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A moving, compelling and powerful new novel by the author of Depths and the Wallander Mysteries

About the Author

Henning Mankell (1948-2015) became a worldwide phenomenon with his crime writing, gripping thrillers and atmospheric novels set in Africa. His prizewinning and critically acclaimed Inspector Wallander Mysteries continue to dominate bestseller lists all over the globe and his books have been translated into forty-five languages and made into numerous international film and television adaptations: most recently the BAFTA-award-winning BBC television series Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh. Driven by a desire to change the world and to fight against racism and nationalism, Mankell devoted much of his time to working with charities in Africa, including SOS Children's Villages and PLAN International, where he was 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.


Fredrik Welin is a reclusive ex-surgeon living alone on a tiny island in the north of Sweden. His only companions are a pair of aged pets, and the only society callers to his living room are ants that are transforming his table into an enormous anthill. Every morning, the loner goes out to the frozen lake, cuts a hole in the ice, and then plunges himself into the freezing water to remind himself that he is still alive. Four women enter his life: Harriet, his ex, whom he abandoned years ago; Louise, his unknown daughter; Agnes Klarstrom, the patient who ended his medical career; and Sima, a troubled young woman. By the end of the story, Fredrik no longer takes an icy morning bath to validate his existence; he has undergone redemption with the help of these women. Mankell, the author of the award-winning Kurt Wallander mystery novels, has an ability to create an intimate atmosphere that places the reader directly into the world of his characters, which is nothing short of brilliant.-Lisa Rohrbaugh, New Middletown, OH Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

A tragic operating room error has cost Swedish surgeon Fredrik Welin his career in this moving novel from Mankell, who's best known for his Kurt Wallander mystery series (Firewall, etc.).Ã…Welin, 66, lives on a remote island with only his dog and cat for company. His routine is abruptly shattered by the arrival of an elderly woman who proves to be Harriet H^rnfeldt, the youthful love he ditched four decades earlier. H^rnfeldt, who's dying of cancer, has sought out Welin because she wants to share a secret about their relationship. This reintroduction to the world of human emotions and interactions proves to be the first of many, leading the doctor to an awkward attempt to get absolution from the woman whose perfectly healthy arm he mistakenly amputated. Mankell displays his considerable gifts for characterization as he succeeds in making his emotionally limited lead character sympathetic. (Apr.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Mankell is a vivid and compelling storyteller * Independent *
As with the the best of crime fiction, Mankell deals not only in character, plot and action, mystery and revelation, concealment and discovery, but also creates a world with its own mental and emotional atmosphere * Irish Times *
Mankell has always been an ambitious writer... This novel transcends the limits of his earlier work * Sunday Times *
Authoritative plotting and well-defined characterisation... An examination of the boundless human capacity for making the wrong decisions and a recognition of the challenges posed by ageing -- Barry Forshaw * Daily Express *
Mankell's words fall like snowflakes, building up to make even the most ugly thing something of beauty... The strength of women, the bestiality some men are capable men, and the impermanence of life are some of the themes that Mankell once again spins into a quiet masterpiece -- Kieran Meeke * Metro *

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