tirsdag den 4. maj 2010

Kaaberbøl & Friis, Drengen i kufferten (2008)


Denne danske spændingsroman er Lene Kaaberbøls første inden for krimigenren, og den er Agnete Friis´ debut som skønlitterær forfatter.

Efter den første lille godbid om Karin, som bliver bedt om at hente en mystisk kuffert og finder en bevidstløs lille dreng i den, var jeg en smule forbeholden, fordi forfatterparret zapper hastigt rundt mellem fire forskellige steder og synsvinkler i henholdsvis Danmark og Lithauen på mindre end tyve sider. Det kræver sin læser at holde tungen lige i munden.

Derefter begynder vi så at lære lille Mikas og Karins veninde, Røde Kors-sygeplejersken Nina Borg, at kende. Nina, som aldrig kan nære sig, så længe der er mennesker, som skal reddes, men som har forbløffende svært ved at håndtere sin egen lille familie. Indtil læseren begynder at forstå.

Samtidig møder vi velhavende Jan i den arkitekttegnede villa, som naboerne kalder Fortet, og lithaueren Jucas, som næsten er klar til at falde til ro i Polen med sin kæreste. Han skal bare lige ordne en lille forretning først.

Der er imidlertid intet, der går som planlagt, og over trehundrede sider får vi lige så stille de vigtige personer ind under huden, især Nina Borg (en hovedperson, jeg virkelig gerne vil møde igen) og Mikas´ mor, mens et nervepirrende plot udspiller sig hen over siderne, uden at troværdigheden på noget tidspunkt går tabt, og helt uden den ulækre kælen for død og lemlæstelse, som nogle thrillerforfattere forfalder til.

Bogen er en biblioteksbog, og huskede jeg at fortælle, at det er den bedste danske thriller, jeg nogen sinde har læst?


Kaaberbøl and Friis, The Suitcase Boy


- this one may be on its way to American readers -

This Danish thriller is Lene Kaaberbøl´s first crime novel, but she is well established as a writer of children´s books, whereas it is Agnete Friis´ debut. It has not been translated into English yet, but I think it will be!

After a captivating opening scene with Karin, who is asked to pick up a mysterious suitcase and finds a little, unconscious boy in it, I was a bit sceptical because the authors zap around among four different settings and points of view in Denmark and Lithuania over less than twenty pages.

But after this breathless opening we get to know little Mikas and Karin´s friend, the Red Cross nurse Nina Borg. Nina who can never resist saving people but struggles surprisingly hard to cope with her own little family. Until the reader begins to understand.

At the same time we meet affluent Jan in the architect-designed villa – which the neighbours call The Fort – and the Lithuanian Jucas who is almost ready to settle down in Poland with his girlfriend. He just has to finish this last business …

Nothing goes according to plan, and over three hundred pages we get the main characters under our skin, especially Nina Borg (a protagonist I am very keen to meet again) and Mikas´ mother, while an excellent plot unfolds, completely free of the uncanny cultivation of death and mutilation some thriller writers indulge in.

The book is from the library, and did I remember to mention that this is probably the best Danish thriller I have ever read?

Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2010 # 2

8 kommentarer:

Bernadette in Australia sagde ...

Sounds great Dorte. I hope we monolingual luddites get to read it one day.

I have just written a post in which I admit to a woeful lack of knowledge about your country - but please don't take it personally - I am woefully lacking in knowledge about virtually everything and everywhere

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - This does sound like an excellent thriller! I'm so glad you enjoyed it as much as you did. My Danish is not up to reading a full novel yet, but I just might try to find it... : )

....Petty Witter sagde ...

How interesting to go from writing children's books to thrillers.

Maxine sagde ...

This sounds fascinating! I look forward to it being translated. By an interesting (to me!) coincidence, I am currently reading a book by another author who used to write for children but is now a crime writer - Yrsa Sigurdardottir. (And very good the book is too, so far, though I have only read about two chapters.)

Dorte H sagde ...

Bernadette: I have read your post, and I think your analysis is very convincing!

Margot: I have wanted to read it for a long time, but I don´t buy many Danish books (they are terribly expensive). Now it was there on the library shelf, and it has really been worth waiting for.

Tracy: yes, and my daughter assures me her children´s series are also excellent.

Maxine: I tried to get in touch with the writers to hear if and when, but they have not answered my mail. I didn´t know Sigurdardottir also wrote children´s books. As far as I remember, Simone van der Vlugt also did.

Kelly sagde ...

I'll second what Tracy said. Interesting switch of genres!

Jane sagde ...

Lene Kaaberbol formår virkelig at skrue et plot sammen - jeg har elsket den dame siden jeg var 12 år og læste "Tina og hestene" (hun skrev disse ponypigebøger som ung teenager, hvilket var ret imponerende, for de var nogle af de bedste i genren).
Jeg tror nok der er flere bøger i vente, men ved ikke om jeg kan klare mere Nina Borg - kun hvis der sker en personlig udvikling med hende, for jeg synes hun er meget fastlåst...
Forfatterne har vistnok skrevet et par noveller om hende, jeg fik en gratis på DRs lydbøger, men det er lidt tid siden.
Herligt at vi har et par forfattere i DK som kan levere den her slags spænding, tror den her bog har stort internationalt potentiale.

Dorte H sagde ...

Kelly: she is not the only one, but she does it really well. The story is not particularly graphic (which I don´t like anyway), but the story is certainly not for minors.

Jane: jeg er jo for gammel til at have læst børnebøgerne, men min yngste er også vild med dem. Jeg kan godt se, hvad du mener med Nina Borg, men mon ikke det er bevidst, de bygger en person op, som så kan forandre sig med tiden? Jeg håber i hvert fald for dem, at de får et internationalt gennembrud.