This episode in the life of Kurt Wallander, the hero of Henning Mankell's series does not differ substantially from the others. The usual elements are present: murder, an investigation and the realistic presentation of the agonies and joys of investigating a murder. Any fan of Inspector Wallander will be thrilled by this novel. For those of you, who have an interest in detective novels and would like to explore a series based in Sweden with the pecularities relevant to Scandinavian countries will be well advised to try this novel. You are very likely to find yourself not being able to put it down and looking for another of Wallander's adventures very soon. I recommend this book warmly.
Henning Mankell's Krim "Sidetracked" war mein erster Wallander-Fall und hat mir als Leser, der sonst eher keine Krims liest, sehr gut gefallen. Vom Start weg war die Geschichte interessant und spannend und behielt das hohe Niveau bis zum Schluss konsequent bei. Es machte Spaß, Wallander bei seinen Ermittlungen über die Schulter zu schauen und gemeinsam mit ihm den verzwickten Fall der Selbstverbrennung eines jungen Mädchens und einer kurz darauf einsetzenden Mordserie durch Skalpierungen zu lösen. Zu keiner Zeit verlor man dabei die Übersicht über den Fall und die zu verfolgenden Spuren, obwohl es Wallander bei weitem nicht einfach gemacht wurde. Nebenbei erfährt man auch etwas über sein (natürlich nicht heiles) Privatleben und allgemein die alltäglichen Sorgen, die ein Kommissar nun mal so hat, wenn er nicht gerade an einem Fall arbeitet. Schweden-spezifische Details, beispielsweise über kulturelle Unterschiede, konnte ich dem Buch allerdings nicht entnehmen; die ganze Handlung hätte man durch Austausch der Eigen- und Ortsnamen auch problemlos nach Deutschland oder die USA verlagern können. Was mich überrascht hat war die große Brutalität der Morde und ihre recht detailreiche Schilderung. In diesem Sinne steht der Autor Henning Mankell seinen amerikanischen Thriller-Kollegen in Nichts nach. Etwas enttäuscht war ich von dem zwischenzeitlichen Versuch, für noch mehr Spannung zu sorgen, indem der Kommissar und seine Tochter persönlich durch den irren Killer in Gefahr zu geraten drohten. Das war meines Erachtens überflüssig, denn so verlor die Handlung ein wenig an Realismus. Nichtsdestotrotz war es insgesamt ein sehr gutes und empfehlenswertes Buch, welches sich seine fünf Sterne redlich verdient hat.
The fifht book about Kurt Wallander is set on one of the most memorable swedish summers of the 90's, 1994. The weather was wonderful, and all of Sweden were watching the fabolous swedish succes in the soccer world cup in the USA. Therefore it's fortunate that Mankell chose this year as setting for what was to be the Wallander-series masterpiece. Everything the other books tries to be, this one is. It's a horrifying novel of suspense, as well as a sharp comment on the swedish society. Wallander's brilliand mind, which in the other volumes is a bit too brilliant, is here dulled by the tiredness and confusion that springs from the shrewdness of the killer they can't seem to catch. In the most memorable of summers raves the most memorable of killers. Because, without turning this into a spoiler, I have to add that the killer's what gives the book the final touch, and makes it not only a great detective story, but a great novel, to.
This award-winning adventure of Inspector Kurt Wallander (KW) deals with two seemingly unconnected events. The first concerns a clear case of suicide witnessed by KW himself. Throughout the novel he continues to wonder why a scared, coloured teenage girl, apparently fleeing from someone or something would set fire to herself in a remote rapeseed field? The mainstay of the book starts with a bizarre axe murder and scalping of a former Swedish Justice Minister. His is the first in a series of similar, brutal killings, which KW and his team (and later also experts from Stockholm) investigate, especially with a view to establishing possible linkages between the victims. To this effect exhaustive, detailed forensic research takes place and the victims' social life is turned upside down. Close to mental and physical collapse, Wallander faces other distractions: dealing with his father who is suffering from dementia, finding time to have his car's roadworthiness certified and doing his mounting pile of dirty laundry. In addition, his daughter pays him an unannounced, and prolonged visit and his planned holiday with his Latvian lady friend draws nearer and nearer amidst mounting chaos. Excellent police procedural, whose conclusion is truly blood-curdling.
This was my first Wallander mystery, and I was pleasantly surprised...I actually enjoyed the procedural detail...It was very interesting to see how he arrived at his conclusions, and how everything came together...I felt the characters and the plot were well developed...it gave you plenty of information without going overboard...I cared about the characters... Although I didn't really like the ending...I would definately recommend it!
This may be the best of the Wallander books. It is well written, but as always it is a bit boring (and predictable) that the "real bad guys" are always bankers, politicians and other "men of power". The actual murderers and killers in the Mankell books are always depicted as the "original victims" and virtually innocent since they are "victims of society" themselves. According to Mankell's view of the world, behind every petty case of shoplifting lurks a wealthy middle-aged white man somehow pulling the strings. This makes his storytelling quite predictable, since you can be sure that the case is solved as soon as Wallander starts suspecting a politically correct bad guy. But as I said, this one is definitely one of the best of the Wallander books and I do recommend it!