In peaceful Southern Sweden, Louise Kerblom, an estate agent, pillar of the Methodist Church, wife and mother, disappears. There is no explanation and no motive. Inspector Kurt Wallander and his team are called in to investigate. As Inspector Wallander is introduced to this missing person's case he has a gut feeling that the victim will never be found alive, but he has no idea how far he will have to go in search of the killer and the origin of the crime.
In South Africa, Nelson Mandela has made his long walk to freedom, setting in train the country's painful journey towards the end of Apartheid. Wallander and his colleagues find themselves caught up in a complex web involving renegade members of South Africa's secret service and former KGB agent, all of whom are set upon halting Mandela's rise to power.
In an increasingly globalised world Wallander and his team are faced with international terrorism which knows no frontiers - they must prevent a hideous crime that means to dam the tide of history.