Until recently, the term “Scandinavian import” evoked blond wood and incomprehensible instructions, not tightly packed and darkly intricate crime novels. Stieg Larsson’s Swedish shockwave The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo changed that, making northern Europe a hotspot for mystery—and misogyny, as reviewers worldwide debated whether his books exposed violence against women, or recreated it. Now, thanks to Danish novelists Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis, there is an alternative for readers who want twists and thrills without Larsson’s undercurrents of sexual sadism—The Boy in the Suitcase.

Stieg Larsson isn’t the only Scandinavian thriller with a message as Danish authors of The Boy in the Suitcase tell Hugh Ryan about their novel, which tackles the dark world of human trafficking.

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