This is the last book in the Nina Borg series. The previous books are The Boy in the Suitcase, a new York times best seller, Invisible Murder, and Death of a Nightingale.
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse who serves in dangerous areas all over the world, is attacked in the parking lot after grocery shopping. Her assailant, after hitting her in the head with a pipe, apologizes to her and says the Lord’s Prayer over her broken body in a language that sounds familiar, but she can’t quite place.
Soren Kirkegard, a policeman out on sick leave and Nina’s lover, is contacted by the hospital. He’s listed as her next of kin on her ID, which surprises him. He didn’t think their relationship had progressed to that level. They hadn’t even talked about moving in together. Why not her ex-husband or her mother? When Soren calls Marten, her ex-husband and father of her two children, his reaction takes Soren by surprise. “What is it this time?” he asks angrily. In the past she’s been shot at, had radiation poisoning, and their daughter was attacked and kidnapped, all because of Nina’s job. Her family resents her traveling over the world to dangerous situations.
The investigation into the attack on Nina alternates with the story of Vincent Bernardo, a young and somewhat naïve student in Manila just starting his studies at St. Francis College of Medicine. He’s received a church scholarship and is nervous that he will disappoint his family if he does not do well. On his first day at school he meets the large but mild mannered Victor, whose tuition is paid by his uncle, and the wealthy and popular Vadim, who is more interested in his social life than medicine.
After the first few chapters, readers will be on the edge of their seat waiting for the two worlds to collide. It’s an interesting and painful look at how the families of people who do dangerous work in disaster and war zones suffer, and what drives people who work for those organizations.
Fans of Scandinavian noir, like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will appreciate this tightly written and gritty series. The previous books in the series are The Boy in the Suitcase, Invisible Murder and Death of a Nightingale.
Reviewed by Susan Belsky, May 2016.