The acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries, writing at the
height of his powers, now gives us an electrifying stand-alone global
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
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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