The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell
This is a stand-alone novel from the creator of the Wallander detective novels. This novel tells the tale of a horrific crime and a frightening killer. One cold January day the Police are called out to a small little village in the North of Sweden where they find victims of a savage murder. While the local Police struggle to finds clues or even a motive, the case attracts the attention of Birgitta Roslin, a Judge, whose mother grew up in the village. She comes across diaries from the house of one of the victims kept by Jan Andren, who is an immigrant ancestor of Birgitta’s. The diaries cover Andren’s time as a foreman on the building of the transcontinental railroad in America. Extended flashbacks chart the journey of, San, a railroad worker, who was kidnapped in China and shipped to America in 1863. After finding evidence linking the mysterious Chinese man to the Hesjovallen murders, Birgitta travels to Beijing, suspecting that the motive for the horrific crime is rooted in the past. Birigitta realises that she will have to solve the crime on her own, and here the books takes off in a total of four continents and a hundred and thirty years.
It was an interesting international mystery which at times meandered a little with the politics but it was a compelling read none the less.