Invisible Murder by Lene Kaaberbøll & Agnete Friis

invisible murder

Invisible Murder by Lene Kaaberbøll & Agnete Friis, translated by Tara Chace

Soho Crime, October 2012

Originally published as Et stille umærkeligt drab, 2010

It seems I’m returning to series I liked this month–or at least this is the second book in the row that meets the criteria– and I enjoyed Invisible Murder, the second installment in the series featuring Nina Borg, a nurse who moonlights as a nurse for refugees in Denmark. Her work with the Network not only endangers herself, but it has exacted a huge toll on her husband and family, and this book is no exception.

The story centers on two young men who are Roma from Hungary, the younger of whom tries to sell something dangerous to a buyer in Denmark and implicates his brother, a law student on the verge of graduating. The story of Tamas and Sandor is the most affecting part of this book, and I was more invested in their plights than I was in Nina’s. Kaaberbol and Friis also create other sympathetic characters, including the aging investigator Soren Kirkegaard and retired building inspector Sklou-Larsen who has a rocky marriage to a much younger woman. I’m not sure why they don’t portray Nina as a bit more sympathetic: she’s pretty single-minded.

I enjoyed the first and final thirds of the book more than the middle (the second third wasn’t very mysterious to me): the first section told Sandor’s story, and the last section was very brisk as the case came together, but that is my only complaint about the book. I’m not sure why it took me over two years to get back to the series: I’ll be seeking out the rest.

I borrowed this book from the library.

Other reviews appear in EuroCrime, Reactions to Reading, and International Noir Fiction.



7 thoughts on “Invisible Murder by Lene Kaaberbøll & Agnete Friis

  1. I think this is a terrific series, Rebecca. I’m glad you found more things to like than not like about the book, and I do recommend the others in the series.

    • It’s always good to hear that the series quality holds up, Margot. Now if I could read more quickly, I could really attack my TBR shelves!

  2. I like Nina Borg and this series, especially this one and the first, the third not so much. But I’ll keep reading them as long as Kaaberbol and Friis keep writing them.
    I thought it good that the authors told of anti-Roma and anti-Muslim bigotry in Denmark. The lives of Roma in Western and Eastern Europe nowadays is still difficult.
    My only quibble with this book is the irresponsibility of Borg regarding her children’s safety; it’s as if she’s unconscious to possibilities of danger. I won’t say more as not to say spoilers, but it aggravated me. The late, brilliant blogger, Maxine Clarke, got angry at the character’s lack of attention to her children.
    OK. This is fiction, not real life. Characters aren’t perfect, nor are real people. But a few things in this book were annoying.
    Nevertheless, I liked it.

    • I’ll have to look up Maxine’s review, Kathy. Nina was even more clueless about protecting her children in this book compared to the first– and it did grate on me too. Kaaberbol and Friis are very good at weaving social justice issues into their books, I agree. Have you read the next in the series?

  3. Yes, but the first book was read by friends who did not loan it to their daughter who has a little boy. I didn’t think she should read it either. I liked that one a lot.
    Yes, the authors weave social issues in well.
    I didn’t like the third one at all. Some readers did. I thought the interspersing of a past time period with the present did not work. And the past sections’ plot didn’t work for me either, nor did the denouement or reasons for murders. So it didn’t work.
    I hope the next book is kept in the present day, dealing with current issues.
    And yes, Borg endangered her children more in this book unnecessarily — although this is part of her character and a plot device, but she didn’t appear to be too upset when her child was in danger. A parent character would usually be internally upset, and verbalizing it to someone.

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