Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780307385864, 406pp.
Publication Date: April 15, 2008
From the dean of Scandinaviannoir and internationally bestselling author, Henning Mankell, comes a lyrical and evocative novel about a Swedish naval engineer during World War I and his devastating plunge into obsession.
In 1914 Lars Tobiasson-Svartman is covertly measuring the depths of Swedish coastal waters. A man of discipline and obsessed with exactitude, he is more comfortable on naval vessels than he is in his loveless marriage back in Stockholm. On one of his missions, Lars discovers a feral but beautiful woman living alone on a remote island. Passion, suspicion, and violence are awakened in him and soon he is living a double life-lying to his wife and his superiors and submerging himself in a pool of deception that has devastating consequences.
“Powerful fiction. . . . Only Mankell can summon with such a dream-like intensity the Nordic landscapes and climates he knows so well.” —The Guardian
“Achieves a stark power as the lies and crimes of passion boomerang around.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Shows us another dimension of [Mankell's] considerable talent. . . . Casts a remarkably powerful spell.” —Booklist
“Mesmerically fascinating. . . . As fine a narrative performance as any of Mankell's yet.” —The Independent