In woodland outside Ystad, the police make a horrific discovery: a severed head, and hands locked together in an attitude of prayer. A Bible lies at the victim's side, the pages marked with scribbled corrections. A string of macabre incidents, including attacks on domestic animals, have been taking place, and Inspector Wallander fears that these disturbances could be the prelude to attacks on humans on an even more alarming scale. Linda Wallander, in preparation to join the police force, arrives at Ystad. Exhibiting some of the hallmarks of her father - the maverick approach, the flaring temper - she becomes entangled in a case involving a group of religious extremists who are bent on punishing the world's sinners. Following on from the enormous success of the Kurt Wallander mysteries, Henning Mankell has begun an outstanding new chapter in crime writing.
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No longer is Henning Mankell a name known to just a privileged few. Before the Frost will have a readership far greater than his first European fans, those lucky enough to have encountered some of the finest modern crime writing from a Swedish master. His recent novel, Firewall, further developed the cool, utterly gripping style that had become his trademark: modern society and its eccentricities stripped bare, with Sweden ably standing in for the whole of western society. In that book, Mankell’s dogged copper Inspector Kurt Wallander investigated crime in cyberspace (as the country experienced electricity blackout), and anarchist cyber terrorists tested Wallander’s mettle. But Mankell was showing signs of wanting something new, and Before the Frost delivers that--in spades.
Linda Wallander--Kurt’s daughter--is cut from the same cloth as her resourceful father, and as a new detective character for Mankell, she’ll do very nicely, even if a certain amount of adjustment is needed on the reader’s part. In the dark forest near Ystad, a grisly find is made: human hands and a severed head, arranged in a grim mockery of prayer. A bible, seemingly heavily annotated by the killer is also found. But this is just one of series of bizarre incidents that have been taxing inspector Kurt Wallander: including domestic pets being attacked. Not a good time, in fact, for Wallander’s daughter Linda to make her debut as another detective on the force. But (needless to say) she soon gives her father a run for his money in identifying the criminals involved--a sinister group with biblical punishments on their unflinching agenda.
While Linda has some way to go to make herself as beloved a protagonist as her father, the auguries here are very promising, with plotting compensating for the gearshifts involved.--Barry ForshawReview:
'Mankell is by far the best writer of police mysteries today' -- Michael Ondaatje
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Book Description Vintage, 2004. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099459043
Book Description Vintage, 2004. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110099459043