Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.
Internationally bestselling author Henning Mankell delivers a lyrical and evocative novel about a Swedish naval engineer during World War I and his devastating plunge into obsession.

In 1914 Lars Tobiasson-Svartman is covertly measuring the depths of Swedish coastal waters. A man of discipline and obsessed with exactitude, he is more comfortable on naval vessels than he is in his loveless marriage back in Stockholm. On one of his missions, Lars discovers a feral but beautiful woman living alone on a remote island. Passion, suspicion, and violence are awakened in him and soon he is living a double life-lying to his wife and his superiors and submerging himself in a pool of deception that has devastating consequences.

Baker & Taylor
Sent on a mission to take covert depth readings around the Stockholm archipelago, World War I Swedish naval officer Lars Tobiasson-Svartman finds himself passionately attracted to an isolated young widow whose wild nature is in total contrast to his wife's reserved and elegant personality. Reprint. 17,500 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2008
Edition: 1st Vintage Books ed
ISBN: 9780307385864
Characteristics: 406 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Thompson, Laurie 1938-2015


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Aug 02, 2016

i did not enjoy this mankell at all. tho i did read it thru to the end. my favourite of his (non wallander) so far is 'eye of the leopard'.

Feb 23, 2016

This has to be the best book I've read this year. (Of course it's only February).
Overall it is a little on the "Dark" side as Mankell keeps us inside the mind of a psychopath throughout the story.
It wasn't until about half way through, that the pace of the novel started to pick up and at that point I found the book hard to put down.

Nov 06, 2015

This is a book I would normally not be drawn to; the dark tone is not my cup of tea. But once I started reading it I was swept away and able to get past the somber aura of the story. And it is so well written; sparse but poetic. I recommend it but keep in mind it is not a lighthearted read!

Nov 05, 2015

Well, to each her own. I loved this book. Very unusual and thought provoking. I just had to add a comment so fpsutka wouldn't scare readers away!

multcolib_susannel Mar 23, 2015

Swedish Naval officer Lars Tobiasson-Svartmann is a man obsessed with measurement- whether physical or emotional. But when he discovers a solitary woman on remote island he is thrown into the depths of himself with no way to sound the bottom.

Jan 07, 2014

Depths is a horrible book - it is very depressing and negative. I don't recommend it to anyone! Reading it gave me the creeps! The libary should simply throw it out!
F. Psutka.

Jun 14, 2012

This is a very unusual book. A naval engineer charting new routes encounters a lone woman on a skerry. She is very repressed, lacking emotion and with no sense of her own identity. In the end, all mad.

Dec 08, 2011

Wow, Mankell at his darkest! No adorable Detective Wallander to hold up your hope that most of us are pretty good people. This protagonist is someone to keep your eye on, because you never know where he's coming from or where he'll take you. Mankell's best writing so far.

Pleiades Apr 12, 2010

I usually like Henning Mankell novels but this one is gloomy, pessimistic, depressing and really sad. Stay clear of this one.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Northern Indiana Database Cluster

To Top