From the creator of the acclaimed Kurt Wallander series: A thrilling story set in Sweden and Zambia “told with heart-stopping tension” (Entertainment Weekly).
Interweaving past and present, The Eye of the Leopard draws on bestselling author Henning Mankell’s deep understanding of both Scandinavia and post-colonial Africa.
Hans Olofson arrives in Zambia in the 1970s, at the start of its independence. There, he hopes to fulfill the missionary dream of a boyhood friend who was unable to make the journey. But he is also there to flee the traumas of his motherless childhood in provincial Sweden: his father’s alcoholism, his best friend’s terrible accident, his fear of an ordinary and stifled fate. Africa is a terrible shock, yet he stays and makes it his home.
In all his years as a mzungu, a wealthy white man among native blacks, he never comes to fully understand his adoptive home, or his precarious place in it. Rumors of an underground army of revolutionaries wearing leopard skins warn him that the fragile truce between blacks and whites is in danger of rupturing.
Alternating between Hans’s years in Africa and those of his youth in Sweden, The Eye of the Leopard is a bravura achievement and a study in contrasts—black and white, poor and wealthy, Africa and Europe—both sinister and elegiac.
“Mankell’s novels are a joy.” —USA Today
“A fascinating novel . . . [the] prose is powerful, and the narrative of The Eye of the Leopard is profound.” —BookReporter
“A thought-provoking, multilayered novel whose themes will challenge and linger.” —The Courier Mail
“Mankell is a master of atmosphere and suspense.” —Los Angeles Times
“Mankell’s novels are the best Swedish export since flatpack furniture.” —The Guardian
“Beautiful, heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful . . . A powerful exploration of the stresses and challenges of freedom.” —Booklist, starred review