Summary and book reviews of Before The Frost by Henning Mankell

Before The Frost

By Henning Mankell

Before The Frost
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2005,
    383 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2006,
    384 pages.

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Book Summary

In this latest atmospheric thriller, Kurt Wallander and his daughter Linda join forces to search for a religious fanatic on a murder spree. Just graduated from the police academy, Linda Wallander returns to Skane to join the police force, and she already shows all the hallmarks of her father--the maverick approach, the flaring temper. Before she even starts work she becomes embroiled in the case of her childhood friend Anna, who has inexplicably disappeared. As the case her father is working on dovetails with her own, something far more dangerous than either could have imagined begins to emerge. They soon find themselves forced to confront a group of extremists bent on punishing the world's sinners.

Translated by Ebba Segerberg.

Chapter 1

The wind picked up shortly after 9.00 on the evening of August 21, 2001. In a valley to the south of the Rommele Hills, small waves were rippling across the surface of Marebo Lake. The man waiting in the shadows beside the water stretched out his hand to discover the direction of the wind. Virtually due south, he found to his satisfaction. He had chosen the right spot to put out food to attract the creatures he would soon be sacrificing.

He sat on the rock where he had spread out a sweater against the chill. It was a new moon and no light penetrated the thick layer of clouds. Dark enough for catching eels. That's what my Swedish playmate used to say when I was growing up. The eels start their migration in August. That's when they bump into the fishermen's traps and wander the length of the trap. And then the trap slams shut.
...

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About This Book
Fans of Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander series have two reasons to rejoice at the appearance of his new novel, Before the Frost. Kurt Wallander is back, as good as ever, and now he is joined by his daughter Linda, who has just graduated from the police academy and is eager to begin her career–and to prove herself to her father.

In one of Mankell's most compelling and suspenseful tales, Linda Wallander finds herself drawn into a plot that threatens the lives of two of her closest friends and, indeed, her own. Just a few days shy of officially joining the Ystad police force, she is given a vivid and ...
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Reviews

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Media Reviews
Author Blurb Michael Ondaatje
For me, Henning Mankell is by far the best writer of police mysteries today.

Kirkus Reviews

Though Mankell's novels can be painfully slow, they're never without their virtues, and this case is redeemed by the electricity between a father and daughter too much alike.

Publishers Weekly

As always with Mankell, the mystery is connected to larger issues--the decline of Swedish civility, of course, but also the danger of religious fundamentalism (the events are set in the weeks before 9/11)--but polemics never trumps suspense in this extraordinarily compelling drama.

Booklist - Bill Ott

Starred Review. This is a fine thriller on its own, but Mankell's real triumph is to stay focused on Linda, a rookie cop whose expertise and worldview are entirely different from her father's, while at the same time revealing new and fascinating aspects of the curmudgeonly Kurt's character.

The New York Times - Marilyn Stasio

It's a good thing, though, that Mankell hasn't put Wallander entirely out to pasture, because his gravitas is sorely needed to lend credibility to the more bizarre elements of the story. ....Linda has a future in this series; but it takes a seasoned philosopher like Wallander to make sense of the horrors that men do to honor their gods.

Los Angeles Times Book Review

Gripping, beautifully orchestrated .... Henning Mankell is an addictive writer.

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Beyond the Book

The Kurt Wallender series is set primarily in Mankell's native Sweden.  You'll find Sweden in the north of Europe between Finland and Norway. With a population of about 9 million, a landmass about the same size as California and a stable population, most people enjoy a good quality of life (albeit cold at some times of the year).  Sweden was a military power up until the 17th century (and long before - think Vikings!),  but has not participated in any war for almost 200 years.  More about Sweden.

The apolcalyptic plot that Wallander and his daughter uncover has its beginnings in the 1978 mass suicide of...

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