The Man from Beijing (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) – Henning Mankell

Description:

The best-selling, award-winning author of the Kurt Wallander series delivers an incredible stand-alone masterpiece: a bone-chilling mystery that spans two centuries and four continents.

In the far north of Sweden a small, quiet village has been almost entirely wiped out by a mass murderer. The only clue left at the scene is a red ribbon. Among the victims are the grandparents of Judge Birgitta Roslin, who sets out to find the killer. Despite being brushed off by the police, Birgitta is determined to prove that the murders were not a random act of violence but are part of something far more dark and complex. Her investigation leads to the highest echelons of power and into the recesses of history where the seeds of evil deeds were planted.

Review From Publishers Weekly

A massacre in the remote Swedish village of Hesjövallen propels this complex, if diffuse, stand-alone thriller from Mankell (The Pyramid). Judge Birgitta Roslin, whose mother grew up in the village, comes across diaries from the house of one of the 19 mostly elderly victims kept by Jan Andrén, an immigrant ancestor of Roslin’s. The diaries cover Andrén’s time as a foreman on the building of the transcontinental railroad in the United States. An extended flashback charts the journey of a railroad worker, San, who was kidnapped in China and shipped to America in 1863. After finding evidence linking a mysterious Chinese man to the Hesjövallen murders, Roslin travels to Beijing, suspecting that the motive for the horrific crime is rooted in the past. While each section, ranging in setting from the bleak frozen landscape of northern Sweden to modern-day China bursting onto the global playing field, compels, the parts don’t add up to a fully satisfying whole. Author tour. (Feb.)

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