Danish thriller

The Considerate Killer is the fourth in the superb Nina Borg series of thrillers by the Danish duo, Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis. Sadly, it reads like the last of the series.

A neurotic nurse who looks for trouble

Nina Borg is a neurotic Red Cross nurse nearing middle age. Her several neuroses have alienated her husband and distanced her from her two young children. These afflictions include an obsession with knowing the time from one minute to the next and a pronounced tendency to insert herself into what are obviously life-threatening circumstances. The first three books in the Nina Borg series establish these patterns beyond any doubt. In The Considerate Killer, she finds herself once again in mortal danger — but this time it wasn’t her choice.


The Considerate Killer (Nina Borg #4) by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis @@@@@ (5 out of 5)


Emergency surgery in the snow

Returning to her car in a parking garage with her arms full of groceries, Nina is savagely attacked and nearly killed by two massive blows to her head. She is saved only by the intervention of a passerby. The incident leaves her lying in a hospital bed without any memory of the day’s events — and reinforces her ex-husband, her mother, and her children in thinking that she is hopelessly destined to be a victim of violent crime. As this action unfolds, the man who loves her — an officer in Denmark’s police intelligence service (PET) — is recuperating from a nearly fatal gunshot wound in a recent incident. Nina saved his life then by administering emergency surgery in the snow. As soon as he learns of the attack on her, he rushes to the hospital to support her and insert himself into the investigation of the incident by local police.

Far away in the Philippines

Meanwhile, months earlier, far away in the Philippines, three young medical students have formed a firm friendship. One of the three, the son of a wealthy and powerful Philippine politician, persuades the others to move in with him to the spacious luxury apartment his father has purchased for him. The complexity of the developing relationships among these three young men constitutes a parallel plot that unfolds as Nina’s recuperation proceeds. Naturally, the two plot lines will intersect, and explosively so.

Outstanding Danish thrillers

The connection to the Philippines will not surprise any fan of these novels. In each of the preceding three books, Nina has become involved with violent crimes centered in other foreign countries, including Hungary and Ukraine. Following a familiar pattern, Kaaberbøl and Friis maximize the suspense by alternating scenes from the past in the Philippines with the story of Nina’s slow recovery in Denmark. The intersection of the two plot lines builds suspense to an unnerving degree and allows the authors the opportunity to add depth to the principal characters. You can expect nothing less from this talented pair of thriller writers.

For further reading

This book is included in my list of The 10 best books of 2016. And for a guide to the best Scandinavian mysteries and thrillers, check out The best Nordic noir series from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland.

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