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Inspector Kurt Wallander of the Ystad police force in south Sweden is called to a rapeseed field to deal with an unidentified teenage girl, who has been hiding there. When Wallander arrives, he comes to witness the young girl douse herself with gasoline and burn herself on fire.
While trying to seek out the explanation why this young girl ends her life, Wallander is swept into another case related to the death of the former Swedish minister of justice. The killer used an axe to split the skull and scalped it afterwards. The former minister is the fourth victim of the cold-blooded insane killer.
Setting out a team to chase down the killer, Wallander finds it hard to connect all the murder cases because the victims do not have any relation to each other, except their death motive. Now all waiting for Wallander and his team are 4 unsolved murders and the mysterious suicide of a young girl. 5 cases seem to not have any similarity or they do?
Detective Kurt Wallander is called to a nearby rapeseed field where a teenage girl has been loitering all day long. He arrives just in time to watch her douse herself in gasoline and set herself aflame. The next day, he is called to a beach where Sweden’s former minister of justice has been axed to death and scalped. The murder has the obvious markings of a demented serial killer, and Wallander is frantic to find him before he strikes again. But his investigation is beset with obstacles: a department distracted by the threat of cutbacks and the frivolity of World Cup soccer, a tenuous relationship with a widow, and an unshakably haunting preoccupation with the girl who set herself on fire.
Fascinating and astute, Sidetracked is a compelling mystery enhanced by keen social awareness.
©1995 by Henning Mankell; English translation ©1999 by Steven T. Murray; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.