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A Treacherous Paradise sees Henning Mankell turn his talents for writing gripping thrillers to a world where power and powerlessness meet and passion is a dangerous commodity. Hanna Lundmark escapes the brutal poverty of rural Sweden for a job as a cook onboard a steamship headed for Australia. Jumping ship at the African port of Lourenco Marques, Hanna decides to begin her life afresh. Stumbling across what she believes to be a down-at-heel hotel, Hanna becomes embroiled in a sequence of events that lead to her inheriting the most successful brothel in town. Uncomfortable with the attitudes of the white settlers, Hanna is determined to befriend the prostitutes working for her, and change life in the town for the better, but the distrust between blacks and whites, and the shadow of colonialism, lead to tragedy and murder.