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Kurt Wallander, the intuitive inspector, first came upon the scene as a 42-year-old detective with many years of experience in the first novel in the series. After four more novels, Henning Mankell realized that what was missing was Wallander's background. So he started to write several short stories to fill in the blanks. Three more novels in the series appeared before the five short stories in this volume were completed.
In the first short story, we find Wallander in Malmo as a uniformed patrolman who bumbles his way into the investigation into the murder of his next door neighbor, the beginning of his career as a homicide detective. It is during this period that he meets and weds Mona. The next story takes the couple to Ystad and the birth of Linda, their daughter. It is, of course, where he spends the rest of his career. The stories trace the development of Wallander's instincts as well as his divorce, relationship with his father and growing daughter.
All the characteristics of the novels in the series are present in these short stories. It is essential history and embellishes Wallander's personality. Also, the common thread in all the novels, the deterioration of society, runs through the stories. This book is Mankell in top form. For Mankell/Wallander fans, a must read, and highly recommended
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
If you are a Wallander fan then you simply must listen to this. It fills in the 'back story' of the gloomy and fiery tempered Swedish detective. The narration is well done, as always with Sean Barrett, although don't make the mistake I made of coming to this having just finished listening to his narration of Craig Russell's books (also excellent). It set up a weird resonance in my head that took half the book to subside.
If you are new to Mankell and Wallander, perhaps having already ready the Millenium trilogy, I would start with the first novel published 'Faceless Killers' because this prequel depends to some degree on already having some knowledge of Wallander. It explains how and why he is the way he is but sometimes omits to portray his character defects as fully as the earlier books.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This book was OK but I was expecting one long unabridged story, but what I got was a collection of about 3 or 4 stories. If I had realised it was a collection I would have bought something else.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful