THE FIFTH WOMAN by Henning Mankell

I first read this 1997 novel (the sixth in Henning Mankell’s Inspector Wallander series) in 2004, and saw the television adaptation starring Kenneth Branagh last year. So the general outline was familiar; I even knew who the murderer was going to be. All the same, I read the book this time with just as much enjoyment as on the first occasion, and with even more appreciation of detail of its texture.

December 18, 2011 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Sleuths Series, Sweden

ITALIAN SHOES by Henning Mankell

This is a compact sonata of a novel, composed in four “movements.” The title of the last, “Winter Solstice,” might have been a better title for the whole book, set mainly on a small frozen island off the coast of Sweden. It is certainly an appropriate image: the solstice is the darkest part of the year; after it, the days will get longer, but it will still be winter for a long time. This is a book about resurrection, thaw, the slow flowering of the frozen spirit, but it promises few miracles, and even at the end there are setbacks and reversals — a feeling Nordic people must know well in their long wait for Spring.

July 31, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Sweden, Swedish Crime Writer, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

THE TROUBLED MAN by Henning Mankell

Henning Mankell’s Wallender mystery series has come to an end with THE TROUBLED MAN, the last book in this popular series that was also made into several movies for public television with Kenneth Branaugh playing the part of Wallander. Wallander has turned sixty in this book and he is obsessed with looking back on life and not seeing much for his future except growing old. He dwells on the past a lot. At one point he considers entering a restaurant that he used to patronize, that had a waitress there he liked, but he changes his mind. “He knew why he didn’t go in, of course. He was afraid of finding somebody else behind the counter, and being forced to accept that here too, in that café, time had moved on and that he would never be able to return to what now lay so far away and in the past.”

April 9, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Sleuths Series, Sweden, World Lit

DANIEL by Henning Mankell

Book Quote: “I’m a little boy, he thought. I have travelled much too far away. My parents and the other people I lived with are dead. And yet they live. They are still closer to me than the man called Father and the woman who doesn’t dare come close enough for me to grab her. […]

December 15, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Africa, Class - Race - Gender, Facing History, Sweden, Translated, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

THE MAN FROM BEIJING by Henning Mankell

Henning Mankell’s THE MAN FROM BEIJING, ably translated by Laurie Thompson, opens in January 2006. It is eerily quiet in the northern Swedish hamlet of Hesjövallen. No smoke rises from the chimneys and not a soul stirs. A photographer studying deserted villages in Sweden arrives and knocks on doors, but no one answers. Fearing that something is wrong, he breaks into one of the houses…

February 16, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Mystery/Suspense, Sweden, Swedish Crime Writer, World Lit, y Award Winning Author