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The man from Beijing
Mankell, Henning
Adult Fiction MANKELL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A massacre in the remote Swedish village of Hesjövallen propels this complex, if diffuse, stand-alone thriller from Mankell (The Pyramid). Judge Birgitta Roslin, whose mother grew up in the village, comes across diaries from the house of one of the 19 mostly elderly victims kept by Jan Andren, an immigrant ancestor of Roslin's. The diaries cover Andren's time as a foreman on the building of the transcontinental railroad in the United States. An extended flashback charts the journey of a railroad worker, San, who was kidnapped in China and shipped to America in 1863. After finding evidence linking a mysterious Chinese man to the Hesjövallen murders, Roslin travels to Beijing, suspecting that the motive for the horrific crime is rooted in the past. While each section, ranging in setting from the bleak frozen landscape of northern Sweden to modern-day China bursting onto the global playing field, compels, the parts don't add up to a fully satisfying whole. Author tour. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A 2006 massacre in Sweden reverberates back to 19th-century China and America in this stand-alone by the author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries. When 19 of the 22 residents of a Swedish hamlet are brutally murdered, Judge Brigitta Roslin discovers that the victims include her late mother's foster parents, so she looks into the case, offering a theory counter to that of local authorities. Even after the arrest of a local man who confesses and then commits suicide, Roslin continues probing in a quest that eventually takes her to China and puts her in mortal danger. And she finds that revenge-whether sweet or best served cold-is a powerful motivator even after a century and a half. VERDICT Most compelling at the beginning and end, this sprawling novel becomes a leisurely examination of history's injustices and consequences as well as an intriguing postulation of how China might meet its most pressing societal problem. Mankell humanizes the earnest, even meddlesome Roslin, so that the reader can't help but wish her well. Already an international best seller, this seems destined for success here, too. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/09; 125,000-copy first printing.]-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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