The Man from Beijing: Book summary and reviews of The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell

The Man from Beijing

By Henning Mankell

The Man from Beijing
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2010,
    384 pages.

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Book Summary

January 2006. In the Swedish hamlet of Hesjövallen, nineteen people have been massacred. The only clue is a red ribbon found at the scene.

Judge Birgitta Roslin has particular reason to be shocked: Her grandparents, the Andréns, are among the victims, and Birgitta soon learns that an Andrén family in Nevada has also been murdered. She then discovers the nineteenth-century diary of an Andrén ancestor—a gang master on the American transcontinental railway—that describes brutal treatment of Chinese slave workers. The police insist that only a lunatic could have committed the Hesjövallen murders, but Birgitta is determined to uncover what she now suspects is a more complicated truth.

The investigation leads to the highest echelons of power in present-day Beijing, and to Zimbabwe and Mozambique. But the narrative also takes us back 150 years into the depths of the slave trade between China and the United States—a history that will ensnare Birgitta as she draws ever closer to solving the Hesjövallen murders.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"While each section... compels, the parts don't add up to a fully satisfying whole." - Publishers Weekly

"Breathtakingly bold in its scope. If Mankell never links his far-flung, multigenerational horrors closely together, that's an important part of his point." - Kirkus Reviews

"Yes, Mankell overextends himself here, but he also shows why he remains a must-read for anyone interested in the international crime novel." - Booklist

"With this overwhelming thriller, Mankell has perhaps presented us with his best book ever." - Westdeutsche Allgemeine (Germany)
 
"Mankell’s best thriller in fifteen years." - Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)
 
"A fantastic book ..... The book of the year so far ... Whether you read it as a suspense novel, a thriller, or as commentary on the world of today with roots more than 150 years back, it is fascinating."
- Kulturspeilet (Norway)
 
"Mankell continues as one of the kings of the noir novel." - El Mundo (Spain)

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Aj
The Man from Beijing
Really was enjoying the book, couldn't wait till the end but unfortunately that is where it fell down. I knew the answer to the killings long before the end but kept hoping for a surprising twist none came. The end was a real fizzler. All the characters in the book were very superficial.

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Author Information

Henning Mankell Author Biography

Henning Mankell is the acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries. The books have been published in thirty-three countries and consistently top the bestseller lists in Europe, receiving major literary prizes (including the UK's Golden Dagger Award in 2000) and generating numerous international film and television adaptations. Born in a village in northern Sweden in 1948, Mankell divides his time between Sweden and Maputo, Mozambique.

Kurt Wallander Series (dates are English-language publication dates):

  1. Faceless Killers (1997)

  2. The Dogs of Riga, (2001)

  3. White Lioness (1998)

  4. The Man Who Smiled, (2005)

  5. Sidetracked (1999)

  6. The Fifth Woman (2000)

  7. One Step Behind (2002)

  8. Firewall (2002)

  9. The Pyramid (2008)

  10. The Grave (not available in English)

  11. The Troubled Man (2011)

...

... Full Biography
Link to Henning Mankell's Website

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