cover image A Treacherous Paradise

A Treacherous Paradise

Henning Mankell, trans. by Laurie Thompson, read by Rosalyn Landor. Random House Audio, unabridged, nine CDs, 11.5 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-0-8041-2693-9

Through an odd series of circumstances, Hanna Lundmark escapes from poverty and, eventually, finds herself the owner of a prestigious brothel in Mozambique in the first decade of the 20th century. But racial strife and colonialism make this world foreign in ways Hanna cannot possibly understand, despite her growing influence in the city. When she attempts to intervene on a black woman’s behalf, she quickly learns how cultural tensions can result in bloodshed. Rosalyn Landor narrates with a majestic, British-accented voice. She navigates the prose well, skillfully capturing the voice and viewpoint of Hanna. Landor also lends the book’s other characters voices that are distinct and authentic, and her pacing and inflection add to the suspense of Mankell’s prose. A Knopf hardcover. (July)