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Thoughts on The Boy in the Suitcase (audio) by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis

Title: The Boy in the Suitcase [Audiobook] [Paperback]
Author: Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Genre: Mystery
Running Time: 8 hours 41 minutes
Date Published: December 13, 2011


Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is trying to live a quiet life. The last thing her husband wants is for her to go running off on another dangerous mission to help illegal refugees. But when Nina’s estranged friend Karin leaves Nina a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station and begs her to take care of its contents, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous case yet. Because inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive.

Nina’s natural instinct is to rescue the boy, but she knows the situation is risky. Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is hunting him down. When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy’s are in jeopardy, too.

My thoughts:

The Boy in the Suitcase was the first translated book that I listened to on audio, and I was pretty sure that audio is the only way I’ll be reading translated crime fiction in the future. The second translated crime fiction book that I listened to confirmed that. It’s so nice to have names and locations properly pronounced, and I think the proper pronunciation helps me keep track of the characters better.

I found The Boy in the Suitcase to be such a refreshing read! I can’t expound too much into why it was a refreshing read, other than to say that I read a fair amount of crime fiction and the reason the boy is kidnapped was quite interesting and had me thinking about right and wrong long after I finished the book. The pacing was excellent and I thought it was gripping from the minute I started the audio.

The Boy in the Suitcase had some interesting social commentary about immigrant refugees that is relevant to those of us in the US. I don’t like to be beat over the head with an author’s agenda or personal political or social opinions. Not because I don’t like discussion or debate, but because I’m relatively intelligent and can get more out of one well worded sentence than I will something that belabors a topic. Thankfully, the authors don’t focus too much on the immigrant refugees topic, but they did do a good job of putting it out there for you to ruminate on or dismiss as you see fit.

I don’t know if it’s my newness to audiobooks or that the narrator Katherine Kellgren really is as good as I thought she was, but the narrator was fantastic! She had a different voice for everyone and her pronunciation and accents had me repeating words and names exactly as she said them long after I finished the audiobook. I’ve got the second book in the series, Invisible Murder, on my list of books to read, and I’m hopeful that Katherine Kellgren will be the narrator for that one as well!

Thanks to Audiogo for giving me this audiobook to review!


14 Responses to “Thoughts on The Boy in the Suitcase (audio) by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis”

  1. Hillary roberts ()

    I read this a few months ago and LOVED it! I cant wait to read the second book.


  2. bermudaonion(Kathy) ()

    It is nice to know how to pronounce names and places. Sometimes I just use the character’s first initials when I read books like this.


  3. Teresa ()

    I agree, the narration on this one was really good. I need to listen to the follow up.


  4. Laura Fabiani ()

    Part of me wants to read this book and part of me doesn’t simply because some topics concerning children are so sensitive and they touch me so deeply. The title of this book kept me at bay but your review makes this book so intriguing.


    Lisa Reply:

    Don’t prejudge the plot of this book. Assume that everything is not as simple as you think. I doubt anyone would think this book was fantastic if you could figure out what was going on just by reading the title!


  5. Nancy @ Amusing Reviews ()

    This has been on my radar for quite awhile. I also can not agree more about being hashed over the head with an agenda. A good author allows intelligent interpretation.


  6. Alex

    At first I thought that this book was going to be another amateur attempt at writing. It takes place in Europe and sometimes it was really hard to understand what country everyone was in and where they were from. Especially when I originally thought Europe and then the author mentioned zip codes which is essentially USA. After I got past those little inconsistencies it got better and I wanted to know why the little boy was kidnapped. The writing was good and the depth and relationship of Nina was was interesting. I also felt for Mikas mother. Could Nina have brought the kid straight to the police. Yes that would have been the sensible thing to do but I think her history prevented her from doing that so I let that go. Better than most of the low cost books I have read.


  7. Howard Sherman ()

    You raised a good point with pronunciation where translated novels are concerned.

    I used a classic technique I learned in grade school. if the is name long and incomprehensible (e.g. Arsinfoffleopolis) I’ll just label it place A – for the first letter in its name.

    Not to appear like a typical American but outside of major cities of global importance, I’m not one to get stuck on geographical details.

    As I’m more into audio books these days — due mostly to lack of free time to sit still long enough to actually do any serious amount of reading — I might give The Girl Who Played with Fire a whirl on Audible.

    Thanks for a great idea and a great insight.


  8. SuziQoregon

    I have this but now I’m thinking I might need to get the audio version.


  9. stacybuckeye ()

    I think audio books while I’m walking are going to be the only way I’m going to get to read any books! You’ve got some great recommendations.


  10. Lectus ()

    I read this book a while back and love it! I don’t remember it being a series, though, but if that is the case I’d definitely read more books by this author.


  11. TjDakota

    This sounds like a good book. I can’t wait to read it this week end.


  12. Death of a Nightingale | What I'm Reading

    […] since the age of 15, with more than 2 million books sold worldwide. Their first collaboration, The Boy in the Suitcase, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, and has been translated into 27 languages ~ […]

  13. Jessica

    I read this book and I couldnt put it down. It had me in suspense and it made me cry. The entire time I was reading this book I was thinking they need to make it into a movie. However I got to the last 2 chapters (September) I wasnt a fan of it you could have done better ladies thanks for keeping me entertained for 6 hours lol


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