April 2011 Indie Next List
“Wallander, coming to an age where retirement becomes inevitable, realizes that life is not without end, that neglect of his physical needs is taking its toll, that his mind may not be as sharp as before. Amid all these thoughts he gets personally, not professionally, involved in a police investigation of his daughter's father-in-law, a former Swedish Naval officer. Wallander is still a capable, if sometimes wayward, detective, but this novel focuses more on the man himself, as he comes to terms with his age, his past, and his deep love for his daughter and granddaughter.”
— Jean-Paul Adriaansen, Water Street Books, Exeter, NH
A retired navy officer has vanished in a forest near Stockholm. Kurt Wallander is prepared to stay out of the relatively straightforward investigation—which is, after all, another detective’s responsibility—but the missing man is his daughter’s father-in-law.
With his typical disregard for rules and regulations, Wallander is soon pursuing his own brand of dogged detective work on someone else’s case. His methods are often questionable, but the results are not: he finds an extremely complex situation which may involve the secret police and ties back to Cold War espionage. Adding to Wallander’s concerns are more personal troubles. Having turned sixty, and having long neglected his health, he’s become convinced that his memory is failing. As he pursues this baffling case, he must come to grips not only with the facts at hand, but also with his own troubling situation.
About the Author
Henning Mankell is Sweden's bestselling author worldwide. His novels have been translated into thirty-seven languages with more than 30 million copies in print. The winner of many prizes, he divides his time between Sweden and Maputo, Mozambique, where he has worked as a director at Teatro Avenida since 1985. Ebba Segerberg has translated four of Henning Mankell's novels. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis, where she lives.
“With his new Wallander novel Mankell ups his game and enters John le Carré territory.” —Los Angeles Times
“[The] perpetually dour Swedish detective is at his gloomy best.” —The New York Times Book Review
“At once richer in personal detail and more suspenseful than either a work of strictly mainstream fiction or a simple police novel could be. Mankell remains in the vanguard of those writers taking the crime story back to its origins in the realistic novel.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“A magnificent finale.” —Financial Times
“Arguably Mankell's best Wallander book—which makes the finale for his rule-breaking, overeating, over-drinking, depressed but ultimately good-hearted and righteous detective all the more poignant.” —The Plain Dealer
“Mankell’s prose is as blunt and pragmatic as his hero.” —The New Yorker
“By far the most personal and poignant in this classic and compulsive series.” —New York Journal of Books
“Mankell’s ability to unspool a mystery and Wallander’s ability to solve it are still at the head of the class.” —Newsday
“A story that rings deep and hinges on personal stakes. . . . It is the voice of the author—through his hero—and the illumination of layers of life in a thankless profession that lead into a delicious abyss of urgency battling with hopelessness, a rationalization of risk versus a reward already buried under a false headstone.” —The Oregonian
“A moving portrait of a man entering old age.” —The Times Literary Supplement (London)
“A richly embroidered tapestry.” —Providence Journal