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.
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