“The Boy in the Suitcase” by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis

At first, you weren’t sure how you were ever going to do it.

You’d already made your peace with the idea of checking one bag on this flight. That wasn’t going to be enough, though, so you knew you’d need to fill a carry-on. But how could you possibly pack everything else into a rectangle on wheels and then lift it over your head into a bin?

Whatever. You managed and there was even room for souvenirs. But in the new book “The Boy in the Suitcase” by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis, the contents of one satchel are a shocker.

On the day that Mikos Ramoskiene disappeared, it was sunny. There’d been rain the night before so the sandbox was a little damp, but since it was Saturday, Mikos’ mother, Sagita, had little else to do but take her son to the park.

Mikos was an active boy with a hint of mischief, a typical three-year-old, but Sagita was still taken aback when, during their morning, he innocently ran to a woman standing by the park fence. Sagita was even more surprised when Mikos took chocolate from the woman – he knew better – but there seemed to be no harm done. Sagita took her son back to the sandbox.

It was the last thing she remembered before she woke in the hospital.

Nina Borg was used to people asking for favors.

As someone who worked with illegal immigrants coming across the border to Copenhagen, she was also used to doing things for others. Nina’s husband, Morten, always said she was out to save the world.

So when her friend, Karin, asked Nina to pick up a package at the train station on behalf of Karin’s employer, it was no imposition. She did wonder, though, why Karin was acting strangely.

When Nina opened the package – a suitcase – she learned why…

Andrius Jucas knew that he was intimidating.

A mountain of a man, wide across the shoulders with muscles on his muscles, he also knew that his anger was his greatest strength. When he was angry, his blood throbbed. His thinking was razor-sharp and now he was thinking about the Dane, who had promised money in exchange for the suitcase. But there was no money, no suitcase, and someone would pay.

Already a bestseller and award winner in Scandinavia, “The Boy in the Suitcase” is very hard to follow at first. In the beginning few pages, you’re introduced to almost everyone in the novel with little explanation or fanfare.

But stick around, because authors Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis turn up the volume pretty quickly, they accelerate the action, and the confusion only serves to heighten the frightin’. Once I got past that tipping point between makes-no-sense and sense, in fact, I couldn’t leave this breathlessly excellent novel alone.

This book is a little beyond a mystery and not quite a hard-core thriller, but I think it will satisfy fans of both genres. If you’re looking for a great page-turner, “The Boy in the Suitcase” packs a punch.