When a man with long braids and an American Indian-style feather in his hair walks into a bank with what looks like a bomb around his neck, he demands that a precise sum of money be transferred to an account.

The bomb is real and his wishes are carried out, but it is obvious that someone is exploiting the man, known in the village as being intellectually handicapped.

Kurt Wallander and his colleagues face a long and complicated investigation. The case demands understanding of astrology, something that Kurt and his daughter Linda did not know that they had.