Thursday, June 4, 2009

Before the Frost

Henning Mankell
translated from the Swedish by Ebba Segerberg
Vintage Canada 2002

Wallander’s daughter, Linda, has just graduated from the police academy and is awaiting her starting position on the local police force in Ystad. They find themselves forced to confront a group of extremists bent on punishing the world's sinners, a group of religious fanatics led by an ex-member of Jim Jones’ congregation in Guyana – one who escaped the mass murders and suicide. The intricate story is deftly told, and the pacing of the action is such that you hate to put the book down – even to go to sleep!

The father/daughter relationship here is quite fascinating, and we learn about Kurt’s moods and temper and weaknesses. She's always ragging him about his bad eating habits and his ever-increasing weight - about his sex life, or lack thereof. There's also a small glimpse into the life of Kurt's ex-wife, Mona. I enjoyed looking into the lives of many of the characters, their lives outside the job. Not just the regular mystery stories I’ve read, I’m looking now for more.

Now I want to visit Sweden. I know so little about that part of the world - I didn't even know there was a bridge between Denmark and Sweden - back to the atlas


Nan said...

This sounds fantastic!! I'll have to go on a Henning Mankell marathon next year. :<) Thanks for the great review.

Janice said...

Nan - I just discovered that the beautiful young woman who played his daughter in the TV series, Johanna Sallstrom, died a couple years ago. At the age of 33, a suicide. How sad