A few days later what they have been warned of comes to pass: a life raft is washed up on a beach. In it are two men, dressed in expensive suits, shot dead.The dead men were Eastern European criminals, victims of what seems to have been a gangland hit. But what appears in Sweden to be an open-and-shut case soon takes on a far more sinister aspect. Wallander travels across the Baltic Sea to Riga in Latvia, a nation experiencing the massive social and political upheaval that will lead to its independence from the Soviet Union. There Wallander is plunged into a frozen, alien world of police surveillance, scarcely veiled threats, and lies. Doomed always to be one step behind the shadowy figures he pursues , he comes to understand what it is to live in a nation in which democracy is still only a dream. Only his dogged, almost subconscious desire to se that justice is done brings the truth to light.