DEATH OF A NIGHTINGALE
The Danish duo just keeps getting better. The second book in their Nina Borg series topped the first with even more nuance and adventure. But the third is near perfect. The narrative toggles between Ukraine under “Uncle Stalin” in the ‘30s, a time of famine and totalitarian repression, and modern-day Ukraine and Denmark. Every plotline has pathos, family loyalties and betrayals, and the pure and consuming love of a mother for her children. Nina has deepened and become more complex, and fans will eagerly await her next escapade. For maximum enjoyment, it should be read after the first two in the series.
In Denmark, illegal Ukrainian immigrant Natasha Doroshenko, jailed for attempted murder, escapes and tries to free her 8-year-old daughter from a refugee camp. But she’s not the only person after Katerina; various shadowy figures from her home country are closing in, and Red Cross nurse Nina Borg, who promised Natasha she’d keep Katerina safe, is in their crosshairs as well. Natasha’s journalist husband died violently in Kiev, and his murder seems to somehow tie in with the story of two sisters who endured cruelty and hardships in1930s Ukraine. (SOHO CRIME, Nov., 368 pp., $26.95)