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International bestseller: Kurt Wallander and his daughter join forces to hunt for a ritual killer in this “gripping, beautifully orchestrated” mystery (The New York Times Book Review).
Linda Wallander is bored. Having just graduated from the police academy, she’s waiting to start work with the Ystad police and move into her own apartment. In the meantime, she’s staying with her father and, like fathers and daughters everywhere, they are driving each other crazy. Nor will they be able to escape each other when she moves out. Her father is Inspector Kurt Wallander, a veteran of the Ystad police force, and the two of them are about to find themselves working a case that couldn’t be closer to home.
Linda’s childhood friend Anna has disappeared. As the investigation proceeds, she makes a few rookie mistakes that are both understandable and life-threatening. But as the case her father is working on dovetails with her own, something far more dangerous, and chillingly calculated, begins to emerge.
A “powerful” and “thoroughly engaging” thriller from “a master storyteller,” Before the Frost introduces an unforgettable new heroine to the acclaimed series that is the basis for the BBC television show starring Kenneth Branagh (San Francisco Chronicle).
In Mankell's stellar 10th Wallander mystery, the generational torch passes from father Kurt to his equally stubborn daughter, Linda, who recently finished her police training and is anxiously awaiting her first day on the job. But a seemingly random series of events jump-starts her career and enmeshes her and her father, along with Stefan Lindman, the detective featured in The Return of the Dancing Master (2004), in a case with global ramifications. The book begins on a bizarrely disquieting note: someone is setting animals wild swans, a farmer's calf on fire. Then Linda begins investigating, unofficially, the disappearance of her friend Anna Westin. And the stakes for everyone are raised when Linda finds the ritualistically mutilated corpse of Birgitta Medberg, a local cultural historian. A complex (but wholly credible) narrative connects these events with a terrorist plot led by a survivor of the 1978 mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. As always with Mankell, the mystery is connected to larger issues the decline of Swedish civility, of course, but also the danger of religious fundamentalism (the events are set in the weeks before 9/11) but polemics never trumps suspense in this extraordinarily compelling drama.