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Before The Frost [Kindle Edition]

Henning Mankell
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The leader of a religious cult in Guyana instigates a mass suicide. He succeeds in killing himself and his whole flock of worshippers, save one.



In a wood outside Ystad, the police make an horrific discovery: a severed head, and hands locked together in an attitude of prayer. A Bible lies at the victim's side, handwritten corrections and amendments on every page.



A string of incidents, including attacks on domestic animals, has been taking place and Inspector Wallander fears that these events could be the prelude to attacks on humans on a much greater scale. Meanwhile Linda Wallander, preparing to join the Ystad police force, arrives at the station. Showing all the hallmarks of her father - the maverick approach, the flaring temper - she becomes involved in the case and in the process is forced to confront a group of extremists bent on punishing the world's sinners.



Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

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 Forshaw

Amazon Review

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 Forshaw


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1271 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RS43E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Henning Mankell has become a worldwide phenomenon with his crime writing, gripping thrillers and atmospheric novels set in Africa. His prize-winning and critically acclaimed Inspector Wallander Mysteries are currently dominating bestseller lists all over the globe. His books have been translated into over forty languages and made into numerous international film and television adaptations: most recently the BAFTA-award-winning BBC television series Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh. Mankell devotes much of his free time to working with Aids charities in Africa, where he is also director of the Teatro Avenida in Maputo.

In 2008, the University of St Andrews conferred Henning Mankell with an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of his major contribution to literature and to the practical exercise of conscience. www.henningmankell.co.uk

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Character from Mankell for us to enjoy 2 Jan. 2008
By Scully Bloke VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read all of Mankell's Kurt Wallander books so was particularly interested to read this one where his daighter Linda becomes the primary character in the book.

Overall I enjoyed the book as it carries on the great Mankell novels of superb plot, dialogue, suspense and bringing to life teh characters and surroundings of Ystadd in Sweden.

I found the start a litle slow as Mankell tries to bring you the background to Linda that the author never raised in his previous novels. It was also a little strange having crimes occur which Kurt investigated but within the first 100 pages of the novel are not the focus, as it is on his daughter whose friend has gone missing.

However the final half of the book is typical Mankell with all the threads coming together and the pace and page turnability increasing.

Linda Wallander does not have her fathers experience and many of his failings, but Mankell does bring his daughter very much to life as she begins her new role as police officer.

The most interesting side story of the book is Linda's relationship now back living with her father. As they start to work closely together she finds out more about him and why he did nt spend more time with the family when she was younger. Discovering her father through out this investigation is a pleasure and a pain for Linda. I look forward to many more episodes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A new chapter for Wallander 13 Mar. 2009
By Honor
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Throughout the Wallander series of books, we've watched Linda grow up and play more and more of a role in her father's life. In Before the Frost she finally fulfills her destiny, Star Wars style, and becomes a police officer in Ystad, the Swedish town which has been the backdrop to her father's event-laden career. This book is much more Linda's story than her father's, but sadly she isn't as interesting a character as he is. The story focuses on the disappearance of an old school friend of Linda's, and Linda's attempts to play sleuth when the police aren't interested. As the story unfolds she does a series of fairly stupid and risky things that I found completely infuriating - possibly things that I would have excused if Kurt Wallander had done them, because his world-weary instincts are generally right. As it was, she reminded me of Jack Bauer's daughter in 24, endlessly straying into trouble in order to give the plot a bit of extra jeopardy. Despite this, there's still enough of the pleasingly miserable and introspective Kurt Wallander in this book to make it a worthy addition to the canon, and a good read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Autumnal thriller 3 Jan. 2012
Format:Paperback
Kurt Wallander (KW) nears retirement. He wants to sell his flat full of bad memories and buy a house with a view of the sea to retire to, with a dog. But he fears this fate. His only friend is dying of cancer; his father is dead, and his ex-wife and daughter Linda are unlikely to keep him much company. Nor will his current colleagues...

This novel has weaknesses. Examples: 1) its length; 2) the many pages filled with the bad guy's sick ideology; 3)the many irritations between father Kurt and his daughter Linda Wallander.

Re (1): In the 1960s and '70s, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö wrote 10 brilliant Swedish police procedurals. They needed 50% of the words authors like HM use today, but produced a memorable series, immortalized by two Martin Beck tv-series, one Swedish, one British. Writing fat novels today is dumb: who reads them when social media are occupying readers 24/7? Only translators benefit from flabby books, not authors or readers, unless brilliant writing justifies extra pages. Le Carré and Lee Child come to mind, but who else?

Re (2): In 1978, 900+ mostly US believers in a preacher called Jim Jones committed suicide in Guyana. One man escaped, a Swedish convert, so this novel's Prologue says. He is the bad guy in this book. But to read dozens of pages by or about this crazy self-styled prophet throughout the book, gives the term "page turner" a new meaning. But he and his first Norwegian disciple of a sect of two dozen people are well organized and plan something awesome in Sweden to cleanse Christianity...

Re (3): The book starts in August 2000 in Ystad, Sweden when Linda (29), a newly-minted policewoman, moves in with her father to cover the 2 weeks before she can wear her uniform and occupy her own flat.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By Androo TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I think Henning Mankell is trying to up the ante in the Wallander books. The early books were about criminals, often loners. There was always some connection with national or world issues like immigration or racial tension, but the clever bit was how one small event in Ystad reflected world trends.
Lately though, Mankell is concentrating on more and more unlikely situations to, presumably, give the books a bigger impact. The trouble is, it has the opposite effect.
The last book, 'Firewall', had Ystad at the centre of a bunch of criminals infiltrating a computer network with the intention of world domination. It spoiled the book somewhat. In 'Before the Frost' it's a group of religious fundamentalists (how topical) with a 'grand plan'.
And I think Mankell's problem here is that even he doesn't really know what this grand plan is. So he has trouble describing it. The actions of the fundamentalists are a series of pseudo-symbolic acts, like burning animals, and putting women-who've-had-abortions to death. It's empty stuff, melodramatic, and dull. It doesn't move the plot along and feels like Mankell was struggling with his material.
The rest of the book deals with soon-to-be police officer, Linda Wallander, and her relationship with her father, our beloved Kurt. But even here, the writing is untypically stilted, and there are some downright unbelievable scenes. For instance, Linda has an argument with Kurt at the Police Station and throws a glass ashtray at him, making him bleed profusely. I didn't believe this scene at all. Much of the dialogue in the book, especially between Linda and her father, or Linda and her friends, is highly unrealistic and difficult to voice.
When Mankell gets back to the things he's good at, the novel is fine though.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Exellent as good as Ian rankin.
Published 2 days ago by david.finlay
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
Another great thriller, from Henning Mankell. Not read a bad Wallander book yet, the stories are gripping and imaginative, glad I have more to read.
Published 13 days ago by Mr. S. B. Trevivian
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read as usual
Henning Mankell never fails to deliver.
It's an interesting twist to bring Wallander's daughter into
the mix. Great read as usual.
Published 24 days ago by Mykal Jon
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a page turner!
This is a very gripping-if at times gruesome-story.
As a fan of Scandi-crime, Henning Mankell is one of my favourite authors. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Anne Watt
4.0 out of 5 stars Kurt and Linda
Good story but I prefer the old man when working as detective on his own. Well written as usual. Fairly weak ending.
Published 1 month ago by Coopen
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyable read
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Anne Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story but
Two big flaws for me. Linda contacts an estate agent who happily gives out information on the identity of a house buyer and phones a hotel in Malmo where all sorts of personal... Read more
Published 1 month ago by D C Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An excellent gift
Published 1 month ago by christine carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
I have read many of Mankel's books and this one, like the others, is an excellent read. I give it 5 stars.
Published 2 months ago by bolly
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good read as always.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
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