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The Return of the Dancing Master Paperback – February 8, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Mankell, known in this country for his Kurt Wallander police procedurals (Faceless Killers; The Dogs of Riga), sets this intricate, stand-alone tale of murder and intrigue in the vast pine forests of north-central Sweden. Stefan Lindman, a 37-year-old policeman in the city of Boras, sees his life, both professional and personal, as absolutely ordinary. Then he discovers a strange lump on his tongue; it's cancer, and his life changes dramatically. At the doctor's office he picks up a discarded newspaper and reads that former colleague Herbert Molin has been murdered in the northern forests. Because Lindman needs to take his mind off his upcoming cancer treatment, he decides to investigate Molin's death. As the details of the crime come to light, Lindman realizes he never knew the real Molin. The plot involves the secret world of Nazis, both past and present. The prose can be cold and spare, at least in translation: "There was a smell of paint in the house. All the lights were on. Lindman had to bow his head when he entered through the door." The unrelenting Lindman turns out to be an innovative investigator, though those seeking fast-paced action rather than meticulous introspection will be disappointed. Secrets are slowly and methodically teased from the evidence, and by the satisfying end readers with a taste for the unusual will find Lindman, and the mystery he solves, not in the least bit ordinary.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Mankell's Kurt Wallander series is one of the quintessential new European procedurals, pitting a melancholy Swedish detective against a hate-filled contemporary world. Wallander is absent here, but the unremitting horror of modern life continues to take its toll, this time on a different crew of overmatched Swedish cops. A younger version of Wallander, Stefan Lindman faces a host of personal demons, not the least of which is his recent diagnosis of mouth cancer. On leave and unwilling to face up to his illness, he decides to travel to the small village of Sveg, where a retired colleague, Herbert Molin, has been murdered. Helping to investigate the crime, Lindman is shocked to discover that Molin was a lifelong Nazi. Suddenly, Lindman's alternative "therapy" has landed him in the middle of an international ring of neo-Nazis. As always, Mankell tells somber, deeply pessimistic stories about widespread hatred lurking below the multicultural surface, but at the same time, he never fails to find a rich vein of humanity deep within the perpetually furrowed brows of his troubled cops. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Herbert Molin lived the life of a hermit in his home hidden back in the forest in Sveg, which is farther north from Wallander's Ystad in Sweden. He had a neighbor with whom he spoke once in a blue moon, but mainly Molin stayed to himself. Before he retired from the police force in Boras, Sweden, Molin worked with a younger officer named Stefan Lindman. Lindman now discovered he has mouth cancer and while waiting weeks off duty to begin his treatments and to ease his terrible fear and anxiety, discovers that Molin has been brutally murdered. He goes to Sveg out of curiosity for why someone would kill Herbert Molin. No one knows why or even a hint at the identity of the killer.
Detective Inspector Guiseppe Larsson is in charge of the case and allows Lindman to tag along with him on the investigation. Giuseppe Larsson takes a lot of teasing from co-workers and others over his first name since it is hardly a Swedish name. He is so likeable that besides the dreary Lindman, he became my favorite character. The characters are very well developed and have distinct personalities that I found unforgettable. As I read, the title finally made sense.
Mankell's stand alone books seem to be as good as the series, and I look forward to reading the next in the Kurt Wallander series of mysteries. One thing that I appreciate very much is a map of the areas covered in the stories. I go back to this map in the front of the book to locate where characters are and to track their movements throughout the books. It makes the story more real.
This is seriously good writing. Intelligent and entertaining all the way.
A reclusive former policeman and former mentor to young inspector Lindman is murdered in a particularly brutal manner. While awaiting the start of his therapy, Lindman decides to look into the circumstances while at the same time learning more about what makes him tick.
A good read with particularly interesting and well drawn characters.