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The Man from Beijing

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Description

From the internationally acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries comes an extraordinary stand-alone novel - both a mystery and a sweeping drama - that traces the legacy of the nineteenth-century slave trade between China and America.

January 2006. In the small Swedish hamlet of Hesjövallen, a horrific scene is discovered: nineteen people have been tortured and massacred an the only clue is a red silk ribbon found at the scene. Judge Birgitta Roslin has a particular reason to be shocked by the crime: her mother's adoptive parents, the Andréns, are among the victims. Investigating further, she learns that an Andrén family living in Nevada has also been murdered. Travelling to Hesjövallen, she finds a diary, kept by a gangmaster on the railway built across America in the 1860s, full of vivid descriptions of the brutality with which the Chinese and other slave workers were treated. She discovers that the red silk ribbon found at the crime scene came from a local Chinese restaurant, and she learns that a Chinese man, a stranger to the town, was staying at a local boarding house at the time of the atrocity. The police insist that only a lunatic could have committed such a horrific crime, but Birgitta suspects that there is much more to it, and she is determined to uncover the truth. Her search takes her from Sweden to Beijing and back, but Mankell's narrative also takes us 150 years into the past: to China and America when the hatred that fuelled the massacre was born, a hatred transformed and complicated over time and that will catch up to Birgitta as she draws ever closer to discovering who is behind the Hesjövallen murders.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 21, 2009 – A massacre in the remote Swedish village of Hesj vallen propels this complex, if diffuse, stand-alone thriller from Mankell (The Pyramid). Judge Birgitta Roslin, whose mother grew up in the village, comes across diaries from the house of one of the 19 mostly elderly victims kept by Jan Andr n, an immigrant ancestor of Roslin's. The diaries cover Andr n's time as a foreman on the building of the transcontinental railroad in the United States. An extended flashback charts the journey of a railroad worker, San, who was kidnapped in China and shipped to America in 1863. After finding evidence linking a mysterious Chinese man to the Hesj vallen murders, Roslin travels to Beijing, suspecting that the motive for the horrific crime is rooted in the past. While each section, ranging in setting from the bleak frozen landscape of northern Sweden to modern-day China bursting onto the global playing field, compels, the parts don't add up to a fully satisfying whole. Author tour.

Customer Reviews

Interesting read.

I do not read very often, and since deciding on the mystery genre, I stumbled upon this novel. I enjoyed how the mystery was woven though current and passed events. I would have liked the ending to be more gripping, but overall it was a good read.

The Man from Beijing
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Feb 16, 2010
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada
  • Seller: Penguin Random House Canada
  • Print Length: 464 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings