After the Fire
Fredrik Welin is a seventy-year-old retired doctor. Years ago he retreated to the Swedish archipelago, where he lives alone on an island. He swims in the sea every day, cutting a hole in the ice if necessary. He lives a quiet life. Until he wakes up one night to find his house on fire. Fredrik escapes just in time, wearing two left-footed wellies, as neighbouring islanders arrive to help douse the flames. All that remains in the morning is a stinking ruin and evidence of arson. The house that has been in his family for generations and all his worldly belongings are gone. He cannot think who would do such a thing, or why. Without a suspect, the police begin to think he started the fire himself. Tackling love, loss and loneliness, After the Fire is Henning Mankell's compelling last novel.
"This strange, beguiling book...gives closure to a substantial career without becoming maudlin or overly bleak. The waters around Welin's island may freeze in the winter, but there is human warmth to be found in these pages, along with glimmers of hope and consolation... The bell may have tolled for one of Scandinavia's finest writers, but his connection to those left behind is unbroken." -- Ian Rankin * Guardian * "A powerful reminder that [Mankell] was also a literary writer of considerable accomplishment... After the Fire is a life-enhancing novel... a suitable final curtain for a much-missed modern novelist" -- Barry Forshaw * i * "It is very moving and rather beautiful" * Sunday Express * "The novel's atmosphere is bleak and elegiac, suggesting that Mankell wrote it with his own impending death in mind" -- Joan Smith * Sunday Times * "After the Fire is full of regret, loneliness and the melancholy of growing old, but there is also hope and love." * The Times *
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