The Boy in the Suitcase
by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis
I recently noticed a discrepancy in my personality/habits. I LOVE to watch political thrillers, whether movies like The Bourne Identity and Spy Game or TV shows like Homeland and House of Cards, but I almost never READ them. I don’t know why. The closest I usually get are books like The Da Vinci Code–which I loved, critics be damned, and which was thrilling but not really political. Or academic books on politics, which are…political, but not exactly thrilling (except to the nerd buried deep, deep inside me).
So I’ve decided to try to rectify this discrepancy and see if I can find some good books in this (new-to-me) genre. In my search for something gripping, I came across this book.
The Boy in the Suitcase, which is probably more accurately called crime fiction, involves a Red Cross nurse whose friend calls her out of the blue, begging for help, asking her to pick up a suitcase. She finds the suitcase, and inside it, is a three-year-old boy, naked and drugged, but alive. Thus begins a race to find out who he is and where he comes from, and the nurse, Nina Borg, is thrust into the dangerous world of child trafficking, caught in the crosshairs between those with the guns and those with the money. There are multiple narratives in the book (including the mother of the missing child and the perpetrators of the crime), and through them the story unfolds from different perspectives.
I really enjoyed this book. It was fast-paced and engrossing, and (perhaps not surprisingly, given my job) I really appreciated a story about the trafficking of women and children, told in a way that reveals so much about the characters–who are complex and three-dimensional–without slowing down the action.
If other books in this genre are so well-written, with so much thought given to character development and complex motivations, I might be a new convert to this genre! If you’re looking for a read that will suck you in, in a crime thriller kind of way, I’d recommend you try The Boy in the Suitcase.