The Eye of the Leopard is a first-rate psychological thriller, delving deep into the mind of a man lost in an unknown world, and is Mankell’s finest non-crime novel yet.
Hans Olofson is the son of a Swedish lumberjack. His early life is isolated and difficult, overshadowed by the disappearance of his mother. When he loses both his best friend, and then his girlfriend in tragic circumstances, his only remaining desire is to fulfil her dream of visiting the grave of a legendary missionary, deep in the remote hills of Northern Zambia.
On reaching Africa, Olofson is struck by its beauty and mystery. After fulfilling his initial quest, an opportunity of employment in the region tempts him to stay, and before long he takes sole responsibility for the farm he manages. Despite his early optimism, he is shocked by the attitude of the local white population to their adopted country, as well as their pitiful vulnerability to alcohol and malaria. As relationships splinter and fray, Hans is soon to discover that his African dream is rapidly turning to a nightmare.
The Eye of the Leopard is a first-rate psychological thriller from the bestselling author of the Wallander Mysteries, delving deep into the mind of a man lost in an unknown world.
“A powerful exploration of the stresses and challenges of freedom”
“The writer [is] clear about his authorial target, which is to expose the myth of Swedish neutrality with a savage portrait of its foreign aid system”
“Brilliant...exceptionally well written...a white knuckle page-turner...Mankell translates the intrigue of the genre he has become so famous for into an existential whodunit: a profound and searing investigation into the loneliness of man”
“He writes simply and gracefully...Mankell at his best”
“A tense tale whose violence and uneasiness contrast to great effect with Olofson's deadpan narrative tone and Mankell's spare prose”