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David Anthony Durham…don't read Daniel for the plot. This is not one of Mankell's popular Wallander mysteries. Read it instead for his ruminations on a cultural divide that Bengler and Daniel cannot cross. Even the supporting characters are trapped by the legacy of race, power and exploitation upon which colonialism was founded. The plucky female journalist who befriends Daniel, the pastor who dreams of missionary work in Africa, the kind husband and wife who attempt to understand the boy, even the king of Sweden in his pleasure yacht: All of them try to help, but most of them end up as unwitting participants in a deepening tragedy. This is, after all, a Swedish novel.
—The Washington Post