The Man from Beijing

Publisher: Vintage Canada
From the internationally acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries comes an extraordinary stand-alone novel - both a mystery and a sweeping drama - that traces the legacy of the nineteenth-century slave trade between China and America.

January 2006. In the small Swedish hamlet of Hesjövallen, a horrific scene is discovered: nineteen people have been tortured and massacred an the only clue is a red silk ribbon found at the scene. Judge Birgitta Roslin has a particular reason to be shocked by the crime: her mother's adoptive parents, the Andréns, are among the victims. Investigating further, she learns that an Andrén family living in Nevada has also been murdered. Travelling to Hesjövallen, she finds a diary, kept by a gangmaster on the railway built across America in the 1860s, full of vivid descriptions of the brutality with which the Chinese and other slave workers were treated. She discovers that the red silk ribbon found at the crime scene came from a local Chinese restaurant, and she learns that a Chinese man, a stranger to the town, was staying at a local boarding house at the time of the atrocity. The police insist that only a lunatic could have committed such a horrific crime, but Birgitta suspects that there is much more to it, and she is determined to uncover the truth. Her search takes her from Sweden to Beijing and back, but Mankell's narrative also takes us 150 years into the past: to China and America when the hatred that fuelled the massacre was born, a hatred transformed and complicated over time and that will catch up to Birgitta as she draws ever closer to discovering who is behind the Hesjövallen murders.

From the Hardcover edition.


The Silence (2006)
I, Birgitta Roslin, do solemnly declare that I shall endeavor to the best of my knowledge and in accordance with my conscience to pass judgment without fear or favor, be the accused rich or poor, and according to the laws and statutes of Sweden; never to pervert the law nor...
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An Indie Next List Pick

“Engaging. . . .  great read.”
—The Globe and Mail

"Mankell's best thriller in fifteen years."
— Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)

"The book of the year. Whether you read it as a suspense novel, a thriller, or as a comment on the world today, it is fascinating."
Kulturspeilet (Norway)

"There is no doubt that Mankell with this blockbuster of a thriller has written one of his best books. Suspense until the last page, audacious storytelling, and two female main characters presented with care and compassion."
Dagsavisen (Norway) 
“Henning Mankell’s most absorbing crime novel since he retired Inspector Kurt Wallander a decade ago. . . . Mankell remains patient, confident and thorough. When the story comes to the crunch in suspense, the tension in the crucial scenes suggests the brilliance of Graham Greene. . . . Mankell seems capable of just about anything in The Man from Beijing.”
Toronto Star
The Man from Beijing has the sweep of a John le Carré mystery, exploring questions of morality and responsibility of succeeding generations. Reaching back through history and around the globe, it shows how the consequences of the colonial system reverberate still in today’s political and economic decisions.”
Winnipeg Free Press
“With this overwhelming thriller, Mankell has perhaps presented us with his best book ever.”
— Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)
“An exceptionally good read that is hard to put down. . . . Mankell is a very skilled author who can use the thriller frame in a higher cause without letting go of the suspense or narrative drive.”
— Politiken (Denmark)
“Mankell shows us once again that he is the absolute master.”
— Kultur-base (Germany)

From the Hardcover edition.