The Pyramid ). Judge Birgitta Ro"/>

The Man from Beijing

Henning Mankell, Author, Laurie Thompson, Translator , trans. from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson. Knopf $25.95 (365p) ISBN 978-0-307-27186-0

A massacre in the remote Swedish village of Hesjövallen propels this complex, if diffuse, stand-alone thriller from Mankell (The Pyramid ). Judge Birgitta Roslin, whose mother grew up in the village, comes across diaries from the house of one of the 19 mostly elderly victims kept by Jan Andrén, an immigrant ancestor of Roslin's. The diaries cover Andrén's time as a foreman on the building of the transcontinental railroad in the United States. An extended flashback charts the journey of a railroad worker, San, who was kidnapped in China and shipped to America in 1863. After finding evidence linking a mysterious Chinese man to the Hesjövallen murders, Roslin travels to Beijing, suspecting that the motive for the horrific crime is rooted in the past. While each section, ranging in setting from the bleak frozen landscape of northern Sweden to modern-day China bursting onto the global playing field, compels, the parts don't add up to a fully satisfying whole. Author tour. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/21/2009
Release date: 02/01/2010
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