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Before the Frost released in UK and Australia; three reviews
Posted 2004-09-03, updated 2004-09-29
Before the Frost by Henning MankellBefore the Frost, featuring Linda Wallander and her father Kurt, is now in for sale in the UK and Australia. You can order the novel from Flag or Flag Shearer's Bookshop. The North American release will follow on February 28, 2005.

For anyone that does not know already, Before the Frost is the first of three novels that Henning Mankell has planned to write to succeed the Kurt Wallander series. In addition to Linda Wallander, both Kurt and Stefan Lindman are in the series.

Joan Smith covers Before the Frost for the Guardian:

  The novel opens with two apparently unrelated acts of violence: a massacre in Guyana and the sadistic killing of half a dozen swans on a lake in Sweden. Linda has left police college and is sharing her father's small flat while she waits for more suitable accommodation to become available. At a loose end - she has a couple of months to wait before her official starting date - she tags along on one of Wallander's investigations. She is further drawn in when an old friend disappears, not long after confiding to Linda that she believes she has sighted her long-lost father.

Without this plot thread, Linda's part in the investigation would be hard to justify (and it is questionable whether father and daughter would, in real life, be allowed to work together in the same small police station). This is not, however, the chief question mark that hovers over Before the Frost. As in The Return of the Dancing Master, the central mystery involves a conspiracy of such proportions that it is hard to credit; Mankell has moved from the common-or-garden serial killers of his early novels to neo-Nazis in his previous book and religious fanatics here.


Marcel Berlins has a short review for The Times:

  The book is being promoted as a "Linda Wallander mystery", the first of a "gripping new series". Linda, as Mankell's readers will know, is Kurt's somewhat difficult daughter from his former marriage. She has now unexpectedly decided to become a policewoman in the Ystad force, from which her father is soon to retire. She also inherits her father's limelight spot in the Mankell novels.

In Before the Frost, Daddy Kurt is still very much in charge of the investigation. Linda has only just qualified as a cop.


Michael Shmith reviews Before the Frost for Australia's The Age:

  Before the Frost finds [Kurt] Wallander winding up. He is no longer the mainstay of the narrative; that is left to his daughter, Linda, who has finished her police training and is about to don the uniform described by her father as upsetting. "From the first day you put on the uniform, it will be, inescapably, in your life," he tells her.

Linda is joining the force at Ystad; but even before this, she has inherited the Wallander investigative sixth sense. One of her friends, Anna, disappears, having told Linda that she has sighted her father who had himself vanished many years before.


Thanks to Rachel for finding these reviews and sending them in.