This wasn't bad, it wasn't great either. It is written in the typical Swedish style, very precise and tight. However, so many individuals are introduced and the author goes into such detail on so many people that I mistakenly thought several were going to play a greater role in the book. The detective, Vivi, for example. We go into surprising depth on characters that end up playing very minor roles. There are also too many settings. We bounce from rural Sweden to urban Sweden, Beijing to Reno, Nevada to Denmark, back to Beijing then off to two different African countries. It was just too big a bite to take. This could have been a great book if it was scaled back, both in characters and locations. Also, much is made of the mugging in Beijing, but not really resolved.
Avoid this and read something else by Mankell. This book is a loose collection of stories that meanders and bores. Save your time and money read something else.
I rarely rate a book with 5 stars. This one is an exception. A history novel of USA, Sweden, and China to the present. Just proves again that greed,man's inhumanity to man,politics,family, and the law make a great novel.
.I kept waiting for it to get better. Just when there should have been a climatic crescendo nothing more than a ho hum yawn occurred. The story premise is intriguing but never really got my attention. I'm looking forward to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.