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Extended Audio Sample The Return of the Dancing Master, 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 (2,608 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henning Mankell Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When retired policeman Herbert Molin is found brutally slaughtered on his remote farm in the northern forests of Sweden, police find strange tracks in the snow, as if someone had been practicing the tango. Stefan Lindman, a young police officer recently diagnosed with mouth cancer, decides to investigate the murder of his former colleague but is soon enmeshed in a mystifying case with no witnesses and no apparent motives. Terrified of the disease that could take his life, Lindman becomes more and more reckless as he unearths the chilling links between Molin’s death and an underground neo-Nazi network that runs further and deeper than he could ever have imagined.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Violence strikes with quick and shocking ferocity…The story has a density that demands—and rewards—intellectual movement.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Mankell weaves a mournful spell through all his mysteries by adopting a calm, dispassionate tone that artfully underlines an abiding humanism for psychic as well as physical suffering…Sends a shiver down the spine.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Delightfully morbid…Steering between literature and suspense, [Mankell’s] measured prose recalls those gloomy precisionists Peter Handke and Patricia Highsmith.”


  • “Irrestible…[Mankell] is a master at constructing gripping, intricately plotted police procedurals with a strong dose of social commentary…The appeal…[is] the sheer brutal imaginativeness of the crimes.”

    Business Week

  • “Henning Mankell is by far the best writer of police mysteries today. He is in the great tradition of those whose work transcends their chosen genre to become thrilling and moral literature.”

    Michael Ondaatje

  • “The characters drawn by Henning Mankell are so real you can hear them breathe…Grover Gardner is unemotional and straightforward as he narrates Mankell’s terse descriptions and painstakingly precise details. Gardner is extremely affecting without becoming melodramatic, especially as Lindman ponders his own mortality…Gardner’s performance transcends the dreary, sunless Swedish landscape, bringing just the right tone to Mankell’s gritty police procedural.”


  • “As always, Mankell tells somber, deeply pessimistic stories about widespread hatred lurking below the multicultural surface, but at the same time, he never fails to find a rich vein of humanity deep within the perpetually furrowed brows of his troubled cops.”


  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Chosen as a 2009 AudioFile Best Voicefor Mysteries
  • Winner of the 2005 Gumshoe Award for Best European Crime Novel
  • A 2004 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Mystery/Thriller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Ciara | 2/12/2014

    " This plot had great potential. But instead of building momentum it dragged on and on. Maybe it was supposed to reflect the long cold dark winters in Sweden. Or maybe it's just not that good "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Marcelo Gonzalez | 2/12/2014

    " If you love Wallander you'll definitely love this book, every chapter gives you a new clue and by the end you are still shocked about what happened. Great book, a truly page-turner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jane | 2/10/2014

    " Mankell's "cases" are always as much about the detective and the other characters as they are about the crimes, bizarre as the crimes often are. Very enjoyable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Barksdale Penick | 2/2/2014

    " I found this book easy to read, but really don't see the point. It is too long, highly improbable, and filled with guys who are too angsty to call home and say they miss their wives. Plus it is improbable. Did I already say that? "

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