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Death of a Nightingale

Cover of Death of a Nightingale

Death of a Nightingale

Nina Borg Mystery Series, Book 3
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From the Nordic noir duo who brought you The New York Times bestseller The Boy in the Suitcase comes a chilling new thriller with a mystery seventy-years in the making.

Nina. Natasha. Olga. Three women united by one terrifying secret. But only one of them has killed to keep it.

Natasha Doroshenko, a Ukrainian woman who has been convicted for the attempted murder of her Danish ex-fiancé, escapes police custody on her way to an interrogation in Copenhagen's police headquarters. That same night, the ex-fiancé's frozen, tortured body is found in a car. It isn't the first time the young Ukrainian woman has lost a partner to violent ends: her first husband was murdered three years earlier in Kiev in the same manner.

Danish Red Cross nurse Nina Borg has followed Natasha's case for years now, ever since Natasha first took refuge at her crisis center. Nina just can't see the young mother as a vicious killer. But in her effort to protect Natasha's daughter and discover the truth, Nina realizes there is much she didn't know about Natasha and her past. The mystery has long and bloody roots, going back to a terrible famine that devastated Stalinist Ukraine in 1934, when a ten-year-old girl with the voice of a nightingale sang her family into shallow graves.

From the Hardcover edition.
From the Nordic noir duo who brought you The New York Times bestseller The Boy in the Suitcase comes a chilling new thriller with a mystery seventy-years in the making.

Nina. Natasha. Olga. Three women united by one terrifying secret. But only one of them has killed to keep it.

Natasha Doroshenko, a Ukrainian woman who has been convicted for the attempted murder of her Danish ex-fiancé, escapes police custody on her way to an interrogation in Copenhagen's police headquarters. That same night, the ex-fiancé's frozen, tortured body is found in a car. It isn't the first time the young Ukrainian woman has lost a partner to violent ends: her first husband was murdered three years earlier in Kiev in the same manner.

Danish Red Cross nurse Nina Borg has followed Natasha's case for years now, ever since Natasha first took refuge at her crisis center. Nina just can't see the young mother as a vicious killer. But in her effort to protect Natasha's daughter and discover the truth, Nina realizes there is much she didn't know about Natasha and her past. The mystery has long and bloody roots, going back to a terrible famine that devastated Stalinist Ukraine in 1934, when a ten-year-old girl with the voice of a nightingale sang her family into shallow graves.

From the Hardcover edition.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    "Go on," says a man's voice. "I'm tired." An older woman answers, clearly uncomfortable and dismissive.
    "But it's so exciting."
    "Exciting?" there's a sharp lash of bitterness to her reaction. "A bit of Saturday entertainment. Is that what it is for you?"
    "No, I didn't mean it like that."
    They are both speaking Ukrainian, he quickly and informally, she more hesitantly.
    In the background you can hear occasional beeps from an electronic game.
    "It's important for posterity."
    The old woman laughs now, a hard and unhappy laughter.
    "Posterity," she says. "Do you mean the child? Isn't she better off not knowing?"
    "If that's how you see it. We should be getting home anyway."
    "No," the word is abrupt. "Not yet. You can stay a little longer."
    "You said you were tired," says the man.
    "No. Not.... that tired."
    "I don't mean to press you."
    "No, I know that. You just thought it was exciting."
    "Forget that I said that. It was stupid."
    "No, no. Children like exciting stories. Fairytales."

    "I was thinking more along the lines of something real. Something you experienced yourself."
    Again a short pause.
    "No, let me tell you a story," the old woman then says suddenly. "A fairytale. A little fairytale from Stalin land. A suitable bedtime story for our little girl. Are you listening, my sweet?"
    Beep, beep, beep-beep. An unclear mumbling from the child. Apparently she isn't really paying much attention, but that doesn't stop the old woman.
    "Once upon a time there were two sisters, "she begins, clearly as if reciting. "Two sisters who both sang so beautifully that the nightingale had to stop singing when it heard them. First one sang for the emperor and in that way caused many people's undoing. The other one resented that and she began to sing too "
    "Who are you talking about?" the man asks. "Is it you? Is it someone we know?"
    The old woman ignores him. There's a harsh ring to her voice. As if she is using the story to punish him.
    "When the emperor heard her, his heart grew inflamed and he had to own her," she continued. "Come to me," he begged. You can be sure he begged.
    "Come to me and be my nightingale. I'll give you gold and beautiful clothes and a servant for every finger."

    Here the old woman stops. It's as if she doesn't really feel like going on, and the man no longer presses her. But the story has its own relentless logic, and she has to finish it.
    "At first she refused. She rejected the emperor. But he persisted. "What should I give you then?" he asked, because he had learned that everything has a price. "I will not come to you," said the other sister, 'before you give me my evil sister's head on a platter.'"
    In the background the beeping sounds from the child's game have ceased. Now there is only an attentive silence.
    "When the emperor saw that a heart as black as sin hid behind the beautiful song," the old woman continues, still using her fairytale voice: "He not only killed the first sister, but also the nightingale's father and mother and grandfather and grandmother and whole family. 'That's what you get for your jealousy,' he said and threw her out."
    The child utters a sound, a frightened squeak. The old woman doesn't seem to notice.
    "Tell me, " she whispers. "Which of them is me?"
    "You're both alive," says the man. "So something in the story must...

About the Author-
  • Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis are the Danish duo behind the Nina Borg series. Friis is a journalist by training, while Kaaberbøl has been a professional writer since the age of fifteen, with more than two million books sold worldwide. Their first collaboration, The Boy in the Suitcase, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, has been translated into thirty languages, and has sold half a million copies worldwide.

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    Soho Press
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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