Evanston Public Library's Reviews > The Man from Beijing

The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell
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's review
Apr 16, 2010

Read in April, 2010

What do they do up in the cold winters of Sweden when darkness descends for nigh on 24 hours of the day? I know--they must fill the time by writing best-sellers! Hard on the heels of Stieg Larsson's popular trilogy beginning with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Henning Mankell offers us another complex thriller set in Sweden, but also takes us far afield to China, the U.S., Africa and England. Judge Brigitta Roslin, a middle-aged woman who is overworked and in a marital slump, is surprised to be notified as next of kin of two residents of a tiny village who are among vicitms of a sensational crime in which nineteen mostly elderly people have been brutally and inexplicably slaughtered. Though only distantly connected to the couple, she decides to go to the tiny village to find out more during a two-week medical leave. So begins her amateur sleuthing, and so begins Mankell's twisty tale of murder, revenge, international intrigue, and political corruption at the highest levels. Mankell masterfully reels out the story with detours and details that eventually play out in the exciting, nail biter of a dénouement. Some readers may be familiar with Mankell's much-acclaimed detective novels featuring Inspector Kurt Wallander, a harried, depressed, agonizingly moral man. I wouldn't be surprised if we see more of Judge Roslin who, like Wallander, is not your typical heroine or savvy investigator, but rather a good hearted, earnest truth-seeker. (Barbara L., Reader's Services)

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