Lene Kaaberol and Agnete Friss's first Nina Borg book - The Boy in the Suitcase - was a New York Times bestseller. I've been eagerly waiting for the second book - Invisible Murder - from this Danish writing duo.
Nina Borg is a Red Cross nurse living and working in Denmark. She works with the marginalized, the desperate and those who can't help themselves. Her official home base is the Red Cross's Coal House Camp. But Nina also works under the radar, helping out those who have no official status - and her heart is with the children in these situations. When her cohort tells her of sick Roma children living in an old garage, she hesitates. She has promised her husband she wouldn't put herself in danger after her last outing. But her compassion wins out - she finds the group - and much more than she bargained for....
Inspector Soren of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service is also looking for this group of Roma - there are whispers of terrorism and more.....
Kaaberol and Friis have created a wonderfully different protagonist in Nina. I like that she's not a law enforcement officer, but follows her own sense of justice, working within but bending the rules as need be. She's a caring individual with an iron will, but her need to go forward with her ideals is costing her her marriage and children. The exploration of her relationship with her daughter especially has the ring of truth.
The supporting characters are just as interesting. Soren is the walking wounded, dedicated cop in the series - I like him and hope to see him again. I'm not 100% sure how I felt about Sandor - the half Gypsy law student who becomes embroiled in a nightmare he had no part in starting. Did he redeem himself or not? His ending was left with some unanswered possiblities.
The plot of Invisible Murder is just as compelling and socially relevant as the first book. Although a work of fiction, I can see reading of something like it in the headlines.
"The hatred that flowed in wide, black rivers across the Internet venting itself at Danes, Muslims Gypsies, gays, Jews, liberals, conservatives, women - at every conceivable and inconceivable minority in Denmark and the rest of the world....it was more than just stupidity. It was evil."
The story moves along quickly, with lots of action and bite your nails moments.The ending is tied up but leaves the door open for the next in the series - one I will be picking up for sure.
Some English translations of books feel awkward or wooden - not so in this case - Tara Chace did an excellent job. Definitely recommended. Read an excerpt of Invisible Murder.