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The site for English-speaking fans of Henning Mankell’s detective series
featuring Kurt Wallander of Ystad, Sweden.
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Fiona Walker reviews Return of the Dancing Master
Posted 2004-03-05
The web site Mystery Ink is featuring a review by Fiona Walker of Henning Mankell's novel, The Return of the Dancing Master.
  I can well see how Mankell's books, this one in particular, may not be suited to all. The Return of the Dancing Master -- this title has quickly jumped to the top of my “Favorite Book Titles” list -- is a dark, bleak and intense story with a heavy, mordant atmosphere. There is little sunlight to be glimpsed anywhere, literally or metaphorically. This is not for people who like their fiction light and happy. Mankell's fiction is gloomy and occasionally depressing, in a way that attracts me to it immeasurably.

Sweden is evoked brilliantly, which is important as setting is one of the three necessary factors required in order to make a crime book effective -- the other two being plot and character, where Mankell succeeds as well. The vast lonely forests of Northern Sweden contribute effectively to the bleakness (as you can tell, “bleak” is very much a watchword here) of the book, and it is clear that Mankell has a very good handle on his country.

 

Read the full review at the Mystery Ink web site.

Thanks to Rachel for spotting this one.