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Invisible Murder by Lene Kaaberbol
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Invisible Murder (original 2010; edition 2012)

by Lene Kaaberbol, Agnete Friis

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2042057,485 (3.71)16
Member:bikebloke
Title:Invisible Murder
Authors:Lene Kaaberbol
Other authors:Agnete Friis
Info:Soho Crime (2012), Edition: Reprint, Hardcover, 339 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Invisible Murder by Lene Kaaberbøl (2010)

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English (18)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
In the ruins of an abandoned Soviet military hospital in northern Hungary, two impoverished Roma boys are scavenging for old supplies or weapons to sell on the black market when they stumble upon something more valuable than they ever could have anticipated. The resulting chain of events threatens to blow the lives of a frightening number of people.

Meanwhile, in Denmark, Red Cross nurse Nina Borg puts her life and family on the line when she tries to treat a group of Hungarian Gypsies who are living illegally in a Copenhagen garage. What are they hiding, and what is making them so sick? Nina is about to learn how high the stakes are among the desperate and the deadly.


Not having read the first book I came to this not knowing the back story which I feel did hamper my enjoyment. Not fair to mark it down as it was was written and I enjoyed learning about the Roma and the issues they face.

Don't know if I engaged enough to seek out the Boy in the Suitcase.... ( )
  jan.fleming | Feb 9, 2015 |
A surprising denouement to a plot that twisted and turned. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
A surprising denouement to a plot that twisted and turned. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
It seems I’m returning to series I liked this month–or at least this is the second book in the row that meets the criteria– and I enjoyed Invisible Murder, the second installment in the series featuring Nina Borg, a nurse who moonlights as a nurse for refugees in Denmark. Her work with the Network not only endangers herself, but it has exacted a huge toll on her husband and family, and this book is no exception.

The story centers on two young men who are Roma from Hungary, the younger of whom tries to sell something dangerous to a buyer in Denmark and implicates his brother, a law student on the verge of graduating. The story of Tamas and Sandor is the most affecting part of this book, and I was more invested in their plights than I was in Nina’s. Kaaberbol and Friis also create other sympathetic characters, including the aging investigator Soren Kirkegaard and retired building inspector Sklou-Larsen who has a rocky marriage to a much younger woman. I’m not sure why they don’t portray Nina as a bit more sympathetic: she’s pretty single-minded.

I enjoyed the first and final thirds of the book more than the middle (the second third wasn’t very mysterious to me): the first section told Sandor’s story, and the last section was very brisk as the case came together, but that is my only complaint about the book. I’m not sure why it took me over two years to get back to the series: I’ll be seeking out the rest.
  rkreish | Aug 8, 2014 |
Like its predecessor INVISIBLE MURDER features Danish Red Cross nurse Nina Borg who, in addition to her day job, volunteers for a group known as the Network which helps refugees and other outliers that normal services don’t, or won’t, provide even basic assistance for. Due to events which are described in THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE Nina has agreed that she won’t do any volunteering for the Network during the periods her husband is away from home for work because she needs to be available for their children, eight year-old son Anton and 14 year-old daughter Ida. However, it doesn’t take much arm-twisting from Peter, her Network ‘boss’, for Nina to break this agreement though, as always, it is because someone is in desperate need of help.

In this instance the help is required by a Roma group who are staying at an old garage. Some of the children are very sick with an unknown illness and there is talk of a teenage boy who was much sicker but he is gone by the time Nina visits. She wants the sickest child to be taken to hospital but the men in the group stop her from taking him: their treatment at the hands of authorities in the past has been harsh and they’re not willing to be separated from one of their children. So what can Nina do but continue to offer what help she is able to give?

In parallel threads we meet a teenage law student from Hungary who learns the hard way that other people won’t let him forget his Roma heritage even if he would like to and the life he is trying to construct for himself falls apart. There’s also an elderly ex-building inspector who is worried that his much younger wife will fritter away all the money he leaves her: she’s already been duped by an online real estate scam and he’s not even dead yet!

I’ve never been more pleased than I am now to have given an author (or pair of authors) a second chance after having had a somewhat lukewarm reaction to their fist book. I am already envisaging INVISIBLE MURDER taking its place on my favourites list for this year as it ticks all the boxes for me.

There are a lot of characters but they all have depth and interest. Nina remains a conflicting personality but whereas in the first book I didn’t really believe her more bizarre actions here I thought her behaviour, even when astonishingly obtuse, was entirely credible, even though I still wanted to shake some sense into her a couple of times. And like Nina or not, her willingness to do something practical, and possibly dangerous, about her outrage at the treatment received by society’s most ill-treated people is something to admire. In an era when many people imagine changing their twitter icon a different colour counts as activism I can’t help but think we need a few more Nina Borg’s in the world.

Sándor is the young Hungarian student whose fragile life we watch dramatically fall apart in a deeply troubling way. He runs the gamut of emotions as, through no fault of his own, he loses all the things he’d treasured – his studies, his home, his girlfriend, his dreams for his future – until he is left with what’s in his pockets and a fractured self-image. It’s a very powerful portrait though just thinking about the poor boy brings a tear to my eye.

In addition to being extremely well constructed, the story that unfolds in INVISIBLE MURDER explores several important social issues but without any hectoring or preaching. It does depict what can happen – what lengths people will go to – when they are marginalised or ill-treated and how even the simplest of motivations (to get money for the family to live on for example) can have disastrous consequences. But it doesn’t offer quick-fix solutions or fail to show that the problems faced in societies like Denmark’s are complex. One of my favourite passages of the book involves a bloke called Søren from the Danish Security Police (I’ve forgotten the exact acronym now) who is interviewing Nina in hospital. Both are basically good, decent people with intentions to “help people” but their views of how to achieve that are so different that it’s as though they are speaking completely different languages. Which is a pretty damned good description of the world as we know it most days.

Without once losing sight of the fact it must entertain INVISIBLE MURDER manages to inform, inspire and draw compassion from all but the coldest of hearts. Its characters leap off the page, its story compels the turning of each page. Highly recommended.
1 vote bsquaredinoz | Jan 8, 2014 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lene Kaaberbølprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Friis, AgneteAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
chase, taraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Måske finder vi en pistol, sagde Piktin og sigtede med pegefingeren på vagthuset ved porten.
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English translation of Stille umrkeligt drab
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Book description
The second installment in the bestselling Danish crime series starring Red Cross nurse Nina Borg, following Fall 2011's New York Times–bestselling The Boy in the Suitcase

In the ruins of an abandoned Soviet military hospital in northern Hungary, two impoverished Roma boys are scavenging for old supplies or weapons they could sell on the black market when they find more than they ever anticipated. The resulting chain of events threatens to blow the lives of a frightening number of people into bits and pieces.

In this feverishly anticipated follow-up to 2011’s critically acclaimed The Boy in the Suitcase, Danish Red Cross nurse Nina Borg doesn’t realize she is putting life and family on the line when she tries to treat a group of sick Hungarian gypsies who are living illegally in a Copenhagen garage. Nina has unwittingly thrown herself into a deadly nest of the unscrupulous and the desperate, and what is at stake is much more terrifying than anyone had realized.
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Red Cross nurse Nina Borg risks her marriage to assist her friend Peter at a camp of mysteriously ill Roma refugee children whose circumstances prove more complicated and dangerous than originally believed.

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