#380 ~ The Boy In The Suitcase

The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis

Published by: Soho Press

Published on: November 8, 2011

Page Count: 176

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

My Reading Format: MP3 download provided by AudioGo for participating in the tour

Audiobook Published by: AudioGo

Narrator: Katherine Kellgren

Audiobook Length: 8 hours 41 minutes

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook, eBook

Audio Samples and Giveaway: Be sure to check out the end of my review for samples of this audiobook as well as for a chance to win a copy for yourself courtesy of AudioGo!

My Review

Nina Borg, a Danish wife and mother of two children, is a nurse who dedicates herself to helping the less fortunate, especially illegal immigrants in Denmark. While helping others is a wonderful calling in life, Nina takes this to the extreme, often leaving her family in order to give in to one altruistic compunction or another. This has left a rift in her marriage that she is trying to repair when she receives a frantic call from a close friend from nursing school. She desperately needs  Nina’s help and begs her to pick up a suitcase in a Copenhagen train station, she doesn’t fully realize what she’s gotten herself into. In fact, it’s not until she sees a hulking Eastern European man kick in the locker after she’d taken out the suitcase and found a naked, drugged 3 year old boy that Nina knows that she’s in grave danger. Still, she can’t trust the boy’s safety and salvation to anyone else but herself. Meanwhile, Sigita, Mikas’ mother, is in Lithuania fighting the legal system to get the help she needs to find her beloved son.

The Boy in the Suitcase is a fast paced thriller that keeps the reader interested and invested from the moment Nina discovers the life stolen away inside that suitcase. Just as with preparing to begin a game of chess, it did take some time to set up the primary characters and their relative positions at the beginning of the book. Once that was finished, there was little time to think. Just as Nina and Sigita, the need to know the details of the boy’s  kidnapping was ever present. There was no rest until the end.

Although I see both Nina and Sigita as the main characters and defenders of Mikas, Nina is the character I focused in on the most. She is a prime example how everything – even defending the defenseless – is good in moderation. She is responsible for her husband and children, but she gets obsessed with the injustice suffered by a person or group of people and simply cannot keep any perspective. She must help the stranger. She is so full of anxiety that she can’t help but give in to the compulsion to save this woman, that child or that group of people. It’s interesting that this impulse began shortly after her first child was born. She reached a point when taking care of her infant daughter broke her and she solved the problem by taking on the welfare of a group of strangers. Her escape from the realities of family life was to take on her share of this world’s injustice. Fighting the good fight for strangers didn’t cost her as much as loving her family.

Katherine Kellgren served as narrator for this novel and she is outstanding. This was my first opportunity to listen to her work and I was beyond pleased. Her accents gave the right amount of authenticity to the characters. It really was a delight to experience this book through her narration. Her enthusiasm for the project shone through. Not that the story needed it, but it would be impossible not to get swept up with her.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Boy in the Suitcase. Don’t let the Stieg Larsson comparisons turn you off or set your expectations. A flawed female main character and a Scandinavian setting are the only relevent similarities. Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis have written a story about motherhood, immigration, crime and punishment and redemption that needs no comparison. There were some less than subtle clues provided along the way, but novel moved quickly and worked well. With that and Katherine Kellgren, you simply can’t go wrong.

AudioGo provided me with some goodies to go along with my review of The Boy in the Suitcase. Don’t you just love goodies? I know I do, especially around the holidays. As part of this tour, I have two audio clips. I am really excited to share these! You get a good taste of Kellgren’s narration and how well it works with this novel.

The Boy in the Suitcase_009 and The Boy in the Suitcase_010

If you’d like to listen to the entire first chapter, be sure to visit all of the tour stops on this AudioGo tour:

12/12/11 – Reflections of a Book Addict http://lifeand100books.com/

12/13/11 – The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia http://hauntedorchid.blogspot.com/

12/14/11 – Teresa’s Reading Corner http://teresasreadingcorner.com

12/16/11 – Jen’s Book Thoughts http://www.jensbookthoughts.com/

Wouldn’t you like to listen to the entire audiobook? Of course you would! The second goody from AudioGo is this: I can give away two copies of The Boy in the Suitcase to readers with US mailing addresses. If you’d like a chance to win one of those copies, be sure to leave a comment to this post. It’s as simple as that. I’ll draw two winners at random on Monday, December 19. Good luck!


  • At 2011.12.15 00:22, amanda said:

    Great review I think this sounds really good would love a chance to win.

    • At 2011.12.15 00:51, Emma @ Words And Peace said:

      I keep running into this, I can’t wait to win it! Thanks for the giveaway

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      • At 2011.12.15 08:34, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

        The title of this one creeps me out. I had no idea Denmark has a problem with illegal immigrants.

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          I’m glad you talked about the comparisons to GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO books. Those don’t appeal to me at all, but this one sounds fascinating. Would love to win it!

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          • At 2011.12.15 11:49, Ti said:

            I had no idea that this book was actually about a boy in a suitcase! I never stopped long enough to read the blurb I guess. The premise is interesting. I am so skeptical of thrillers though.

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            • At 2011.12.15 17:19, Debbie Rodgers said:

              I haven’t read this yet (and wasn’t going to) because I did NOT enjoy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Thank you for letting us know that that comparison isn’t really valid.

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              • At 2011.12.15 20:21, rhonda said:

                i really want to read it,thanks for giveaway.

                • At 2011.12.15 21:12, Jessica M said:

                  This one has been on my radar, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Thanks for the giveaway. 🙂

                  • At 2011.12.15 21:44, Catherine Fraga said:

                    This book sounds like something I would really like! I am especially interested in the immigration theme as I assign a lot of similar readings on this topic to my college freshman students? Thanks for the very engaging review, Jennifer,

                    • At 2011.12.22 08:59, caite@a lovely shore breeze said:

                      I have read nothing but great things about this one…must get my hands on a copy!

                      • […] meet Katherine in person, I feel like I have. My first experience with her narration was with The Boy in the Suitcase and she made it an adrenaline rush. She is a always nice to hear from on Twitter and she is so […]

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