Don’t go there!
Packed with action and rich internal dialogue, The Man From Beijing is a smart novel that may have been influenced by slasher films. Beginning with a massacre in a remote Swedish village, where in a single night, 19 people were slashed and hacked up, Henning Mankell’s latest mystery crosses into multiple countries and spans 150 years. The extreme violence suggests revenge as a motive. In Helsingborg, the Swedish city closest to Denmark, Judge Birgitta Roslin learns about the murders and recognizes the village name. Her mother had been a foster child living there. From that slender beginning, Birgitta—in the midst of a midlife crisis—inserts herself into the investigation. She soon believes that the massacre in Sweden is connected to one in Reno, Nevada. The police remain unconvinced, however, and Birgitta embarks on her own search. As with a typical slasher flick, the reader is often tempted to yell at Birgitta not to go there—but she does.