The site for English-speaking fans of Henning Mankell’s detective series
featuring Kurt Wallander of Ystad, Sweden.
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Introduction to the Wallander series from A N Wilson
Posted 2004-06-07, updated 2004-07-04
A N Wilson has written an interesting article for The Telegraph on how Ruth Rendall opened the door to Henning Mankell's works. The article also serves as a decent introduction to the series. Here is a excerpt:
  I started, on a friend's recommendation, with Sidetracked, in which a serial killer scalps his victims. I would also suggest it as the one to start with. Then read its sequel, The Fifth Woman, in which men who have brutal histories of wife-beating or abuse get some truly blood-curdling comeuppances. The background to these two stories is Wallander's patient and successful journey towards friendship with his dad as the old man slithers into Alzheimer's disease, and with his daughter, whose emotional life is not all he had supposed.

Wallander is a conservative liberal. The murders that he investigates are all worse than anything which happened in his youth, and modern Sweden seems to have lost its way in a manner which many English readers will recognise as familiar. In spite of the occasional encounter with a dishy female Lutheran pastor in some remote rural church, Wallander does not find consolation in religion or the old values; but he is a fundamentally decent, moral individual.


Read the article by A N Wilson entitled The rich language of death is universal at the web site.