Man From BeijingPosted: 2012/10/22
Mankell, Henning. The Man From Beijing. Read by Rosalyn Landor. New York: Random House Audio, 2010.
The opening scene to The Man From Beijing (aside from the judicial oath) is stunning. Mankell describes in haunting detail the travels of a lone wolf as it hungrily searches for prey. I won’t spoil it by saying anything more. Suffice it to say this scene sets the tome for an ominous story. After visiting a wolf and wilderness center in Colorado my mind’s eye can see this solitary wolf (and it’s ever present hunger) with detailed clarity which makes Mankell’s opening scene even more chilling.
Henning Mankell is a master at writing mysteries. The Man From Beijing is no exception. The story starts with nineteen people, concentrated in one tiny Swedish village, brutally murdered. Most of the victims are elderly and the level of violence inflicted on them is unprecedented. Even their pets have been viciously attacked and killed. As the details of the massacre unfold the plot becomes multi-generational, spanning 150 years; and international, taking place in China, Zimbabwe, the United States and, of course, Sweden.
Reason read: I needed a “wild card” story for the fun of it. I chose The Man From Beijing because it isn’t attached to any other story (Mankell writes mostly series).
Author Fact: Mankell was the first winner of the Ripper Award.
Book Trivia: The Man From Beijing is an international best seller. According to IMDB it was made into a television movie in 2010.
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Swede(n), Isn’t It?” (p 223).