The Boy in the Suitcase (Nina Borg, #1) The Boy in the Suitcase discussion


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Has anyone read this book? What did you think?

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message 1: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam Williams I picked up The Boy In The Suitcase yesterday and could not put it down until I was finished. Has anyone else read this book? I would love to read a discussion about it.


message 2: by Lorelee (new) - added it

Lorelee I finished it a few days ago. Loved the ending.


☯Emily  Ginder I read it about a month ago. Loved the story. It was interesting that we knew who did placed the boy in the suitcase very early in the story, but not the reason why until the very end. I thought the ending was fantastic.


Claire I found it very hard to put down and picked it up every time I had a spare minute. The characters were vividly drawn and the pacing was excellent - just enough suspense to keep you going but without completely hanging you over a cliff. Highly recommended!


Joanna  Mongelluzzo i found it horrible..had to force myself to read...the book did not get good until the last 50 pages


Stacy Stutz Like Joanna, I had to force myself to read it. I figured out the "why" fairly early on. That said, I did think there were some interesting twists in the storyline - I ended up giving it 4 stars.


Joanna  Mongelluzzo the storyline was good...i think it was just poorly executed. I gave it 1 star...I have never given 1's before :( but hey everyone likes different types of books :)


☯Emily  Ginder Joanna wrote: "the storyline was good...i think it was just poorly executed. I gave it 1 star...I have never given 1's before :( but hey everyone likes different types of books :)"

I think there were a few translation problems which weren't the authors' fault.


Joanna  Mongelluzzo yeah that is what I said to my friend last night who is starting the book. I don't tell my friends not to read it, I say...read it, you might like it :)


Stacy Stutz I don't think it's the translation that is the problem, I think it is because of the difference of the way we (Americans) think vs Scandinavian people. For some reason I've been reading more books by 'foreign' authors and either I love 'em or can't stand 'em.


Sarah Sledge One of my book groups read it and it is the first book in a long time that everyone liked. It offered a great discussion for a discerning group of crime novel officiandos. Did not predict the ending!


message 12: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim I loved it! It was a constant puzzle trying to figure out why the boy was in the suitcase and how it would all play out. If you can get past the odd names of places it's worth the read!


message 13: by Licha (new) - rated it 1 star

Licha Did not like this book. None of the characters were likable. It really was a good premise for a story and that's what caught my eye, but the story just never made me care.


Graham Yes, certainly worth the read. I wrote a review for it in my Goodreads account.


Nancy I thought this was a great read. The idea of a boy in a suitcase was terrifying to me. I had to read it all to learn why this had happened.


Maxine Emily wrote: "Joanna wrote: "the storyline was good...i think it was just poorly executed. I gave it 1 star...I have never given 1's before :( but hey everyone likes different types of books :)"

I think there w..."


The translation was by one of the authors so on this occasion (unlike many) we can be pretty sure that the translation was not the problem?


Maxine I thought this book was OK, though I don't like "kidnapped child" themes. The character and story of the child's mother was by far the best part of it for me. I didn't like Nina much or the cod psychology "explaining" her personality at the end, and I felt the ending was unnecessarily protracted (& violent). Even so, it is quite a good book of its genre. The rationale of the kidnap was a bit of a cheat in that relevant information was simply omitted, a fairly common problem in crime fiction.


Lakis Fourouklas A very good book indeed. I hope i will able to write a review soon.


message 19: by Tom (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tom It was okay. It took me a while to realize that the boy's mother was still in Lithuania while the boy in the suitcase was in Denmark. That was confusing.

The main character Nina became annoying. Her refusal to contact the cops was not entirely justified.

Her fear that the cops wouldn't deal with the boy properly ignored the fact that if Nina, a Danish nurse and aid worker, was involved the cops would pay him more attention than the average illegal picked up in a raid or an arrest.

No matter what your view is of police, they do take a very different view of 3-year-old children than adults.

But if she had contacted the cops right away, there wouldn't have been a story. Her running away from the train station with the boy when it was obvious that a dangerous thug was chasing him was really stupid.

It made her seem like a ditz. Not an interesting enough character to bother with again. I doubt I'll read other books in the series.


message 20: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam Williams Tom wrote: "It was okay. It took me a while to realize that the boy's mother was still in Lithuania while the boy in the suitcase was in Denmark. That was confusing.

The main character Nina became annoying. H..."


I'm so glad I started this thread because I find all these opinions so interesting. I never questioned her running from the police as being anything other than her character would have done because she had seen what happens to displaced children. I found Nina fascinating in that she was so eager to be a mother to this motherless child that she didn't know and that she found it so difficult to mother her own children.


Donna Tom wrote: "It was okay. It took me a while to realize that the boy's mother was still in Lithuania while the boy in the suitcase was in Denmark. That was confusing.

The main character Nina became annoying. H..."


I completely agree with you. This story relies upon two ridiculous assumptions--first, that Nina would not contact the police, thinking that they would return the boy to his family without adequately investigating the situation, and second, that the adoptive family would not try to contact the natural mother of the ailing child and appeal to her and to her son to be tested as a possible donor for the ailing child. There would not have been a book if things proceeded logically.


message 22: by Tom (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tom You're right in saying it's ridiculous to assume the police wouldn't investigate - especially since police were at the train station when the thug was smashing up the locker. A Boy in a Suitcase was odd enough to get us to read this book, it certainly would have caught the attention of the police and the Danish media.

Yes, Nina was more interested in mothering this child than her own children - which adds to her annoyance - and I think a more interesting character worth reading about would have managed.


message 23: by Licha (last edited Mar 12, 2012 10:40AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Licha Tom wrote: "You're right in saying it's ridiculous to assume the police wouldn't investigate - especially since police were at the train station when the thug was smashing up the locker. A Boy in a Suitcase wa..."

You're so right. If a boy in a suitcase caught a reader's attention then it really should have been considered by the authors that the police would have acted on it differently. That's part of where this book went wrong to begin with. Add to that one of the worst characters ever (as in idiotic) Nina, and this book never quite met what should have been a great premise for a story.


Joy This is a good book....but only until the last 3/4 of the book. This is the kind of book that you wait and wait for it to get to the good part. It eventually does get very good at the end, but I need a book that is good at least 90% of the time. This story just drags and drags and you have no idea what the point of the whole story is until the last part of it. I recommend this book only if you can wait till the very end for it to get good.


Patricia Fast I read this book. I really liked it, too.


Marty Joanna wrote: "i found it horrible..had to force myself to read...the book did not get good until the last 50 pages"

I agree with Joanna. The premise of picking up the suitcase, finding a small alive boy in it and NOT reporting it to the police immediately. The justification was meager. This ruined the remainder of the book, even with the interesting ending.


message 27: by Licha (new) - rated it 1 star

Licha Martin wrote: "Joanna wrote: "i found it horrible..had to force myself to read...the book did not get good until the last 50 pages"

I agree with Joanna. The premise of picking up the suitcase, finding a small al..."


Yeah, the book went downhill from the beginning, all based on some stupid people making stupid choices. Actually, I may have been more forgiving if they were stupid choices, but I must agree with you Martin that they had no justification. I kept reading in the hope that this would get better but it never did. The ending was interesting, but by then I just didn't care and was so fed up with all the stupid characters involved and the poor choices they made that I was just glad it was over.


Margaret I read this book -- it took me a while to get into the story but once I did, I couldn't put it down and when I got to the ending I am so glad I didn't quit after the first few chpts.


message 29: by Mary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary I struggled also with this book. Characters making what I thought were stupid choices. But after reading these opinions I wonder if it is a difference in culture? We are thinking with American opinions and views rather than European. We trust law enforcement, maybe the feeling there is to trust them less?


message 30: by Alisa (last edited Jun 16, 2012 11:23AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alisa I was intrigued by this book and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. Nina was a wonderful character, and I think that when it comes to children, she was naturally overprotective and apparently understood that children are abused and murdered everyday and more often then we'd like to know or admit. Police and social workers have caseloads full and aren't always legally able to protect children. Nina also knew she was dealing with some crazy murderous sociopaths who would stop at nothing to hurt this child. Obviously, to me, the Dane who wanted the boy's kidney was a rich man without a conscience, that looked at people as possessions. His relationship with his wife and son was dysfunctional because of this, and so it probably did not occur to him or appeal to him to approach the mother of the boy about the kidney.


Fiona Read it a few months ago. While interesting I didn't find in as rivetting as most of the nordic noir novels I have read recently.


message 32: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam Williams Fiona wrote: "Read it a few months ago. While interesting I didn't find in as rivetting as most of the nordic noir novels I have read recently."

What have you been reading?


Paula I liked the book. It was well written, suspenseful, and had a good story. Although the thought of finding a 3 year-old naked, drugged boy in a suitcase was disturbing, the story could've gotten more so, but it didn't. I initially struggled with the keeping all the characters apart as two had very similar names and that I was pronouncing the names and places correct. I also thought about foreign opinions. Like someone said previously, we would contact the police, but in other places around the world maybe not. Things happen differently in different parts of the world. Overall, I couldn't put it down and finished it fairly quickly.


debbie a. I just finished this book. I agree with others who think it may be a difference in cultures. The world that the authors describe is one where thise stolen children live in camps and are freqenly taken back by their captors. Thankfully, we don't know what that is like here, and it could be very common in other countries.

Why the "adoptive" family didn't just reach out to Sagita (sp?) in the beginning, why she had to flee with Makis right after they were reunited, what happend to Barbara...who knows? That's what makes books interesting, right?

I liked Nina; I am interested in her history. She killed her father (or finished him off, anyway), yes? That's why she feels the need to care for these "damaged" individuals?


Brittney I was excited to read the back cover which said that Steig Larson lovers would really love this book...The Boy in the Suitcase fell short of my expectations following The Girl With/Who books.


Shelly I really enjoyed this book. I was hesitant because I could not get into The Girl with the dragon tattoo book. I do wish there was more explanations as to what happened to the other characters at the end of this book.


Andrea Stacy wrote: "I don't think it's the translation that is the problem, I think it is because of the difference of the way we (Americans) think vs Scandinavian people. For some reason I've been reading more books ..."

I find I generally don't identify with American books. I'm often left feeling "are they for real? No-one would do that".

(I'm a New Zealander)


Tea Time with Marce I enjoyed it, thought it had some great female characters in it and the ending was executed perfectly. I do think the translation had some fault with the overall flow but it was good.

I look forward to the next in the series.


Jennifer Morefield Overall, I enjoyed the book. I didn't have trouble finishing it. I never thought about the plausibility of the book (police not taking notice when suitcase was picked up). That is a good point. It was definitely worth reading to me. If this is a series, I would probably read the next one. Personally, I like the foreign feel. It was interesting.


message 40: by Cindy (last edited Oct 05, 2012 07:11PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cindy Amrhein I didn't care for it all that much. I wrote a review if anyone is interested. I didn't get the intended sympathy for her as I imagine the author intended. I felt no need to root for her. I felt sympathy for her in the way it struck me that she was mentally ill. The need for attention to be seen by all with her good deeds to others--yet ignores her own family (not enough self-gratification derived from it.)So not my type of main character.

I like the mom of the kidnapped boy. There was the real story for me. Watching her go from helpless to I'll kick your ass. She would be a better character for a second book, Nina not so much. I don't think I could read the second one with Nina as the MC knowing the train wreck was coming.


Tania Themmen I loved this book.


Marian loved this book , even though i never heard of the authors before. just got the second book from them. it appears that it has the same main charactor as this one it is called "invisable murder" havn't started it yet i am reading the scarpetta series by patricia cornwell now.


Sarah Loved it. Had to keep reading until I was done.


Kimberly Hicks I wasn't really feeling this book that much. It wasn't an awful read, but it certainly wasn't a good read-well, put it this way, I've read books with similar themes that were much more exciting and held my interest. Any time a book makes my mind wander to other things, I know I don't like it, but I finished it. To me, this book didn't have enough zest to it to keep me engaged.


Laura Dragon I loved it. I agree that calling the police would have been the smart thing to do once she saw what was in the suitcase. But Nina is a character with many flaws and therein lies the story.
I agree that it took a very long while for me to place where the mother was and where Nina was. But it was sufficient to know by the language barrier that they were in different countries.
I would read another novel by this author.


Marion I listened to the audio version read by Katherine Kellgren. It was an outstanding novel for the audio format and the reader, Ms. Kellgren, did very well handling and differentiating the characters' voices. I'd call it a page turner, but as an audioboob it is so suspenseful and engaging that you'll want to be plugged in everywhere you go.


Tamanda Elia I read The Boy in the Suitcase sometime last year, but I remember that it was quick paced, the characters flawed (that really worked well) and that I couldn't put it down until I was done. I have never been to Copenhagen, but I have lived and visited Europe and it's a whole different world over there.
I think the author's choice in not handing over the child to the police makes a lot more sense (as the child would simply get lost in the system and would have no chance in finding his mother) than doing so. Her choice in career (nurse/refugees) shows what kind of society she lives in, and that she has a better understanding of what would happen to the child, than our perception (North Americans).
I think it was the overall feel of the book that I enjoyed from this writer. It made it a little bit more exciting than just another mystery.
I would definitely read another from this writer.


message 48: by Pam (last edited Feb 07, 2013 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam Williams I started this thread and wasn't prepared for all the Nina haters. I love getting other people's views and perspectives of the books I read (and especially the books I really like.) I also read Invisible Murder (Nina Borg, #2) by Lene Kaaberbøl and liked it. I find the flawed character of Nina fascinating and am constantly amazed by her rationalizations for helping people other than her family. I'm hosting this for my book club next month and I hope it gets as much discussion in the group as it did in this thread.


Melody Did not like it all that much. Some parts were interesting though.


message 50: by Pam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pam Williams I was surprised but there was very few arguments about the book at book club. Everyone liked it and understood the differences between European attitudes to police and ours. The names and the moving between countries were the only things they had a hard time with. One member said that she had kept the book on her night table for a week because she couldn't get past the title but once she picked it up she was hooked.


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