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on 9 May 2017
A riveting storyline, full of suspense, and will be reading several of his ther books! Also enjoyed the atmospheric setting of Scandinavia.
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on 21 May 2017
Excellent!
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on 26 October 2015
As always, Henning Mankell keeps the reader engrossed . I couldn't put this down . His wonderful , descriptive writing never fails to keep the reader turning the pages , and keeps you guessing through to the end.
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on 21 July 2017
As usual a great read from Mankell
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on 26 April 2017
As good as the Wallander series, in fact could be one with change of detective's name.
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on 17 March 2016
I continued reading till the end need and wanted to know the answers, thought a few out for myself, which always is pleasing
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on 3 February 2009
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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on 26 August 2012
I admit to being among the vast army of Wallender fans and approached this somewhat tentatively as a holiday read. (In fact I listened to the Audible recording but I liked the book so much I felt I had to share my tuppence worth on Amazon). Dective fiction is not my first choice but I have had lots of it recommended to me recently by enthusiastic friends and relatives. As a result I was also reading a couple of other best selling detective novels by well known authors during the same period. It was clear to me that Mankell is in a class of his own. The plot, characterisation and literary style in this made the others seem somewhat childish and predictable. I have read a couple of other novels recently about neo fascism and WWII collaboration in Scandinavia and again "The Return of the Dancing Master" stands out as more perceptive and thought provoking. This is a mature and intelligent dissection of motivation and a balanced attempt to explain what went on and what is going on. As well as being a deeply satisfying intellectual work the mystery keeps you hooked until the last word.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 September 2010
I have read most of Henning Mankell's novels, including all of the excellent Wallander series and have come to appreciate what a very good writer he is. This book is a detective story, but not one involving Wallander. It is is much more than just a satisfying detective novel, for, although the core of the book is the investigation of an initially inexplicable murder the book develops into a complex unravelling of the motives behind the murder of a former policeman.

Mankell is a master of creating atmosphere without lots of superfluous description. Throughout this book there's a sense of menace from the unknown murderer and anxiety exudes from the character, Lindman, a policeman who knew the victim, and who, while on sick leave awaiting cancer-treatment, gets heavily involved with the investigation of the murder. An unhappy, lonely man as a central character has been a theme in other Mankell books, for example, Depths and Italian Shoes, even Wallander can be gloomy.

The book is long and doesn't gather pace until near the end, but it never flags and I felt sucked into the investigation and followed its ups and downs as if it was happening in real-time. As in the more recent Wallander books, issues that are affecting Sweden's social fabric and national identity are woven into the story.
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on 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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