cover image Death of a Nightingale

Death of a Nightingale

Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis, trans. from the Danish by Elisabeth Dyssegaard. Soho Crime, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-61695-304-1

Artfully drawn characters who are a pleasure to know populate Kaaberbøl and Friis’s excellent third thriller featuring nurse Nina Borg (after 2013’s Invisible Murder). At a Red Cross crisis center in Copenhagen known as Coal-House Camp, Nina bonds with Natasha Doroshenko, a Ukrainian refuge. Natasha is arrested for the attempted murder of her abusive Danish fiancé, but Nina believes she is innocent, even after Natasha escapes from custody and the fiancé is brutally slain. Meanwhile, two Ukrainian police officers arrive in Copenhagen looking for Natasha to question her about the murder of her husband, Pavel, three years earlier in Kiev. Nina asks for help from Søren Kirkegard, a member of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, whom she knows slightly and trusts implicitly. Woven in with the present-day narrative are scenes from 1934 Ukraine, where two sisters are starving in a nightmare childhood. The stories eventually link up, of course, with one final clever twist. (Nov.)