In the last few years the Scandinavian crime thriller seems to have developed a real niche in this particular genre.
The quality of storytelling - in some cases - is quite supreme, and The Boy in the Suitcase is no exception. As we are told in the first page, there is a boy in a suitcase, picked up from a public locker in a Copenhagen train station. As the various strands of the story unfold all of the many questions are answered, which at first can be rather bewildering but worth persevering with in the end.
Nina Borg is a Red Cross nurse who carries out a favour for a friend, not knowing that this one good deed would lead her on a dark, twisted journey playing both the hunter and hunted. Whether or not intended, this piece certainly lends itself for adaptation to the big screen with its condensed chapters and episodic style.
Having two authors may have added to the initial confusion, and at times the book is over written. However, the writer’s insight into the sickening underworld of forced prostitution, child abuse and refugee exploitation in a modern day Europe is very revealing and worth a book on its own. The issues of refugee and asylum seekers is a major problem in Norway, and like many other European countries - the UK included - they are often swept under the carpet.
Whilst The Boy in a Suitcase both entertains and thrills, it also helps to expose these bleak realities and drives home a strong message which will remain with the reader for some time.