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Thank you Soho Crime via Netgalley for providing me with an early copy of this book!
This is the third installment in the Nina Borg series by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnes Friis. I've reviewed both the previous books as well -
The Boy in the Suitcase and Invisible Murder.
Nina Borg, a Danish Red Cross Nurse hell bent on saving the world, is reunited with characters from the first and second books, Natasha and Katerina Dorshenko. Natasha is on the run with her daughter Katerina. They're running from a past that has haunted them since Natasha's first marriage to Katerina's father, Pavel. Pavel was a journalist who's writing often shared secrets some didn't want shared, which eventually led to his death and Natasha's running.
While telling the current day story of Natasha and Katerina, Kaaberbol and Friis also weave in the story of two young Ukrainian girls growing up in Stalin's Great Purge during the 1930's. This is one of the aspects I like most about the Borg series. Kaaberbol and Friis always have two pretty major plots that intersect in unsuspecting ways so readers will always be looking to make a connection, trying to make the pieces fit, but the authors are too crafty to make it that easy - readers will have to wait until all is revealed!
As the two stories unravel readers may get confused. This novel was a bit harder to follow for some reason. I can't pinpoint why because all Nordic tales are harder for me to follow since I don't have the dialect or background down (though I'm getting there as I read more), but this one had me a little lost several times. All was clear by the end though so don't give up!!
Nina sometimes garners sympathy from readers and other times will probably simply frustrate them, but that's what is great about a protagonist with issues! She's flawed just like the rest of us. In this story she still battles between her career and her family. Nina loves her children and her husband, but due to past issues she's faced, she has many demons to conquer and they often manifest in ways that make her feel unequipped as a mother, and set her off on her path to save others, which often puts her family right in the middle of the drama. Whether it is missing a major event in one of her children's lives or simply disappearing for long periods of time, Nina has caused quite a fault line in her marriage and her relationship with her children.
I enjoyed this installment, but not as much as I thought I would. I've mentioned it was a little more confusing, but it was also a little slower than the past two - it dragged a bit and I struggled to stay with it. I believe the two go hand in hand because as things started becoming clearer and the confusion was lessened, the novel became increasingly more interesting. I still plan to continue with the series if more books are released.
I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.