique, it was another Nordic Noir book too, maybe it's a regional style issue, but I hate it.
...more
Vegantrav
Nov 29, 2011 rated it liked it
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
...more
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Rate 2 ½ 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
Diane S ☔
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Emma
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A young boy is abducted in Lithuania. Red Cross nurse Nina finds him stuffed inside a suitcase in a railway station in Denmark, and begins the dangerous task of trying to unravel the mystery of who put him there and why.

This is more of a 3.5 stars to me. The pacing of the book is good and I enjoyed the multiple perspectives employed throughout. The mystery is intriguing and I found myself really identifying with parts of Nina's character- more specifically, her quirky, disordered thinking, and I
...more
Hannah
Jun 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
I love a good mystery/thriller, but I didn’t love this. The blurb sounded excellent, and the prologue immediately caught my attention. However, when I got to the 24% mark without really getting to a crime or feeling any thrills, it was time to move on. The focus of the book is on the lowest common denominator, and for someone like me who reads to take a break from everyday life, it just wasn’t pleasurable. The characters and plot were confusing, as the timeline shifted here and there and it was ...more
Tom Mathews
This is my first Nina Borg story and may not be the last. The plot and the characters were interesting but the mystery took all of a minute to figure out. My biggest concern about the story is that I found myself thinking of the story based on the Hitchcock term McGuffin, which is an object whose sole importance is its ability to drive the story's plot forward. Party A steals the McGuffin from Party B. Party C ends up with the McGuffin and tries to find where it belongs while keeping it away fro ...more
Cindy
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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! ...more
Syahira
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Steve
4 stars, rounded up: 4 stars for the story itself, 3 stars for the narration.

"The Boy in the Suitcase," by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Fris, is set in and around Denmark, and definitely falls under the "Scandinavian Mystery/Thriller" genre in setting and style. For the record, I really enjoy this genre.

The first few chapters are very confusing with new characters being introduced continuously. On top of that, the narrator wasn’t much able to differentiate the voices of the female characters, makin
...more
Clickety
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Carin
If you like Scandinavian crime novels, you must read this book. It's a new classic of the genre.

Nina is a Red Cross nurse working with abused women, when a friend calls in a panic, begging her to pick up a suitcase at the train station. When she does, Nina is shocked to find inside a small naked boy. He is still alive, but obviously someone wants to hurt him, and Nina doesn't know who she can trust. Particularly when her friend turns up dead, Nina knows she is on the run for their lives.

The book
...more
Mochizuki
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
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
Judy
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A super exciting book that deals with a heart-breaking situation that occurs in the world. It was difficult to pull myself away from this book. The story of Nina and the young boy she found in a suitcase takes us as readers on a roller coaster ride that continues to the very end of the book. I am anxious to begin the next book of the series.
Becky
I am not going to rehash the story here, the book has been around long enough.

I am probably one of a few who never read the Dragon Tattoo series so I can't compare this Scandinavian thriller with that series.

It took me a little bit to figure out who the main characters were, especially the men. Names & traveling had me a little confused at first. But I was intrigued as to where this story was going.

How did the boy get in the suitcase, who put him there & what was he wanted for. So many twists &
...more
Gail Cooke
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing

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
...more
Ellie
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
...more
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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

Other books in the series

Nina Borg (4 books)
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