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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
From critically acclaimed Swedish author Henning Mankell comes the first novel in his Kurt Wallander sequence to star the Scandinavian chief inspector's daughter, rookie policewoman Linda Wallander.
A recent graduate of the police training college in Stockholm, Linda is living with her father in Ystad, a small town outside of Malmö in the southern province of Skåne, for a few months before her job begins. But when a childhood friend suddenly disappears and an elderly woman is found butchered in a nearby forest, Linda becomes entangled in a bizarre case that revolves around a religious fanatic -- the only survivor from the 1978 massacre in Guyana, where 913 followers of Jim Jones and the People's Temple committed mass suicide. The self-proclaimed prophet has vowed to take over where Jones went astray: "He would evade the pitfalls of pride and vanity, and he would never forget that the Christian rebirth would demand sacrifice and blood." Following a trail of brutal animal sacrifices, Linda uncovers a cult bent on punishing the unbelievers of the world -- and that includes her.
Fans of eclectic mysteries and those who enjoy the translated works of foreign novelists like Japan's Miyuki Miyabe or Cuba's Leonardo Padura Fuentes will be absolutely blown away by Mankell's dark, introspective, almost poetic narrative style. Like sampling a previously undiscovered delicacy from an exotic country, readers will be more than pleasantly surprised by Before the Frost -- and may end up acquiging an insatiable taste for Scandinavian whodunits. Paul Goat Allen