Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The Considerate Killer by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis

First Line: The confessional was empty.

In a last-ditch attempt to save their marriage, Nina Borg and her husband left Denmark for a dream vacation in the Philippines. Six months have passed, and only now are repercussions from that holiday surfacing.

Nina is attacked in a grocery store parking lot. The last thing she remembers is her attacker asking for forgiveness. It's only after Nina can begin to think clearly and piece things together that she realizes the attempt on her life has to be linked to that Philippine vacation and the three young men she met there by chance.

I've enjoyed this series from its inception. Nina Borg is a Red Cross nurse with serious flaws-- the origin of which become crystal clear in The Considerate Killer. Anyone in need always comes before her husband and children, and her husband is understandably sick of it. In this fourth book, however, Nina is the one who needs help. She has suffered serious injuries that may affect her for the rest of her life.

There are various points of view throughout the book which help to clarify the story. We hear from Nina, from Søren who comes to her aid, and from three young men that Nina met while in the Philippines. In part The Considerate Killer is the character study of a weak young man and the depths to which his weakness takes him. Although I did enjoy the sections taking place in the Philippines, I did miss the focus being on Nina because she is such a strong, vivid character.

Since the "who" part of the mystery is answered very early on, it's the "why" that becomes the primary question. That... and the question readers have asked themselves many times: Has Nina finally learned to stop trying to save the world?

Nina is the heart and soul of this series. Seldom do readers get to know a character who so wholeheartedly-- and blindly-- throws herself into the role of White Knight, constantly battling to do right, unceasing in her fight to give a voice to the powerless. Yes, the stories are excellent, but Nina is the reason I recommend this series-- and to fully understand her, I suggest you begin at the beginning with The Boy in the Suitcase.     

The Considerate Killer by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis
Translated from the Danish by Elisabeth Dyssegaard
ISBN: 9781616955281
Soho Crime © 2016
Hardcover, 320 pages

Amateur Sleuth, #4 Nina Borg mystery
Rating: B+
Source: the publisher 



  1. I like this series, too, and have read the first three books. Liked the first two, not the third.

    However, this one sounds interesting, but I concur that I'd miss the focus being on Nina Borg. But I will read it when it comes to the library.

    I think it's a good thing that she is so invested in helping people, especially in the first two books, a child and then immigrants. However, I was disappointed in her putting her own children in such danger in book two. That prompted her spouse to take the children away from her household. Don't blame him.

    However, as I remind myself to "Stay Calm. This is fiction."

    1. I think one of the reasons why I like the series so much is that you cheer Nina on for doing what's right-- but at the same time you want to shake some sense into her when it comes to her husband and (especially) her children. You normally don't run across many characters like that in fiction.

  2. I enjoy this series a lot, Cathy, so I'm glad you thought this was a good entry. I admit I've not gotten to it yet, but it's good to know I have something enjoyable to look forward to reading.

    1. It is, isn't it? I feel the same way when someone reviews a book in a series I'm a bit behind on.

  3. I've had the first book here for quite some time. And I did very much enjoy listening to Agnete Friis on a panel this last weekend. Need to move the first book up the pile.

    P.S. I talked for almost an hour and a half last night at book group. We ate snacks at this meeting and they ate and I talked. Now they all want to sign up for LCC Hawaii! LOL

    1. I don't blame them. I've never been to Hawaii before, so it does tempt me.

      The last panel I attended Sunday was on writing partnerships, so I was able to see both Kaaberbol and Friis. The entire panel was fascinating-- one of my favorites of all I attended.

  4. I thin kit's much more common in mysteries and other fiction for male characters to be conflicted about their jobs vs. their families. Not common for that conflict to be in a woman's life. And not too many women detectives have children. Think V.I. Warshawski, Sharon McCone, Kinsey Millhone.

    Irene Huss in Helen Turston's series in Goteberg doesn't seem to be in conflict. She's home often, but relies on her spouse, to be there for their children when she isn't home.

    Annika Bengtzon is often in conflict about her job vs. children but she usually doesn't put them in danger -- unless, by dint of her investigations, they are in danger anyway. She doesn't make the mistakes Nina Borg does though.

    I found the situation in book 2 with Nina's children to be so harrowing, I was fed up --almost. Of course, I continued reading the series and will do so.

    1. I heard somewhere on the grapevine that this is supposed to be the last Nina book. I don't know if it's true or not.

      And I loved your comment with all those character assessments, Kathy. Lots of food for thought and comparison!


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