Depths (novel)

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Author Henning Mankell
Original title Djup
Translator Laurie Thompson
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Genre Genre fiction
Publisher Harvill Secker
Publication date
Published in English
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
ISBN 1-84343-263-3 (Eng. trans.)
OCLC 67375286

Depths (original title: Djup) is a 2004 novel by Swedish writer Henning Mankell.

Set in 1914 and 1915, the novel concerns a naval engineer Lars Tobiasson-Svartman, on board the Swedish navy's Coast Defence Ship Svea, undertaking a covert mission to find and chart navigable channels through the Stockholm archipelago. During the voyage Svartman alights on a barren skerry, and discovers a young woman there, Sara. Despite her feral nature, something about her strikes him to his core and, even when he has returned to Stockholm and his wife Kristina, he finds himself compelled to go back to the island.

Ever since his childhood Svartman has been obsessed by exactness in the measurement of time or distance. He seeks solace through secretly observing or following people, and at night overcomes fear by cradling his most precious possession, his sounding lead. Svartman's obsessions and growing distrust of others leads him to submerge himself in a web of deceit involving his employer, Kristina and Sara which increasingly threatens to engulf him.