The Man from Beijing (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
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.
Not a single sound penetrated the walls. According to rumor, the room had once been a bedroom used by Mao Zedong’s wife, Jiang Qing; after Mao’s death she had been arrested together with three others, the so-called Gang of Four, put on trial, and had later committed suicide in prison. She had demanded absolute silence in whatever room she slept in. Builders and decorators had always traveled in advance to insulate her bedroom, and soldiers had been sent out to kill any dogs that might bark within
that she did indeed—she hadn’t spoken to anybody at all. “Please keep an eye on her,” said Birgitta Roslin. “I could remove her if you like.” “On what grounds?” “That she worries you.” “No, I’m just asking you to keep an eye on her. No more than that.” Although she was doubtful until the last minute, she did manage to conclude proceedings late that afternoon. She announced that sentences would be passed on June 20 and declared the case closed. The last thing she saw before going back to her
the headwaiter. He explained that he wasn’t a guest but would like to have breakfast. The headwaiter was from South Korea. He led Ya Ru to a table diagonally behind the one where Birgitta Roslin was leaning over her plate. Ya Ru looked around the restaurant. There was an emergency exit in the wall closest to his table. As he went to collect a newspaper, he tried the door and discovered it was unlocked. He returned to his table, ordered tea, and waited. Many of the tables were still empty, but Ya
the house had been badly beaten, perhaps even tortured, before they were killed. Why had the boy been spared that? Could it simply be that he was young and the murderer had somehow taken that into account? Or was there some other reason? There were no obvious answers. And anyway, it wasn’t her problem. She still felt ashamed of what had happened the previous day. Her conduct had been indefensible. She didn’t dare think about what would have happened if some journalist had found her out. Her
completely empty. “What time is it?” “Nearly five. I’m tired, I need to sleep a bit longer. Why were you crying?” “I don’t know. I must have been dreaming, even if I don’t remember what.” Karin lay down again. She soon fell back to sleep. Birgitta got up and opened a little gap in the curtains. The early morning traffic was already under way. A few flags straining at their moorings told her that it was going to be another windy day in Beijing. The fear she had felt after being mugged