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I admit to being among the vast army of Wallender fans and approached this somewhat tentatively as a holiday listen. Detective fiction is not my first choice but I have had lots of it recommended to me recently by enthusiastic friends and relatives. As a result I was also reading a couple of other best selling detective novels by well known authors during the same period. It was clear to me that Mankell is in a class of his own. The plot, characterisation and literary style in this made the others seem somewhat childish and predictable. I have read a couple of other novels recently about neo fascism and WWII collaboration in Scandinavia and again "The Return of the Dancing Master" stands out as more perceptive and thought provoking. This is a mature and intelligent dissection of motivation and a balanced attempt to explain what went on and what is going on. As well as being a deeply satisfying intellectual work it also keeps you hooked until the last word. A special word of appreciation for the narrator on this recording: Sean Barrett's very subtle use of regional British accents to mirror similar cultural differences within Sweden is well judged and adds greatly to the listening experience.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
This was my first Mankell book and I deliberately chose one which wasnt a Wallender book. The story simply pulls you in, fascinatingly revealing modern life and that of the past, and the intersection points where the two collide. I simply had to finish the story, and I wasnt disappointed in the ending.
the narration is particularly important and in this case was well up to the job. Completely loved it.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
What would have made The Return of the Dancing Master better?
A more concise story. It rambled. Regular discussions of the main protagonists health issues took up more space than the actual story.
What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?
I am a big fan of Sean Barrett. He can do no wrong even with this story.
Any additional comments?
Too much emphasis on the health of two characters which, in reality, had very little bearing on the overall story.