Don's Reviews > The Man from Beijing

The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell
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Feb 18, 2010

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bookshelves: mystery

Having experienced nearly a year of cooing from the likes of NPR, Time, EW and various newspapers over this book, I'm ultimately disappointed. The red ribbon is a nice piece of symbolism (i.e., red string of fate), but ultimately merely demonstrates the author's knowledge of Chinese culture rather than serving as a critical plot point. The jumps through time and history were interesting and served to move the ideas forward, but the ending ultimately disappoints. Motive is never truly explained, as simple revenge seems too far-fetched.

Most puzzling is the sub-plot involving our amateur sleuth's troubled marriage. While it helps to flesh out the character a bit, it's ultimately non-essential to the story. There must be some purpose to this though . . . perhaps it's a Swedish angst thing.
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