Kennedy’s Brain

A Novel

Internationally bestselling novelist Henning Mankell delivers a terrifying thriller inspired by the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic in Africa

“[Mankell] is in the great tradition of those whose works transcend their chosen genre to become thrilling and moral literature.” —Michael Ondaatje

Henning Mankell, the acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries, has put his unmistakable stamp on this gripping new thriller.

Archaeologist Louise Cantor returns home to Sweden and makes a devastating discovery: her only child, twenty-eight-year-old Henrik, dead in his bed. The police rule his death a suicide but she knows he was murdered; her quest to find out what really happened to Henrik takes her across the globe to Barcelona, where her son kept a secret apartment; Sydney, Australia, to find Aron, her estranged ex-husband and Henrik’s father; and to Maputo, Mozambique, where she learns the awful truth behind an AIDS hospice. Her investigation reveals how much her son concealed from her as she uncovers the links between his death, the African AIDS epidemic, and Western pharmaceutical interests, while those who dare help her are killed off.

In the tradition of John le Carré’s The Constant Gardener, Kennedy’s Brain was inspired by Mankell’s anger at ongoing inequities that permit a few people to have unprecedented power over the many poor Africans who have none. Already a bestseller in Europe, Kennedy’s Brain is both a thrilling page-turner and a damning indictment of inhuman greed in the face of the African AIDS crisis.


“Engaging. . . . Mankell . . . is a deft and imaginative plotter and an insightful observer of the human condition.”
Publishers Weekly
“[A] knowing, weary and masterful mystery. . . . Kennedy’s Brain is a profoundly political, deeply moral book.”
St. Petersburg Times
“Of all Mankell’s works that I have read, Kennedy’s Brain seems to be the one into which the author has poured most of his passion.”

Books by Henning Mankell

The Fifth Woman
A Kurt Wallander Mystery

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The White Lioness
A Kurt Wallander Mystery

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A Kurt Wallander Mystery

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The Dogs of Riga
A Kurt Wallander Mystery

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Goodreads Reviews