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Publisher's Summary

The acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries, writing at the height of his powers, now gives us an electrifying stand-alone global thriller.
January 2006. In the Swedish hamlet of Hesjvallen, 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 Andrns, are among the victims, and Birgitta soon learns that an Andrn family in Nevada has also been murdered. She then discovers the 19th-century diary of an Andrn ancestora gang master on the American transcontinental railwaythat describes brutal treatment of Chinese slave workers. The police insist that only a lunatic could have committed the Hesjvallen 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 Statesa history that will ensnare Birgitta as she draws ever closer to solving the Hesjvallen murders.
©2010 Henning Mankell; (P)2010 Random House
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Terry R. Mabry on 02-25-10

The Man From Beijing is a keeper

I have listened to all of Henning Mankell's novels and enjoyed every one of them. Kurt Wallander is one of my favorite sleuths. With this novel from 2006, however, he has outdone himself. Departing from his normal formula, The Man From Beijing takes us back to the 1860's in Nevada and to today's (2006) China. What a wonderful listen this book was. The characters, as always, are fully developed and seem real to me. The journey Mankell takes us on is interesting and informative and very suspenseful. I loved it.

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22 of 22 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 05-15-10

Loved most of the book

What I thought was going to be a fairly straightforward mystery ended up being an interesting exploration of justice, family dynamics, revenge, and the past (and future) of socialism in China. I loved the complex stories (past and present) that were woven together. My only problem is that I felt that Mankell started to lose the plot (literally) as the book approached the end. There is something that seems to me to be a continuity issue, but more to the point, one of the main characters did a couple of things that seemed really improbable to me.

One of the best books I'd read recently, until the ending. But I could be in the minority.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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