Danish Red Cross nurse Nina Borg was first introduced to readers in The Boy In The Suitcase. Nina takes her job very seriously and her commitment to her work has interfered with her relationship with her husband and children.
The book skips back and forth between Nina’s present day time and the story of two young women growing up in Stalinist Ukraine in 1934, the time of the terrible famine. The story of the two young girls growing up during the famine is one that keeps the reader fascinated.
Nina currently is working at the Coal House Camp for Refugees and has taken a special interest in an eight-year-old girl asthmatic whose name is Rina. Rina’s Ukrainian mother, Natasha Doroshenko, has been arrested for murdering her Danish fiancée. Natasha is no stranger to murder. Natasha’s first husband was murdered three years early in Kiev.
Nina is familiar with Natasha’s case since at one point Natasha took refuge at a crisis center where Nina works. Everything about the case comes to a head when, on the way to Copenhagen’s police headquarters to be interrogated, Natasha escapes. Natasha looked at Google Earth and feels sure that she can locate the Coal House Camp. Meanwhile someone tries to abduct Rina from the camp.
Nina is frantically searching for both the mother and daughter but without much luck.
When the author reveals the connection between the two young girls living in the time of the famine and their connection with Natasha and her daughter I am sure the reader will be surprised and shocked.
As the book ends Nina wonders if she will ever be able to make her way back to her husband and children and be a part of their lives.
Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, November 2013.