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Extended Audio Sample The Man from Beijing, by Henning Mankell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,868 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henning Mankell Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 nineteenth-century diary of an Andrn ancestor—a gang master on the American transcontinental railway—that 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 States—a history that will ensnare Birgitta as she draws ever closer to solving the Hesjvallen murders.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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)
  • Explosive. Leben & Glauben (Germany)
  • “It may not be flawless, but Henning Mankell’s The Man From Beijing is a great mystery that belongs in the company of other knockout masterpieces of moral complexity and atmosphere like Dorothy Sayers’ The Nine Tailors, Robert Goddard’s Beyond Recall, Barbara Vine’s A Dark-Adapted Eye, and Mankell’s own brilliant 2002 gloomfest, One Step Behind. The new novel’s ambitious plotting alone should be dissected and taught in MFA programs…a brilliant tale of suspense and substance that dedicated mystery readers will want to savor.”

    Washington Post

  • “Mankell humanizes the earnest, even meddlesome Roslin, so that the reader can't help but wish her well.”

    Library Journal

  • “A sweepingly ambitious tale of corruption, injustice, and revenge…Breathtakingly bold in its scope.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • This is hands down the best thriller I’ve read in five years. Grade: A . . . Complex and enormously satisfying. Entertainment Weekly
  • The book cements Mankell’s reputation as Sweden’s greatest living mystery writer . . . Roslin is a sort of Nordic Miss Marple. Los Angeles Times
  • Mankell succeeds in transfixing the reader with a masterly balance of character sketches and pell-mell storytelling. He is entirely convincing in his depiction of ordinary people becoming enmeshed in geopolitical intrigue. Wall Street Journal
  • Mankell’s new book is an original but still chock-a-block with gory crime combined with hints of the late Stieg Larsson’s social concern and John le Carré’s international intrigue. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • A must-read for anyone interested in the international crime novel. Booklist
  • Over the past decade or so, Henning Mankell has built a large audience that, even now, in the (mostly) snowless U.S., can’t wait to find copies of his new snowbound work of mystery. The Man from Beijing more than repays such patience. It’s a terrific police procedural . . . Despite the broad reach of the plot, the book never puts the reader in danger of losing interest. Alan Cheuse, Dallas Morning News 
  • The Man from Beijing, though not a Wallander novel, is the equal to any in that series. It’s the work of a writer with the imagination, brains, resources, and joinerly craft needed to make thoughtful, challenging, exciting, artistic novels . . . Remarkable. Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Scandinavian crime writing has seldom shouldered the burdens of world history with such upfront ambition. Independent (UK)
  • Breathtakingly bold in its scope. Kirkus Reviews
  • Gripping . . . It is the disruption, the threat and the delicious chill of fear, all safely contained, that is the pleasure of this book. Observer (UK) 
  • With this overwhelming thriller, Mankell has perhaps presented us with his best book ever. Westdeutsche Allgemeine (Germany)
  • Mankell’s best thriller in fifteen years. Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)
  • A fantastic book . . . The book of the year so far . . . Whether you read it as a suspense novel, a thriller, or as commentary on the world of today with roots more than 150 years back, it is fascinating. Kulturspeilet (Norway)
    “[The Man from Beijing] conquers the world.
  • Mankell shows us once again that he is the absolute master of his class. Kulturbase (Germany)
  • Selected for the March 2010 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Doreen | 2/19/2014

    " Who would have thought a Swedish Murder Mystery would involve Chinese Geo-politics. And excellent read that will keep you spell bound. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Betty | 2/17/2014

    " I could hardly put this book down from start to finish! It included mystery, suspense, historical fiction,and great characters. I gave it 4 stars, but it was more like 4+. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Losososdiane | 2/16/2014

    " I was not impressed at all despite the hype this novel has received. I did not care at all about the characters or their fates. Actually, I thought the judge was something of a fool and her actions did not ring true at all. I could not get a handle on any of the other characters. They seemed cartoonish. The initial scene with the wolf was riveting but, to be brutally honest, I thought this book was a waste of time. I've read one or two of the Wallander books and quite enjoyed them. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Nicole Sohl | 2/9/2014

    " I really tried to give this a decent chance but 150 pages in it went from bad to terrible. I had to just put it down finally. "

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