The Return of the Dancing Master

From the internationally bestselling author Henning Mankell, a mystery featuring a young policeman with cancer investigating the brutal murder of his first partner

December 12, 1945. Nazi Germany lies in ruins as a British warplane lands in Buckeburg. A man carrying a small black bag quickly disembarks and travels to Hamelin, where he disappears behind the prison gates. Early the next day, England’s most experienced hangman executes twelve war criminals.

Fifty-four years later, retired policeman Herbert Molin spends another sleepless night on his remote farm in Härjedalen, Sweden. But it is this night when the long-dreaded shadows from his past finally emerge to exact revenge. After Molin is found brutally slaughtered—literally whipped to death—the police discover strange tracks in the blood on the floor . . . as if someone had been practicing the tango.

Stefan Lindman is a young police officer who has just been diagnosed with cancer of the tongue. When he reads about the murder of his former colleague, he decides to travel north and find out what happened. Soon he is enmeshed in a puzzling investigation with no witnesses, no discernible motives. Terrified of the illness that could take his life, Lindman nonetheless becomes more and more reckless as he uncovers the links between Molin’s death, World War II, and an underground neo-Nazi network that runs much further and deeper than he had ever imagined. The Return of the Dancing Master is a gripping mystery from the widely praised author of the Kurt Wallander series.



“There’s no one better at the genre. . . . What marks Mankell off from other mystery writers is the way he integrates politics into his thriller plot. . . . At the same time as he gives us real characters, he also gives us a compelling political mystery—a mystery, moreover, in which the pertinence of politics to the characters’ daily lives is made manifest and comprehensible.”
—Wendy Lesser, San Francisco Chronicle
“[Mankell’s] Sweden—cold, isolated and brimming with disappointment—is as intriguing a landscape as Raymond Chandler’ s Los Angeles or Charles Willeford’s Miami.”
The Wall Street Journal
“As full and rich as any American police procedural of the last 20 years. . . . You’ll shiver with the cold of a Scandinavian winter.”
The Plain Dealer

Books by Henning Mankell

The Shadow Girls
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Faceless Killers
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Kennedy’s Brain
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Chronicler of the Winds
A Novel

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Goodreads Reviews