Wednesday, February 06, 2013


The Man From Beijing, Henning Mankel, Alfred A Knopf, 2010, 367 pp

A good read, fast and smooth. If any Swedish crime writer can match up to Steig Larsson, Mankel is at least in the running. I like him much better than Nesbo. I haven't read his Kurt Wallander mysteries and The Man From Beijing is a standalone. When I ever get through the Sara Paretsky books, I might try reading more Mankel.

I liked the character Birgitta Roslin, a middle-aged judge whose persistence solved the gruesome murder of 19 people in a tiny Swedish hamlet. She stood as a symbol of justice versus the mere efforts of the police to find a culprit.

The Chinese connection, the analysis of 21st century Chinese politics and that country's development as a world power, were all fascinating aspects of the story. I am no expert on China. What I know mostly comes from novels and I have wondered if, as Mankel notes, I should be encouraging my grandchildren to learn Chinese.

This is the kind of book that makes me feel like a citizen of the world, bewildered, anxious, but at the same time curious.

(The Man From Beijing is available on the mystery shelves at Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

No comments:

Post a Comment