Synopses & Reviews
In the tradition of Alan Furst, the #1 international bestselling author delivers his first stand-alone novel, a psychological thriller set in World War II Nazi Germany and 1970s England
British pilots James Teasdale and Bryan Young have been chosen to conduct a special photo-reconnaissance mission near Dresden, Germany. Intelligence believes the Nazis are building new factories that could turn the tide of the war. When their plane is shot down, James and Bryan know they will be executed if captured. With an enemy patrol in pursuit, they manage to jump aboard a train reserved for senior SS soldiers wounded on the eastern front.
In a moment of desperation, they throw two patients off the train and take their places, hoping they can escape later. But their act is too convincing and they end up in the Alphabet House, a mental hospital located far behind enemy lines, where German doctors subject their patients to daily rounds of shock treatments and experimental drugs. The pilots only hope of survival is to fake insanity until the war ends, but their friendship and courage are put to the ultimate test when James and Bryan realize they arent the only ones in the Alphabet House feigning madness.
Millions of fans around the worldand in this countryknow Adler-Olsen for his award-winning Department Q series. His first stand-alone, The Alphabet House, is the perfect introduction for those who have yet to discover his riveting work.
"This is hands down the best thriller I've read in five years. Grade: A . . . Complex and enormously satisfying." Entertainment Weekly
"The book cements Mankell's reputation as Sweden's greatest living mystery writer . . . Roslin is a sort of Nordic Miss Marple." Los Angeles Times
"Mankell succeeds in transfixing the reader with a masterly balance of character sketches and pell-mell storytelling. He is entirely convincing in his depiction of ordinary people becoming enmeshed in geopolitical intrigue." Wall Street Journal
"Mankell's new book is an original but still chock-a-block with gory crime combined with hints of the late Stieg Larsson's social concern and John le Carré’s international intrigue." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries, writing at the height of his powers, now gives us an electrifying stand-alone global thriller.
January 2006. In the Swedish hamlet of Hesjövallen, nineteen people have been massacred. The only clue is a red ribbon found at the scene.
Judge Birgitta Roslin has particular reason to be shocked: Her grandparents, the Andréns, are among the victims, and Birgitta soon learns that an Andrén family in Nevada has also been murdered. She then discovers the nineteenth-century diary of an Andrén ancestor — a gang master on the American transcontinental railway — that describes brutal treatment of Chinese slave workers. The police insist that only a lunatic could have committed the Hesjövallen murders, but Birgitta is determined to uncover what she now suspects is a more complicated truth.
The investigation leads to the highest echelons of power in present-day Beijing, and to Zimbabwe and Mozambique. But the narrative also takes us back 150 years into the depths of the slave trade between China and the United States — a history that will ensnare Birgitta as she draws ever closer to solving the Hesjövallen murders.
The best-selling, award-winning author of the Kurt Wallander series delivers an incredible stand-alone masterpiece: a bone-chilling mystery that spans two centuries and four continents.
In the far north of Sweden a small, quiet village has been almost entirely wiped out by a mass murderer. The only clue left at the scene is a red ribbon. Among the victims are the grandparents of Judge Birgitta Roslin, who sets out to find the killer. Despite being brushed off by the police, Birgitta is determined to prove that the murders were not a random act of violence but are part of something far more dark and complex. Her investigation leads to the highest echelons of power and into the recesses of history where the seeds of evil deeds were planted.
About the Author
Henning Mankell is the prizewinning author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries, which were adapted into a PBS television series starring Kenneth Branagh. His novels have been translated into forty languages and have sold thirty million copies worldwide. He is the first winner of the Ripper Award (the new European Crime Fiction Star Award) and has also received the Glass Key and Golden Dagger awards. He divides his time between Sweden and Mozambique.