Featuring Police Inspector Kurt Wallander: the hard-drinking, opera-loving, down-at-heal divorcee, and incomparable cop.
A young girl, possibly a foreigner, commits suicide in baffling circumstances. One, and then another, and then another, vicious murder - and not one of them with an obvious motive - shatter the tranquillity of the Swedish province of Skane. It falls to Inspector Kurt Wallander of the Ystad Police to try to solve the crimes . . .
Midsummer approaches, Kurt Wallander clears his desk and prepares to set off on holiday with the new woman in his life, hoping that his wayward daughter and his ageing father will cope without him. But Wallander's plans are ruined when a girl douses herself in petrol and sets herself alight as - powerless to help her - he watches, and then a retired Minister of Justice is found butchered.
Wallander's search for the identity of the girl, and his hunt for a serial killer who collects the scalps of his victims, will lead him to uncover corruption and scandal at the highest levels of government, and throw him and those he loves most into mortal danger.