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The Return of the Dancing Master Hardcover – February 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Retired policeman Herbert Molin lives a hermetic existence in a lonely house in the middle of a North-Sweden forest. Whatever he's hiding from, he's eluded it for 11 years, occupying himself with his fears, his jigsaw puzzles, and his dancing. Then, one day he is found beaten and lashed, lying dead in the snow on the edge of the wood. In his house, bloody footprints pattern the floor, marking out the steps of his favourite dance, the tango.Read more ›
Lindman a bachelor working in the southern Swedish town of Boras has been stunned to learn that the lump on his tongue has been diagnosed as a malignant lesion. Bewildered, he espies a dated newspaper in the hospital cafeteria. He reads that a former colleague Herbert Molin, a retired 76 year old had been found murdered, bullwhipped to death at his isolated cottage in the northern forests of Harjedalen.
Lindman already absent on sick leave is due to start radiation therapy in 3 weeks. He becomes introspective while confronting his believed mortality and decides to escape from that reality and take a trip to Molin's locale to find out what happened.
Based in a hotel in the small town of Sveg, he begins unofficially investigating the circumstances of Molin's death. He soon meets Giuseppe Larsson the local officer investigating the crime, who gives him leeway and eventually allows Lindman to become part of the investigation. Eventually it is discovered that Molin left Sweden during WW2 to join with Hitler's SS troops and always harbored strong Nazi sentiments. It was determined that the murder was retribution for horrid acts committed by Molin during the war.
We also meet the murderer, Aron Silberstein, a German Jew now living in Argentina, who has vowed revenge against Molin. Shockingly during the probe, a retired and elderly neighbor of Molin's is also found murdered, killed by a shotgun blast.Read more ›
Summarizing this novel, it sounds pretty melodramatic: War crimes. Neo-[Nationalsozialist]. A torture-murder. A second murder that looks like an execution. But like all Henning Mankell's mysteries, it is also powerfully matter-of-fact. The book is as much about the daily obsessions of Stefan Lindman --- a police officer with a cancer diagnosis, troubled memories of his father and an ambiguous relationship with an older woman --- as it is about getting shot at in the dark Swedish woods (though there is plenty of action, too). Lindman is a kind of an anti-hero: surprisingly earthy ("Of all the joys that life had to offer, peeing at the side of the road was the best"), relentlessly unglamorous, with the combination of intelligence and persistence that gets crimes solved. In this he is very much like Kurt Wallander, the protagonist of an earlier series of suspense novels by Mankell. They are both smart, rather isolated men struggling to make connections, and their flawed humanity is endearing.
Making connections, to solve a case and/or to save one's soul, is the essence of THE RETURN OF THE DANCING MASTER (if you're wondering about the title, I'll say only that tango steps are an important clue).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Trite! Old Nazis and their evil deeds versus young Scandinavians who search them out. It's difficult to under stand how one of history's most repugnant regimes can be made so... Read morePublished 3 days ago by James A. Tipton
Delightfully multi-layer mystery with twists and turns. If historically accurate, even educational. Well-writtenPublished 20 days ago by Joan B. Sampson
In this novel, the author introduces Stefan Lindman, a police officer recently diagnosed with tongue cancer. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ed Benjamin
It is interesting to see where Henning Mankell took his mystery mind before Wallander was set in stone. This is a very interesting book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
With exquisite skill this master of suspense mixes history, detection and the elements of human compassion in a masterpiece of crime fiction. His best!Published 2 months ago by Margaret Bleyberg-forsman