Friday, December 16, 2011

THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE - Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis

First line: "Holding the glass door open with her hip, she dragged the suitcase into the stairwell leading down to the underground parking lot."

When it comes to doing right, Nina Borg seems to be able to do so by everyone except her own family. So when her old friend Karin contacts the Red Cross nurse asking for a favor, Nina can't turn her down. Karin leaves Nina with a train station locker key and a lot of questions! Those questions increase exponentially when Nina finds a suitcase filled with a three-year-old boy in the locker. Who is this boy? Where did he come from? Are his parents missing him or did they sell him? And why is he packed in a suitcase at the train station? Nina doesn't know whether it's safe to go to the police or not. At the risk of damaging an already fragile relationship with her family, Nina sets off to find answers to her questions because above all she doesn't want to hand the boy over to anyone who will do him more harm.

Kaaberbøl is a renowned fantasy writer; Friis a children's writer. How the two of them teamed up to write such a spectacular crime novel is a mystery to me, but they have managed to do it and make it look easy. The audiobook of THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE is beautifully narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Nina's conflicting feelings, her frustration and fear and determination all emanate from Kellgren's interpretation. Those feelings also mirror those of Sigita, the boy's mother, as she searches desperately for her missing child.

Likewise the pure evil of Andrius Jucas drips from every word as he leaves a trail of devastation in his campaign to recover the child and fulfill his contract.

The plot oscillates between the present day and years earlier when Sigita first met her estranged husband. The flashbacks lead up to the present, slowing awakening an understanding in the reader. It isn't until the climax, however, that all the players in this game are able to piece together the parts and fully understand the enormity of this crime that spans years and countries. The changes in time are easy to follow and work to expertly build the suspense.

While the events of the plot circle around the kidnapping, Kaaberbøl and Friis illustrate family bonds and commonalities that transcend language, borders, time and age. Kaaberbøl translated the original Danish to English. The excellent translation teamed with Kellgren's narration leaves the listener with no choice but to empathize with these women who experience extraordinary regret and who are willing to do whatever it takes to keep their families safe.

The cover of THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE labels this book as the "#1 Danish Bestselling Crime Series..." I hope that "series" means we will be seeing more from these two talented writers. THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE is a must read for crime fans, and the audiobook from AudioGo is a must listen for audio fans.

The print version of THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE is available from Soho Press (ISBN: 978-1-56947-981-0) and the audio is available from AudioGo on CD (ISNB: 978-1-60998-658-2) or as an mp3 download (ISBN: 978-1-60998-559-2).

I was very excited to be given the opportunity to participate in AudioGo's blog tour for THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE. It has afforded me the opportunity to share a segment of the audiobook with you and to hold a drawing to give away two copies of the audiobook. I'm the tail end of the blog tour - I prefer to think of myself as the anchor! Anyway, that means that there have already been some segments shared, so if you haven't had a chance to listen to the ones before, you may want to back up and listen to mine last:

Reflections of a Book Addict

The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Teresa's Reading Corner

The Literate Housewife

So now that you want to listen to this audiobook ;-) I can tempt you further by offering a chance to win a copy. Simply fill out the form below by Thursday, December 22nd and I'll draw two winners on Friday...just before Christmas! The contest is open to U.S. residents only, please. Drop me an email if you have any questions. Good luck!


SharonM December 16, 2011 at 9:11 AM  

I'm really enjoying this book - the audio version. I almost gave up on it in the first couple of chapters, but stuck with it, and now can't put it down. The audio version is so well done, and I especially appreciate getting all the correct pronunciations for names and places.

Jenn's Bookshelves December 16, 2011 at 9:37 PM  

Hooray! Thanks for the giveaway! I've been wanting to read the book. Based on the audio reviews, sounds like audio is the route to go!

Karen Russell December 16, 2011 at 9:50 PM  

I keep thinking I ought to try this one -- keeping my fingers crossed!

Perry St Lawyer December 17, 2011 at 8:15 AM  

This book is compelling from the beginning. Thanks for your earlier recommendation (a list of 5 to read now). Will have to try the audio version.

Anne January 7, 2012 at 4:09 PM  

I just received the audiobook in today's mail, and am anxious to plug-in! Thank you so much for having the giveaway!


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