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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: October 2008 ISBN: 9781455193349
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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.”

    Guardian

  • “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.”

    AudioFile

  • “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.”

    Booklist

  • 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 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 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 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 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? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb Hansen | 1/25/2014

    " This is one of Mankell's earlier novels and another highly engaging mystery. As usual, his characters are well drawn and likable, even if troubled in varying ways. This story has twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. He does an effective job of putting you into the scene with his descriptions of the landscape and weather. The story touches on the lesser known history of Swedish Nazis during WWII and raised questions about the current state of the Nazi party in Sweden. Great book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lara | 1/25/2014

    " I enjoyed this- kinda finding the Scandinavian crime stories quite compelling even though there are many holes in the plots! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kiwicanteloupe | 1/19/2014

    " Plodding. Not up to his usual. The bloody footprints never made sense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula Kysilka | 1/15/2014

    " Swedish author and I did this as an audio book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ed Napiorkowski | 1/11/2014

    " Well constructed storyline, thoroughly convincing characters, plots and sub plots, what else could you ask for? A terrific read that you will not want to put down. My thanks to the author for his work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 1/10/2014

    " This was my least favorite of Mankell's books. It just took so long to get to a conclusion. I found it frustrating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Norah | 12/3/2013

    " Enjoyable mystery with interesting characters. Background story involves Nazism/Fascism in modern-day Sweden. Nothing spectacular--but a good read while studying for the bar. I always enjoy reading Henning Mankell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Innes Ferguson | 12/2/2013

    " I loved this book. Good characters, great plot, lots of mystery and intrigue all the way through. And all quite low-key at the same time. Really enjoyed it. In fact I think it's my favourite Mankell to date, which means better than all of the Wallander novels - except maybe Sidetracked. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 11/27/2013

    " Not a Wallender and slow going. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon3k | 11/21/2013

    " A good Swedish mystery, translated into English, which started out very well, and held my attention until it galloped off to a rapid and semi-implausible conclusion. Mankell is better at character development than plot, at least in this novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Penny | 10/25/2013

    " interesting book,characters very well defined "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karel De Ridder | 8/17/2013

    " Sometimes too long-winded, but always fluent and nail biting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 8/9/2013

    " This is a lot like Wallander, but with a different detective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanna | 8/7/2013

    " One of the best stand alone books by Mankell. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrocle | 1/28/2013

    " Pas le meilleur de Mankell... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 8/8/2012

    " Suitably creepy. Think Swedish Nazis get their comeuppance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Victoria Boylan | 5/7/2012

    " Sadly found that Mankell decided to end his series of Wallander. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 1/2/2012

    " This was definitely one of the best detective stories I ever read. One of Mankell's best too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danielle | 7/4/2011

    " A very good plot and an interesting account of the Nazi ideology influences on Swedish youth during WW2. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Genie | 5/6/2011

    " Excellent mystery! Recommended by one of my friends here, I finally read it and also recommend it highly. A thinking person's mystery... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mariana | 5/5/2011

    " A great read, Nazis didn't die out with Hitler and are more prevalent than we think. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 4/20/2011

    " Better than I expected, but too much about Lindman's hypochondria. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marty | 4/15/2011

    " A good who did it...nice, tight, complex plot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 4/11/2011

    " 3.5 Not really his best, but I really like this writer and anything he produces, I'll read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leighana | 4/5/2011

    " I really disliked the narrator - so whiney! Also, the translation seemed a bit clunky to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 3/22/2011

    " Best book I have read so far this year - brilliant - couldn't put it down! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 3/16/2011

    " This was my least favorite of Mankell's books. It just took so long to get to a conclusion. I found it frustrating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 2/28/2011

    " I liked this Scandinavian mystery quite a bit -- a departure from the author's Kurt Wallander series -- although it's not fast paced, has a lugubrious tone, and some annoying plot discrepancies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 2/23/2011

    " listened to this one on audio tape. very suspenseful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 1/22/2011

    " Eh. I'm having a problem lately, perhaps because I read too many mysteries, where I'm just figuring things out too quickly. Of course, this doesn't mean I'm going to stop reading so many mysteries... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 1/20/2011

    " While it is a bit repetitive and the set up of the "killers" are a bit transparent it was still a fun, atmospheric and socially conscious read. As pops said, "the picture of these killings in the Swedish woods is terrifying." "

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About the Author
Author Henning MankellHenning Mankell's novels have been translated into forty languages and have sold more than forty million copies worldwide. He is the first winner of the Ripper Award (the new European prize for crime fiction) and has also received the Glass Key and Golden Dagger awards. His Kurt Wallander mysteries have been adapted into a PBS television series starring Kenneth Branagh. Mankell divides his time between Sweden and Mozambique.
About the Narrator

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.