A raft containing two corpses has washed ashore in Ystad. It is soon discovered that the dead men, gruesomely frozen together, were Eastern European criminals and apparently victims of a gangland hit. Things turn sinister when Wallander travels across the Baltic Sea to the politically unstable country of Latvia, which is squarely immersed in a battle for independence from the Soviet Union. Thrust into the strange world of deception, veiled threats, and police surveillance; Wallander comes to understand what life is like in a nation where democracy is still only a dream. With his determination and constant pursuit of justice, Wallander can only hope that he will soon track down the elusive and shadowy figures he pursues.