Reviews for Death of a Nightingale

Booklist Reviews 2013 October #2
The authors of The Boy in the Suitcase (2011) return with another thriller involving Nina Borg, Danish rescue worker. Now working as a nurse at Coal-House Camp for refugees, she has taken a special interest in an eight-year-old Ukrainian asthmatic girl, whose mother has been imprisoned for murdering her abusive fiancé. When the mother escapes, she heads straight for her daughter, but someone gets there first and tries to kidnap the child. Nina is convinced there is more going on than authorities are willing to recognize and is determined to protect the little girl from harm, no matter where it comes from. Interspersed among chapters of the ensuing suspense story is a tale of two sisters, Olga and Oxana, growing up in Ukraine in the 1930s, when famine and "Uncle Joe" Stalin's push toward collectivism made their peasant life a nightmare. The merging of the two stories strains belief a bit, but readers who like historical fiction will nonetheless find themselves intrigued by the emotionally resonant portrayal of the sisters growing up in extraordinary times, and readers who like thrillers that touch on women's issues will appreciate the sketches of two women, one determined to save her child at any cost, the other obsessed with saving the world one person at a time. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 November #1
The third installment of the Nina Borg trilogy (Invisible Murder, 2012, etc.) shuttles back and forth between a nerve-racking present and an unspeakable past. Now that she's been arrested for trying to stab her abusive fiance, Michael Vestergaard, to death, what else can go wrong in Natasha Doroshenko's life? Hours after she escapes the police officers transferring her from her prison cell to a Copenhagen station for questioning, someone succeeds in killing Vestergaard, and police commissioner Mona Heide is convinced it's Natasha. Only Nina Borg, a nurse who observed Natasha and her daughter Katerina, 8, at the Coal-House Camp, believes that she escaped to take her daughter away from the camp, not to finish the job on her former lover. As Natasha, Nina and the police, with the unwanted assistance of a mysterious pair of Ukrainian cops, work at desperate cross-purposes in the present, trouble is brewing in Ukraine during the famine of 1934. Olga Trofimenko's father, Andreij, who has brought his wife and children--Olga, her older sister, Oxana, and their younger brother, Kolja--to Mykolayevka so that he can manage the collective farm there, abandons his family to take up with another woman, throwing them on the dubious mercies of their doctrinaire schoolteacher, Comrade Semienova, and Uncle Stalin. Sooner or later, of course, this grim past will collide with the troubled present, and trying to imagine how they'll come together, and whether their connection will justify all the threatened coincidences and loose ends, is the chief pleasure this ice-cold thriller offers. The most conventionally plotted of Nina's three adventures, and the one in which she has the least to do, is still required reading for fans of the burgeoning field of new Nordic suspense. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 September #2

In the third book of this Scandinavian crime series (after Invisible Murder), Red Cross nurse Nina Borg is once again involved in the lives of Eastern European immigrants living in Denmark. She has been treating an eight-year-old Ukrainian girl at a Red Cross center while the girl's mother, Natasha Doroshenko, is in police custody. Natasha has been arrested for murdering her Danish fiancé. After Natasha escapes custody on the way to Copenhagen's police headquarters, her only goal is to be reunited with her daughter. However, someone tries to abduct the child from the center. As Nina investigates the attempted abduction, she realizes she knows very little about Natasha's life in the Ukraine and will discover that the secret may lie far in the past--back to the Stalinist 1930s. On a personal level, Nina, now divorced, is trying to keep her relationship with her own two children while attempting to safeguard the other woman's child. VERDICT While the parallel story line describing family life in 1930s Ukraine at times is disruptive to the main plot, fans of the duo's previous books will not be disappointed. The authors maintain similar tension and mood as in their earlier books, and Nina Borg remains determined to protect those whom others might see as outcasts from society.--Jean King, West Hempstead P.L., NY

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 September #4

Artfully drawn characters who are a pleasure to know populate Kaaberbøl and Friis's excellent third thriller featuring nurse Nina Borg (after 2013's Invisible Murder). At a Red Cross crisis center in Copenhagen known as Coal-House Camp, Nina bonds with Natasha Doroshenko, a Ukrainian refuge. Natasha is arrested for the attempted murder of her abusive Danish fiancé, but Nina believes she is innocent, even after Natasha escapes from custody and the fiancé is brutally slain. Meanwhile, two Ukrainian police officers arrive in Copenhagen looking for Natasha to question her about the murder of her husband, Pavel, three years earlier in Kiev. Nina asks for help from Søren Kirkegard, a member of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, whom she knows slightly and trusts implicitly. Woven in with the present-day narrative are scenes from 1934 Ukraine, where two sisters are starving in a nightmare childhood. The stories eventually link up, of course, with one final clever twist. (Nov.)

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