Posts Tagged ‘Denmark – fiction’

Death of a Nightingale by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Death of a Nightingale (Find this book in our catalog).  I read this mystery as a Reader’s Advance Copy (or ARC) from the publisher and could not put it down.  At this time of writing the book is not out yet, but it will be shortly and it’s in our catalog.  All you fans of Nordic crime fiction, get your pre-pub holds down on this one!

Natash, an Ukranian woman who has been arrested for the murder of her Danish fiance, escapes police custody and flees to go to her daughter.  She feels her eight-year-old is in sudden danger.  We don’t know why, but she saw something outside the court where she was going that made her flip out.

Meanwhile her daughter is in safe custody at a refugee camp, watched over by Red Cross nurse Nina Borg, who we quickly learn has her own issues.  Nina has taken charge of Natasha’s eight-year-old as though she were her own daughter.  Nina recognizes that she is compensating for the alienation of her own family due to her propensity for putting herself in harm’s way in war zones.

When someone tries to abduct Natasha’s daughter from the camp, Nina tries to get her back and find out why she was taken.  In so doing she discovers that Nina’s first husband was also murdered.  It was his death that sent Natasha fleeing from Ukraine.  In her effort to discover the truth in order to protect the child, Nina realizes there is much she did not know about Natasha’s past.  The mystery has long and bloody roots, going back to a famine that devastated Ukraine in 1934.

This story will appeal to readers who like complex mysteries with roots in tragedies or secrets from the past.  I particularly liked the way the story switched from present day to 1934.  This did not in any way detract from the fast pace of the story: clues from the past just made me want to read on to see if my hunch about the present was correct.  I got emotionally involved in the outcome.  The characters are terrific and the plot is great:  each storyline is woven in , and no character is what we think!