Tuesday, February 07, 2012

#6: "Faceless Killers" by Henning Mankell

The hunt for the Scandinavian mystery that will make me happy continues. A friend recommended I check out Mankell's Kurt Wallander books -- he said they really start to get good about five in. This is the first and it's not bad, but didn't quite knock my socks off. Wallander's an interesting, flawed character, and Mankell sets it against a backdrop of the tensions causing conflict in Sweden at the time of writing (20 years ago, now). Like all the Scandinavian books (isn't there a good snappy short term for this?) I've been reading lately, it's wonderfully atmospheric and descriptive. The mystery itself is a bit unexciting, though -- the plot meanders about a bit in a haze of red herrings and Wallander's sadness, then gets tied up pretty quickly at the end. (A similar problem to "The Darkest Room" -- perhaps something in the Swedish national character?) Still, though, nicely written and I'll seek out subsequent books.

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