06 September 2009

Reread and finally write

At the Amery library, I checked out two books. One of them was another Henning Mankell novel, Befor the Frost, a Linda Wallander Mystery.

I read this one awhile ago. It must have been between the time I stopped publishing an actual newsletter and when I started this blog.

I didn't remember the title, but I did find things in the first 30 pages familiar. I read random chapters through the rest of the book to remind me of the plot and the characters.

Linda Wallander is the daughter of Kurt Wallander, the chief character of most of Mankell's Swedish mysteries. This book begins as the young Wallander is about to join the police force in Ystad, where the elder Wallander is a chief inspector.

[at left: Johanna Sällström who played Linda Wallander on Swedish TV]

There are a number of mysteries that the two of them get involved in. One involves one of Linda's friends. Another begins with the suicides and murders in Jonestown. The mysteries all merge by the end in a plot to blow up cathedrals all over Sandinavia on September 10, 2001. Mankell seems to be reminding us that fanatic suicides are not restricted to Muslim cultures.

In spite of the themes in the stories, there is a lot less of Mankell's pessimism and unhappiness in this story than in many of his books. Maybe because Linda Wallander is young and still hopeful. The stories are intricate and detailed. It's a long book and probably good for a winter read.

Any other responses?

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