It is October 1914, and Swedish naval officer Lars Tobiasson-Svartman is charged with a secret mission to take depth readings around the Stockholm archipelago. In the course of his work, he lands on the rocky isle of Halsskär. It seems impossible for it to be habitable, yet it is home to the young widow Sara Fredrika, who lives in near-total isolation and is unaware that the world is at war.
A man of control and precision, Tobiasson-Svartman is overwhelmed by his attraction to the half-wild, illiterate Sara Fredrika, a total contrast to his reserved, elegant wife. Soon he enacts the worst of his impulses, turning into another, far more dangerous man, ready to trade in lies and even death to get closer to the lonely woman without losing hold of his wife. Matters of shame, fidelity, and duty are swept to sea as he struggles to maintain his parallel lives, with devastating consequences for the women who love him.
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"This is a memorable and shocking psychological study." - PW.
"Simply extraordinary." - Kirkus
"Mankell's slow pacing requires some patience, and the Scandinavian gloom is oppressive. This nightmarish tale may remind older readers of Kobo Abe's classic novel The Woman in the Dunes (1964)." - Library Journal.
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Author Henning Mankell was the acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries plus more than 20 other novels, both series and stand-alones. The Kurt Wallander series has been published in thirty-three countries and consistently tops 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 divided his time between Sweden and Maputo, Mozambique until his death in October 2015 from cancer.
Kurt Wallander Series Order (dates are English-language publication dates):
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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