Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Book Review Club (June 2014)

Welcome to our June Book Review Club! After this we'll be taking a hiatus until September. During the summer, we'll be grilling, traveling, hanging out with fam and friends and basically having loads of fun. Of course, we'll also be reading, always on the lookout for great books to review. For now, though, please enjoy the JUNI* reviews!  *pronounced "yoonee," that's June in Danish. Yes, yes, there's a reason I'm speaking Danish. See my review. :)

THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE (adult, Scandinavian thriller)
 by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis

This is one of those books you finish and immediately start casting about for the next one in the series. It was that good!

THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE was short-listed for the Nordic Glass Key Award (yes, you actually win a glass key) and won the 2008 Harold Morgensen Crime Award. This fast-paced thriller bounces between Lithuania and Denmark and is told from several perspectives. The reader is lost for a while (in a good way) before finally figuring out how all the threads link up.  I loved all the ambiguity.

Nina Borg is a Red Cross nurse working at a refugee center in Copenhagen, Denmark. She gives her all for the underdog. Which makes her a great nurse and humanitarian, but leaves her wanting in the wife and mother areas. A friend from nursing school calls to say she's in trouble and asks Nina to pick up a suitcase from the train station. You can imagine Nina's shock when she opens said suitcase to find a naked, drugged three-year-old boy. When Nina goes to see her friend, she finds her friend's murdered body. Much page time is also given to Sigita's point of view. She's the young Lithuanian single mother of the boy. In addition, there are chapters told by Nina's husband, the kidnappers, and the person who organized the kidnapping.

The only thing that was a meh for me was the kidnapper. He or she (see? no spoiler!) seemed too carboardy, too black and white. He or she had endured an abusive childhood, blah, blah, blah. The other characters, particularly Nina and Sigita are so incredibly human and flawed and real, that I expected a similar treatment of the villain.

That aside, I truly, truly enjoyed this book and have already ordered Nina Borg's 2nd adventure: INVISIBLE MURDER

"Her er resten af vores anmeldelser. Nyde!" This is apparently Danish for: Here are the rest of our reviews. Enjoy!


Sarah Laurence: BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican (YA/adult)



Linda McLaughlin: NAAMAH'S KISS by Jacqueline Carrey (fantasy)

Prairie Rose of Prairie Rose's Garden: THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd (historical)


Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: THE BILLION DOLLAR PAPERCLIP by Gregory Short

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: LOVE LIFE by Rob Lowe (autobiography)

Patti Abbott:  UPDIKE by Adam Begley

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!


  1. Really enjoyed that book too, Barrie. I just booked our place in La Jolla from January 10-February 28 next winter. Hope to see you again.

  2. I should get this before I leave for Germany next week. I can read myself into the northern European culture!

  3. This sounds like a great read! I got hooked on Stieg Larsson's books a few years ago. I don't know how this compares to those, but I'm up for checking it out.

  4. Yes, Patti, we must get together next year!

  5. Stacy, I think you'll really enjoy The Boy in the Suitcase. Some great twists and turns. Also, I loved learning little bits and pieces about Denmark and Lithuania. It'll be even more meaningful for you.

  6. Rose, if you liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, you'll love The Boy in the Suitcase. Drat. I meant to put that in my review.

  7. Good job, Barrie, both review and getting us organised! I have enjoyed having a project once a month!

  8. Great review, it sounds like a good book! Thanks for hosting the book club . . . have a great summer! :)

  9. Sounds like a great book, Barrie. Glad you enjoyed it and it would be cool to read about Denmark & Lithuania for a change.

    I'll try to get to everyone's reviews as I can. Busy, busy.

  10. Chilling! I'm half Lithuanian so the setting appeals to me but the story sounds too scary for me. How strange, I thought I'd left a comment earlier but I must have forgotten to publish it. Thanks for hosting and enjoy your well earned break offline.

  11. Hi Barrie,
    It's Sally! Just stopping by to say hello as it's been SO long since I blogged, but I'm back.

    Have a wonderful summer and look forward to reading more updates xx


Comments are always welcome!