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Kennedy's Brain


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A fast paced international thriller - sure to delight fans starved of Wallander

About the Author

Henning Mankell (1948-2015) became a worldwide phenomenon with his crime writing, gripping thrillers and atmospheric novels set in Africa. His prizewinning and critically acclaimed Inspector Wallander Mysteries continue to dominate bestseller lists all over the globe and his books have been translated into forty-five languages and made into numerous international film and television adaptations: most recently the BAFTA-award-winning BBC television series Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh. Driven by a desire to change the world and to fight against racism and nationalism, Mankell devoted much of his time to working with charities in Africa, including SOS Children's Villages and PLAN International, where he was also director of the Teatro Avenida in Maputo. In 2008, the University of St Andrews conferred Henning Mankell with an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of his major contribution to literature and to the practical exercise of conscience. www.henningmankell.com


Departing from his acclaimed police procedurals featuring Inspector Kurt Wallender, Mankell fashions a grim thriller around the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Swedish archaeologist Louise Cantor, overwhelmed by grief at finding her adult son and only child Henrik dead when she returns from a dig in Greece, rejects the police finding of suicide and sets out to prove that he was murdered. What she finds, with help from her ex-husband, is a life that Henrik hid from her involving travel, unexplained wealth, and a fascination with JFK's brain, missing after his autopsy. But not until she reaches Mozambique, where horrific means don't begin to justify seemingly altruistic ends, does she uncover the full story. Mankell's anger about the epidemic in Africa fueled this novel, in which Kennedy's brain symbolizes something that must be kept secret, and the result is reminiscent of an oppressively bleak Robin Cook novel. Mankell's heartfelt concern about this crisis is clear, but some readers will long for him to return to the Wallender series. An optional purchase unless Mankell is in demand.-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

In Mankell's engaging but overly polemical stand-alone crime novel, Louise Cantor, an archeologist working in Greece, returns home to Sweden to discover her grown son, Henrik, lying dead in his own bed. Cantor, who refuses to accept the police theory that Henrik killed himself, launches her own investigation. (The book's title refers to one of the mysteries surrounding the JFK assassination, which had become a bizarre metaphor for the secretive Henrik.) In her quest for answers, Cantor journeys to Australia in search of her estranged husband; to Barcelona, where Henrik had an apartment and a surprisingly large bank account; and to Maputo, Mozambique, where she learns of the devastation wrought by poverty, AIDS and greed. Mankell, author of the wonderful Kurt Wallender series (Faceless Killers, etc.), is a deft and imaginative plotter and an insightful observer of the human condition, but here his righteous anger over the AIDS crisis in Africa and the exploitative role of the pharmaceutical industry overshadows the mystery solving. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

This is two for the price of one - the finely crafted thriller you'd expect from Mankell, and the powerful social comment you wouldn't * Daily Sport *
On one level, it is a mystery; but it is also an angry polemic on a subject that Mankell feels strongly about - the unnecessary suffering of AIDS victims in Africa * The Times *
A journey into the darkest reaches of exploitation * Daily Telegraph *
Mankell is writing with his heart on his sleeve, and the subject matter is a worthy one * Irish Times *
Inventive, funny and worryingly prophetic * Guardian *

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