The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell
(Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

63%

15 Critic Reviews

The breathless scope of the novel leaves many incidents unresolved or hanging in the air. How, for instance, could 19 people be tortured and murdered in one night without at least one tiny scream being heard by the survivors?
-Guardian

Synopsis

The best-selling, award-winning author of the Kurt Wallander series delivers an incredible stand-alone masterpiece: a bone-chilling mystery that spans two centuries and four continents.
 
In the far north of Sweden a small, quiet village has been almost entirely wiped out by a mass murderer. The only clue left at the scene is a red ribbon. Among the victims are the grandparents of Judge Birgitta Roslin, who sets out to find the killer. Despite being brushed off by the police, Birgitta is determined to prove that the murders were not a random act of violence but are part of something far more dark and complex. Her investigation leads to the highest echelons of power and into the recesses of history where the seeds of evil deeds were planted.  




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Henning Mankell

See more books from this Author
Bestselling author Henning Mankell has received numerous awards, including the Crime Writers' Association's Macallan Gold Dagger and the German Tolerance Prize. His Kurt Wallander mysteries are global bestsellers and have been adapted into the PBS Masterpiece Mystery! series Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh. He divides his time between Sweden and Maputo, Mozambique. Ebba Segerberg has translated One Step Behind, Firewall, and Before the Frost by Henning Mankell (all available from The New Press) and Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
 
Published February 9, 2010 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard. 465 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Man from Beijing
All: 15 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 9

Kirkus

Above average

A sweepingly ambitious tale of corruption, injustice and revenge that ranges over three continents and 140 years, from the creator of Swedish police detective Kurt Wallander

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NY Times

Below average
on Feb 26 2010

Mankell’s fierce instinct for social criticism is admirable. If only it didn’t sabotage the opportunity for old-fashioned whodunit delight.

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Guardian

Below average
on Feb 27 2010

The breathless scope of the novel leaves many incidents unresolved or hanging in the air. How, for instance, could 19 people be tortured and murdered in one night without at least one tiny scream being heard by the survivors?

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Guardian

Above average
on Feb 07 2010

It is a considerable achievement to have woven a discussion of Chinese foreign policy into a generally gripping thriller. I'm not sure the book benefits much from it: the murders are solved, in flashback, for the reader, but never for the police...

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WSJ online

Good
on Feb 13 2010

As unlikely as the scenario might seem, Mr. Mankell—who has been well served by translator Laurie Thompson—succeeds in transfixing the reader with a masterly balance of character sketches and pell-mell storytelling.

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Examiner

Above average
on Apr 19 2011

And while it is necessary to set up the drama of the present time in the book, do be aware that Mankel gets a bit bogged down in the historical parts of the novel...

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NY Journal of Books

Above average
on Feb 16 2010

The Man from Beijing is ambitious, impassioned and brave, but it is also often unwieldy, awkward, and confusing. At one point in the novel, Birgitta describes watching a Jane Fonda movie and finding the plot “peculiar;” the same could be said here.

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Globe and Mail

Above average
Reviewed by Hj Kirchhoff on Feb 25 2010

Despite the gruesome crime and the detective procedural of the book's first half, it's not really a crime novel. Or rather, it's a crime novel awkwardly spliced to a historical family epic.

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Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
on Feb 17 2010

Roslin is soon swept into a vast spiderwebbed story that spans two centuries and three continents...Flashbacks rarely work in mysteries, but here they do, thanks to Mankell's sheer skill. This is hands down the best thriller I've read in five years

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LA Times

Above average
on Feb 20 2010

Fans of Mankell's earlier Kurt Wallander mystery series will enjoy the intellectual provocations of the new book. Part police procedural, part political manifesto...manages to wrap an erudite analysis of imperialism around an entertaining whodunit.

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The Washington Post

Good
on Apr 10 2010

It may not be flawless, but Henning Mankell's "The Man From Beijing" is a great mystery that belongs in the company of other knockout masterpieces of moral complexity and atmosphere like Dorothy Sayers's "The Nine Tailors,"...

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The Telegraph

Below average
on Jan 22 2010

The Man from Beijing is heartfelt but bloated; the re-education swamps the excitement. Thank goodness a new Wallander novel is in the pipeline.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Above average
on Mar 01 2010

At its core, The Man from Beijing is a classic revenge tale...That wonderfully sinister presence lurks behind every tight bend that the novel takes, yet it is the dull provincial judge who holds our main attention and, of course, our sympathy.

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MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Above average
on Feb 16 2010

The Man from Beijing might have been more satisfying had the author focused throughout on the massacre...The second half is a bit dreary and diffuse, and it will take some persistence to stay the course for the entire 366 pages.

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ReviewingtheEvidence.com

Above average

But the novel sags badly whenever Mankell is intent on making an ideological point. Worse, where we hope for an epic sweep through geographical and historical time and space, we get mere sprawl.

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Reader Rating for The Man from Beijing
60%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 427 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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