The Man From Beijing by Henning MankellThe Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell

The Man From Beijing

byHenning Mankell

Paperback | March 8, 2011

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From the internationally acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries comes an extraordinary stand-alone novel - both a mystery and a sweeping drama - that traces the legacy of the nineteenth-century slave trade between China and America.

January 2006. In the small Swedish hamlet of Hesjövallen, a horrific scene is discovered: nineteen people have been tortured and massacred an the only clue is a red silk ribbon found at the scene. Judge Birgitta Roslin has a particular reason to be shocked by the crime: her mother's adoptive parents, the Andréns, are among the victims. Investigating further, she learns that an Andrén family living in Nevada has also been murdered. Travelling to Hesjövallen, she finds a diary, kept by a gangmaster on the railway built across America in the 1860s, full of vivid descriptions of the brutality with which the Chinese and other slave workers were treated. She discovers that the red silk ribbon found at the crime scene came from a local Chinese restaurant, and she learns that a Chinese man, a stranger to the town, was staying at a local boarding house at the time of the atrocity. The police insist that only a lunatic could have committed such a horrific crime, but Birgitta suspects that there is much more to it, and she is determined to uncover the truth. Her search takes her from Sweden to Beijing and back, but Mankell's narrative also takes us 150 years into the past: to China and America when the hatred that fuelled the massacre was born, a hatred transformed and complicated over time and that will catch up to Birgitta as she draws ever closer to discovering who is behind the Hesjövallen murders.

From the Hardcover edition.
Internationally acclaimed author HENNING MANKELL has written nine Kurt Wallander mysteries which have been published in thirty-three countries and consistently top the bestseller lists in Europe, receiving major literary prizes (including the UK's Golden Dagger for Sidetracked). He has also published many other novels for children, tee...
Title:The Man From BeijingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.96 inPublished:March 8, 2011Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307397866

ISBN - 13:9780307397867

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Read from the Book

PART 1The Silence (2006) I, Birgitta Roslin, do solemnly declare that I shall endeavor to the best of my knowledge and in accordance with my conscience to pass judgment without fear or favor, be the accused rich or poor, and according to the laws and statutes of Sweden; never to pervert the law nor to promote wrongdoing on grounds of family connections, friendship, jealousy, malevolence, or fear, nor in response to bribes or gifts or for any other reason of no matter what nature; never to impute guilt where there is innocence, nor innocence where there is guilt. I shall never reveal to those who appear in court, neither before nor after judgment is passed, deliberations that have taken place behind closed doors. As an honest and sincere judge I shall endeavor always to adhere to this solemn oath. Code of Judicial Procedure, Ch. 4, §11,Judicial Oath  The Epitaph 1Frozen snow, severe frost. Midwinter. Early in January 2006 a lone wolf crosses the unmarked border and enters Sweden from Vauldalen in Norway. A man on a snowmobile thinks he might have glimpsed it just outside Fjällnäs, but the wolf vanishes into the trees heading east before he is able to pinpoint it. In the remote Norwegian Österdalarna Mountains it had discovered a lump of frozen moose carcass, with remnants of meat still clinging to the bones. But that was more than two days ago. It is beginning to feel the pain of hunger and is desperately searching for food. The wolf is a young male that has set out to find a territory of his own. He continues his way eastward. At Nävjarna, north of Linsell, he finds another moose carcass. For a whole day he stays and eats his fill before resuming his trek east. When he comes to Kårböle he trots over the frozen Ljusnan and then follows the river along its winding route toward the sea. One moonless night he lopes silently over the bridge at Järvsö, then heads into the vast forests that stretch to the coast. In the early morning of January 13 the wolf reaches Hesjövallen, a tiny village south of Hansesjön Lake in Hälsingland. He pauses and sniffs the air. He detects the smell of blood. He looks around. There are people living in the houses but no smoke rising from the chimneys. His sharp ears can’t detect the slightest sound. But the wolf is in no doubt about the blood. He skulks at the edge of the forest, nose in the air. Then he moves forward, silently, through the snow. The smell comes from one of the houses at the far end of the hamlet. He is vigilant now— with humans around it’s essential to be both careful and patient. He pauses again. The smell originates from the back of the house. He waits. Then eventually starts moving once more. When he gets there he finds another carcass. He drags his large meal back to the trees. He has not been discovered, not even the village dogs have stirred. The silence is total this freezing-cold morning. The wolf starts eating when he comes to the edge of the trees. It is easy, as the flesh has not yet frozen. He is very hungry now. Having pulled off a leather shoe, he starts gnawing away at an ankle. It snowed during the night but stopped before dawn. As the wolf eats his fill, snowflakes once again start dancing down toward the frozen ground.From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Part 1
The Silence (2006)
The Epitaph
The Judge

Part 2
The Railroad (1863)
The Way to Canton
The Feather and the Stone

Part 3
The Red Ribbon (2006)
The Rebels
The Chinese Game

Part 4
The Colonizers (2006)
Bark Peeled Off by Elephants
Chinatown, London

Author’s Note

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLERAn Indie Next List Pick“Engaging. . . .  great read.” —The Globe and Mail"Mankell's best thriller in fifteen years."— Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)"The book of the year. Whether you read it as a suspense novel, a thriller, or as a comment on the world today, it is fascinating."— Kulturspeilet (Norway)"There is no doubt that Mankell with this blockbuster of a thriller has written one of his best books. Suspense until the last page, audacious storytelling, and two female main characters presented with care and compassion."— Dagsavisen (Norway)  “Henning Mankell’s most absorbing crime novel since he retired Inspector Kurt Wallander a decade ago. . . . Mankell remains patient, confident and thorough. When the story comes to the crunch in suspense, the tension in the crucial scenes suggests the brilliance of Graham Greene. . . . Mankell seems capable of just about anything in The Man from Beijing.” — Toronto Star “The Man from Beijing has the sweep of a John le Carré mystery, exploring questions of morality and responsibility of succeeding generations. Reaching back through history and around the globe, it shows how the consequences of the colonial system reverberate still in today’s political and economic decisions.” — Winnipeg Free Press “With this overwhelming thriller, Mankell has perhaps presented us with his best book ever.” — Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) “An exceptionally good read that is hard to put down. . . . Mankell is a very skilled author who can use the thriller frame in a higher cause without letting go of the suspense or narrative drive.” — Politiken (Denmark) “Mankell shows us once again that he is the absolute master.” — Kultur-base (Germany)From the Hardcover edition.