ither Agnete Friis or Lene Kaaberbøl told an interviewer that their novel The Boy in the Suitcase
is about powerless people, those who enjoy no social protection.
I'm not far enough into the book to know how this plays out, but there's a nice bit of foreshadowing early on. I'll avoid spoilers, but the punch line is a woman emerging from unconsciousness, struggling to make out a nurse's face, and seeing this:
"There was something there, in the tone of her voice, in the set of her jar, that was not compassion, but its opposite. Contempt."
Discussions of Nordic crime novels always say the books probe the ugly reality beneath the welfare state's placid surface, and they have been saying it for more than forty years. Friis and Kaaberbøl here find a fresh way to show it.
nother early scene has a character recalling a doctor's rage over a rape victim's horrific injuries. The authors handle the subject with commendable restraint that only enhances the horror. The same has not always been said of, say, Stieg Larsson. So, while it's early yet to pronounce judgment on the novel, I'm developing respect for it already. Too bad the title doesn't lend itself as easily to parody as does The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
gnete Friis and Lene Kaaberbøl will be part of my panel "A QUESTION OF DEATH: HOW IMPORTANT IS WHODUNIT?"
on Thursday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.-11 a.m., at Bouchercon 2011
© Peter Rozovsky 2011
Labels: Agnete Friis, Bouchercon 2011, Denmark, Denmark crime fiction, Lene Kaaberbøl, miscellaneous, Nordic crime fiction, Scandinavia, Scandinavian crime fiction