The Man From Beijing – Henning Mankell

A rather unexpected combination of a mass murder in a remote Swedish hamlet (OK, that’s not an unusual Mankell plotline!) with an account of a 19th century Chinese peasant’s kidnap and indenture into the building of the railroads of the American West and commentary on modern Chinese colonialism in Africa and Communist party politics….

A really good read – but we’re not talking Wallander so don’t expect a classic Scandinavian crime novel. link: The Man From Beijing – Henning Mankell

The Return Of The Dancing Master – Henning Mankell

Set in turn of the millenium Sweden, Stefan Lindman – previously only known to me as Wallander’s supporting detective – is diagnosed with cancer of the tongue and distracts himself during his sick leave inby investigating the murder of a former colleague, Herbert Molin, who had retired to the distant north.

The Return Of The Dancing Master is not simply a detective novel, it is also a commentary on Swedish history and society in the 20th century, and the cancer of Nazi fascist beliefs that – in Henning Manekell’s novel – lie not so dormant in some sections of modern Swedish society. link: The Return Of The Dancing Master – Henning Mankell

Firewall – Henning Mankell

My first encounter with Swedish detective Kurt Wallander and I have to keep blocking out the image of Kenneth Brannagh who plays him in the TV series, which I’ve avoided. Definitely keen to read some of his other outings – although the repeated references to this being the most difficult case of his (already extensive) career do make me wonder if I risk disappointment when it comes to plot…..

Still the combination of computer hackery, ingeniously interconnecting characters and plotlines and gruesome murders, albeit a touch close to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, together with the police force’s own internal politicking, kept me turning the pages well after dusk has fallen by the pool of the Al Manzil hotel. link: Firewall – Henning Mankell