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  • Published: 1 April 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099542193
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 528
  • RRP: $19.99


A tense and gripping psychological thriller: Mankell's best book yet

October 1914: the destroyer Svea emerged from the Stockholm archipelago bearing south-south-east. On board was Lars Tobiasson-Svartman, a naval engineer charged with making depth soundings to find a navigable channel for the Swedish navy. As a child Tobiasson-Svartman was fascinated by measurement; nothing is as magical as exact knowledge. His instinct for his profession is reflected in the comfortable domesticity he enjoys with his wife - herself meticulous in every detail.

Close to the waters where soundings are taken Tobiasson-Svartman alights on a barren skerry, presumed uninhabited, and is surprised to discover there a young woman, Sara Fredrika. Despite her almost feral appearance, something about her strikes him to the core. The mission is a success and the Svea returns to Gothenburg. Tobiasson-Svartman, however, remains haunted by this chance encounter; his equilibrium has been disturbed, and he is now compelled to find any pretence to return to the remote islet.

  • Published: 1 April 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099542193
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 528
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Henning Mankell

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.


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Praise for Depths

The end result is some brilliantly atmospheric writing and insightful analysis

Literary Review

Mesmerically fascinating in Laurie Thompson's fluent translation, Depths has, for all the authenticities of period, much of the folk-ballad about it...this novel is as fine a narrative performance as any of Mankell's yet


The fog-bound islands off the Stockholm coast are beautifully evoked...Questions of morality in politics, of justice and democracy, are explicitly raised

Sunday Telegraph

There is a haunting quality to Mankell's writing in Laurie Thompson's translation, and he is good at isolation and loneliness

The Times

A noirish psychological thriller, steeped in eerie premonitions and symbolism, in prose that's as cold, empty and pitiless as the landscape it describes


The fog-bound islands and grey October skies of the Baltic are beautifully evoked; only Mankell can summon with such a dream-like intensity the Nordic landscapes and climates he knows so well...Mankell is, without doubt, one of the most impressive crime writers at work in Europe today


A surprising departure. This is no police procedural, but a terse, gripping dissection of a broken man whose private morality is as barren as the frozen wastes that betray his destiny


It is when he eschews poetics that his gifts - psychological acuity and compassion - are best displayed

Daily Telegraph

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