This is the sequel to Italian Shoes, the rather melancholic but thoughtful journey into old age and loneliness that I thought was surprisingly good, despite having no real mystery to solve. And here, Mankell continues the themes begun in the earlier book but throws in a mystery too: who is burning old folks’ houses down in the wilds of Sweden? This was his last novel before his death in 2015 from cancer, but I don’t think it was as good as Italian Shoes, which had already said much that this book had to say. Still, worth a read.
No. 15 of 100 books I intend to read and review in 2020.
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Patrick Sherriff, an Englishman who survived 13 years working for newspapers in the US, UK and Japan. Between teaching English lessons at his conversation school in Abiko, Japan, with his wife, he writes and illustrates textbooks for non-native speakers of English, releases Hana Walker mystery novels, short stories, essays and a monthly newsletter highlighting good fiction published in English about Japan. Saku’s Random Book Club is his latest project to spend more time with books.