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The Return Of The Dancing Master [Hardcover]

Henning Mankell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Oct 2003
Herbert Molin, a retired police officer, lives alone in a remote cottage in northern Sweden. Two things seem to consume him; his passion for the tango, and an obsession with the "demons" he believes to be pursuing him. Early one morning shots shatter Molin's window- by the time his body is found it is almost unrecognisable. Stefan Lindman is another off-the-job police officer. On extended sick leave due to having cancer of the tongue Lindman hears about the murder of his former colleague and, in a bid to take his mind off his own problems, decides to investigate. As his investigation becomes increasingly complex it is with both horror and disbelief that Lindman uncovers links to a global web of neo-Nazi activity. Written with all the usual flair so highly commended by Mankell fans this intricate crime novel, with its cast of new characters, heralds the end of the Kurt Wallander Mysteries and yet, ultimately, it leads the story back to Wallander's Ystad where a new outstanding series of thrillers can begin. (2003-03-03)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 407 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Press; 1st Edition edition (30 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843430584
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843430582
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.4 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 863,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description


"Absorbing, chilling and dripping with evil atmosphere" The Times "Mankell is the master of the slow burn, and The Return of the Dancing Master makes us crave more of his misty, haunted atmosphere" Independent "A worthy successor to the Wallander whodunnits" Sunday Telegraph "The new cast is introduced with customary brilliance, and the political edge suggests a fine new direction from this immense talent" Scotland on Sunday "Compelling...there's no one better at the genre... His characters are his greatest invention" San Francisco Chronicle --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

Book Description

Kurt Wallander fans will love this new novel from Henning Mankell. Featuring a new cast of characters this novel marks the end of the Kurt Wallander Mysteries and prepares the way for many more mysteries to come. (2003-03-03)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you go into the woods today... 4 Nov 2003
I wasn't overjoyed when I discovered that Mankell's latest novel doesn't feature Inspector Kurt Wallander, but within a couple of chapters I'd forgotten all about Ystad's favourite detective and become fully engrossed in the dark forests of northern Sweden. Apart from Mankell's gripping plots - and this one is as good as any - it is his sense of place that makes his novels so compelling. I don't normally read crime fiction, but like writers like Henning Mankell and Ian Rankin because their well-written, intelligent novels transcend the genre. Prepare to be bleary-eyed in the morning, because this novel is very hard to put down.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps his best yet - absolutely gripping 26 April 2004
After so many Wallander novels, I wasn't sure I was going to like readingabout another detective, but you soon get to like Stefan Lindman who goesnorth to think about his mortality after being diagnosed with cancer andat the same time gets more involved in a murder investigation than heintends to.
This novel has all the usual Mankell hallmarks: grislymurders, down to earth detectives, and the landscape of Sweden.
The plot will keep you guessing until the very end. There are plenty ofblind alleys and a whole series of clues that only add together at thelast minute.
As usual, the plot gathers speed dramatically near theend, so you'll need to prepare a little time because once that happens,you won't be able to put it down.
The only mild disappointment is that the character of Lindman's girlfriendis rather underdeveloped, but it's fairly typical of Mankell toconcentrate heavily on his main character.
Overall, one of the best Henning Mankell novels I've read.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
I don't know what it is that has suddenly caused this rise in recognition of foreign writers, but it can only be a good thing. Jose Carlos Somoza, Boris Akunin, Karin Fossum, Carlo Lucarelli, and the Dark Wintry King of them all, Henning Mankell, who is increasingly a phenomena. His books fly off the shelves on mainland Europe, he's mobbed in the streets in his native Sweden, in Germany he apparently outsells J.K. Rowling (it's about time someone did), and half-Swedish Ruth Rendell has taken the trouble to read all the novels in their original language, admiring the fascinating procedural detail, which is just one of Mankell's strengths. He never shies from portraying the dull of aspects of routine police-work, but somehow manages to put such a spin on them as to make them interesting. And although The Return of the Dancing Master is a departure from his ever-better Kurt Wallander series - although it may as well not be, for how similar and ominously gloomy the two different protagonists are, it is just as excellent, and probably even better.
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return of the Dancing Master 3 Feb 2009
By Joan M
Having been introduced to Henning Mankell by the BBC dramatization of some of his books, I wanted to experience his writing and was not disappointed. In my opinion a book always beats a film interpretation of a well constructed book and this is no exception. Great atmosphere and psychology of country and people is created by skilful and restrained use of language. I have now bought several more of the Wallander books and am waiting for an opportunity to get started on them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brooding isolation 10 April 2007
I have now read two of Henning Mankell's novels, 'One Step Behind' and 'The Return of the Dancing Master'. They have a distinctive style which features remoteness, illness and a sense of mystery. When one reads these books, one can imagine that one is actually in a remote corner of Sweden. These books will probably appeal to people who like isolation. As far as the detective element is concerned, there is a great deal of repetition, but this helps the reader to feel as though he is actually living in the situation. It makes the reader want to learn more. It keeps the reader in suspense.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Wallander 9 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although I enjoyed a number of Mankell's Wallander books, I never really connected with the character and felt that great plots were overloaded with police procedure. The main character in this novel is Stefan Lindman. If, like me, you enjoyed the Swedish TV Series, shown recently on BBC4 - he's the cocky and sometimes obnoxious one who has a short relationship with Linda Wallander.
In this novel, Lindman's on sick leave and so his investigation role is very much as an outsider involving himself [generally with support] in another force's case. There's consequently less police procedure in this novel and a good backstory about Stefan, making it a more enjoyable read. In essence everything good about the Wallander novels with a scaled down police process.
An excellent novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Number 11! More please Mr Mankell
As usual Henning Mankell never fails to produce an interesting turn in the story. i remember Molin in previous tales and it lead me into the selection of characters he wrote about... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Sarah Fell
5.0 out of 5 stars One not to miss
As usual - Henning Mankell is always a good read.
Published 23 days ago by M. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love most Henning Mankell novels and this one did not disappoint.
Published 1 month ago by Patricia Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Mankell's best!
Brilliant Mankell book - I couldn't put it down. !
Published 1 month ago by Diana Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
intelligent and gripping!
Published 2 months ago by sonja koechert
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good story
Published 2 months ago by Jane Christofides
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good yarn
Published 3 months ago by maurice ian timothy hopkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by DurhamMum
5.0 out of 5 stars I found it difficult to leave this book down. ...
I found it difficult to leave this book down. The chase has so many twists and turns it impels the reader to keep going. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ms. E. Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
An experiment if sorts for me .... I like Mankell ... but had only read Wallander previously. This was a very good thriller (I should have expected it). Read more
Published 4 months ago by Laurie S. (Australia)
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