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- The Troubled Man (Kurt Wallander, #10) by Henning Mankell
- The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell: review
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There is far more to enjoy in the Wallander series than his solving of crimes, however: The books would be far less enjoyable without his many difficulties and idiosyncrasies, all of which add to the general sense of Scandinavian gloom that pervades the work of Mankell son-in-law of Ingmar Bergman and so many other popular Nordic writers. One only has to turn to the second page of chapter one of The Troubled Man to find a few lines that are, for fans of Wallander and all good writers of Scandinavian crime, satisfyingly gloomy.
Wallander is conscious that, at 60, he is in the "third age". He frequently thinks about death. He recalls that just after his 50th birthday "he had bought a new notebook and tried to record his memories of all the dead people he had come across. It had been a macabre exercise and he had no idea why he had been tempted to pursue it.
When he got as far as the 10th suicide, a man in his 40s, a drug addict with more or less every problem it was possible to imagine, he gave up. There are significant changes to Wallander's life. He becomes a grandfather; he moves from his town-centre apartment in Ystad to a more remote, and more lonely, rural home; and he finds a new companion, a dog. Of all his colleagues from his first days in Ystad, only one, Martinsson, remains. He, too, is on his way out. When the two men sit and talk over coffee in Wallander's kitchen, Martinsson says, "I just can't take it any more," and starts crying.
Wallander, characteristically, offers no physical support as the tears flow, and does not know what to do. He is impressed, though, that Martinsson, who describes his police work as "torture", has the courage to cry in front of another man. The other grandparents of Linda's daughter are central to the plot.
Hakan Von Enke, a retired naval commander, and later his wife, Louise, both disappear. Wallander neglects his duties in Ystad to investigate. He finds himself delving into the past: This gives Wallander, and Mankell, ample opportunity to comment on the social wellbeing, or lack of it, of modern Sweden.
Three actors have played Wallander in different series televised by the BBC, one of them British and two Swedish annoyingly the least good of the three, Kenneth Branagh, has his picture on the front cover of the book. The detective's popularity is unparalleled, and Mankell has sold more than 30 million books worldwide. He could go on and on. Has he made the right decision to retire the man who made him famous?
Mankell is a category one writer in every respect. After decades of ill fortune, Mozambique is emerging into a vibrant, welcoming and beautiful country.
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Henning Mankell , creator of detective Wallander, urges you to go now before it loses its innocence. The bleak landscapes have inspired a series of hit books about dour policemen, and nordic writers are lining up to be the new king orqueen of crime, says Vanessa Thorpe. Thanks to Henning Mankell like he'll ever see this, but what the heck for the number of hours throughout my life I've had my nose buried in a Wallander novel -- I've loved every second. Dec 10, Roderick Hart rated it liked it.
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the last novel in the Wallander Series and I find it impossible to review it without spoilers. As usual in this series there are pieces of a jigsaw waiting for Wallander to fit together. Unusually, though, several are left out of the completed picture. Small stones are mentioned, one of which appears to travel from Sweden to Germany. What does this signify? I have no idea. A woman, Louise, is murdered, this being the only murder in the book.
There is a sugge This is the last novel in the Wallander Series and I find it impossible to review it without spoilers. There is a suggestion, but no evidence to back it up. And why were her shoes left lying beside her body? Having read the book I am none the wiser. Louise is the wife of an officer in the Swedish navy.
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For the first part of the book it appears she has been spying for the Soviet Union, then Russia. Given she is a school-teacher this seems unlikely. To make it more plausible, Louise visits East Germany from time to time in connection with sport. Wallander eventually comes to the view that Louise was not the spy, her husband was. Secondly, he concludes that her husband was spying for the Unites States, not the Soviet Union. Some of this is likely. A spy needs information.
Louise had none but her husband had. It is also quite likely that the US was spying in Sweden, as everywhere else. So why was Louise murdered? The suggestion is that she might have discovered what her husband was up to and had to be silenced. Unfortunately for this theory, Wallander has gone out of his way to visit a retired STASI officer and leaves persuaded that the method used to murder her was developed in East Germany. So the communists murdered Louise to prevent her disclosing the fact that her husband spied for the US?
How good is this book? In life, not all loose ends can be tied up, but there are too many here. In order to explain what has happened, Wallander is reduced to speculation on a large scale since he lacks the necessary evidence. In fact, he leaves a written account of his thinking in the hands of the police officer responsible for investigating the death of Louise.
One loose end is tied up, but it has nothing to do with the case. He is visited by his ex-lover Baiba, who is dying. The other aspect of the book worth noting is that Wallander is now in decline. He has been so for some years, of course, most notably suffering from diabetes. But now his mind is going as well and Mankell deals with the onset of dementia here. It is hard to know how well, but I find it both scary and convincing.
Wallander often reflects on the infirmity of old age, and he does come across as seriously out of condition. Being both older than the detective and more active, I find this odd. He seems to me old before his time. Apr 25, Carolyn rated it really liked it. This is not a book with which to begin your relationship with Henning Mankell's moody detective, Kurt Wallander. This is a novel purely for those who have formed a connection with Wallander over the many preceding novels. I find Wallander one of the most richly human characters I've encountered in fiction--believably flawed and lonely and morose perhaps because I am always flawed and sometimes lonely and morose, myself --and I was a bit saddened, going into this book, knowing that it was to be This is not a book with which to begin your relationship with Henning Mankell's moody detective, Kurt Wallander.
I find Wallander one of the most richly human characters I've encountered in fiction--believably flawed and lonely and morose perhaps because I am always flawed and sometimes lonely and morose, myself --and I was a bit saddened, going into this book, knowing that it was to be the last Wallander novel. The mystery here is not as gripping and pulse-pounding as those in some earlier books, which was a bit disappointing.
But the slower pace allows more time for Wallander to simply be Wallander, and the nature of the case creates reasons for Wallander to spend time with his daughter. Their thorny relationship has always been one of my favorite aspects of the books, and it gets plenty of focus here. For me, the most deeply unnerving portions of this book had nothing to do with the crime Wallander investigates, but rather with another, more immediate threat he faces.
And the ending is not the one I wanted for Wallander, but it is a deeply human ending, and I respect Mankell for not compromising in the final moments of his time with his most famous and beloved character.
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It's probably silly of me to hold out hope for some Linda Wallander mysteries now, but I can't help it. Poi, Von Henke scompare. E la famiglia stessa di Wallander, figlia, nipote, genero, cade nel buio del mistero. Rimugina in continuazione, e non pare arrivare da nessuna parte.
Anche le donne che hanno fatto parte della sua vita ritornano in scena con un pesante fardello sulle spalle: Jul 14, Carol rated it it was amazing Shelves: Kurt Wallander is a wonderful character. So real with his vulnerabilities. His illnesses and his fear of death. He sees himself on a journey he can not turn around from nor can he change the final destination. He lives alone because of his obsession in solving cases leaves no time for anyone else, yet he dreams of a relationship with Baiba a former love interest.
In his world he has a daughter and grand-daughter who love him but there is no one else. There is a detective story, a mys Great read. There is a detective story, a mystery of the disappearance of a Swedish couple, the paternal grandparents to Wallander's grand-daughter but this is secondary to Wallander's story and in a way his story is everyone's story as they grow old.
This was my first Wallander novel after seeing episodes of the BBC series. It is the last Wallander novel and not a good place to start unless you know about his past. I will read other novels but first I need to decompress from this intense story of people who seem so real I can see myself in them. Apr 15, Shawn Granger rated it it was amazing.
A good end to an amazing series. Now we know Mankell's own life story was coming to a close, so it's fitting that Wallander was allowed to pass away in the world of fiction. But it's still heartbreaking that the wonderful series is done; never again to be in my "to-read" pile. Troubled Man had a few coincidences that annoyed me but nothing as bad as Before the Frost. Not bad enough to ruin the experience, but a crutch that He A good end to an amazing series.
Not bad enough to ruin the experience, but a crutch that Henning did not fall to in other novels. A must read for all fans of the series, all mystery fans should read the Wallander series. Os anos de vida que ainda lhe restam, talvez dez, talvez alguns mais pertencem-lhe, a ele e a Linda, a ele e a Klara. Aqui ficam algumas das passagens que mais me marcaram. Jan 27, Alyssa rated it it was ok. I have loved this series, even though I've read them out of order. I love that they're a bit dark - Wallander is always a bit down, which to me seems totally logical in terms of the terrible crimes he's helping to solve.
It's his personality, and I liked that about him. It was consistent throughout all of the books. But while I liked the mystery of this one, I seriously disliked the ending. Throughout the book Mankell's gave hints that Wallander was losing his memory, but the last two sentences I have loved this series, even though I've read them out of order. Throughout the book Mankell's gave hints that Wallander was losing his memory, but the last two sentences of the book are something about how "and he sinks into Alzheimer's and spends the rest of his life in a fog, only enjoying his daughter and grand-daughter.
I always had the higher hope that Wallander would endure to at least some sort of retired happiness, but Mankell really killed it. I know he had said he didn't want to bring Wallander back for another book, but it would have even been better if he killed him off in some noble way - saving a life or solving the ultimate crime or whatever. I was even fine with Baiba's reappearance and then death - they had their closure, and while Wallander missed her, he could still move on. I can't believe that I'm letting the last two paragraphs of a page book ruin it for me, but they did.
The Troubled Man (Kurt Wallander, #10) by Henning Mankell
I wish I hadn't read this so I could have let him retire and be happy in my mind. View all 3 comments. Jan 04, sosser rated it really liked it. May 13, Jim Coughenour rated it it was ok Shelves: Not with a bang but a whimper. View all 6 comments. Sep 18, Friederike Knabe rated it really liked it.
The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell: review
Many of us will miss him as we got to like the often grumpy detective, who has had his own, very individual, ways of following suspects and investigating crime s. This novel is not necessarily his best detective story, - but then I am not the one to judge, not being very knowledgeable in this genre - yet, in other ways, it makes for a very rewarding read. We learn more about the man, Wallander, who he was and what made him the man he is at sixty. We get to understand how he pursues his leads, even when the case is not really his to tackle.
In this case there is a family connection that pulls him into the drama head-on. It becomes evident soon that the case will benefit from Wallander's experience and knowledge of Swedish history going back thirty years and more. I found the context explored in the novel rather fascinating, having lived through those times in Europe.
In fact, the story led me to recalling the rumours and innuendos about the much admired Prime Minister, Olof Palme, his policies, the arms business, and the Soviet submarines assumed to be in places where they shouldn't have been… and later the mystery of Palme's murder. All those events and more form the backdrop to the personal story and drama. Finally, and movingly, Mankell gives his hero of many years the time to reflect on his life, his loves and losses… and to share his musings about age and whatever life is left for him.
The author does that with great empathy and understanding and readers, not only of the older generation, will probably relate to these aspects in personal ways. Jan 30, Dalia rated it it was ok. I have had a problem with the last several Wallander books because of the inconsistencies between books, especially in events that took place between Kurt and his father.
This book pretty much epitomizes this trend, and to boot has so many red herrings that instead of a plot its just a series of plot devices. Why would Eskil point out the hideaway on their trip back from the island? Why did Eskil give Wallander the cylinder? Who was in the submarine that was let "free" when Hakan was about to fi I have had a problem with the last several Wallander books because of the inconsistencies between books, especially in events that took place between Kurt and his father. Who was in the submarine that was let "free" when Hakan was about to fire a depth charge?
Who was the higher up that called it back? Who was the man who visited Signe, and why would he go there? Why make Mona such a mess now? I am sorry to say I won't miss Kurt now that he is gone. Makell just took the reader experience for granted. I had put off reading the last in the Kurt Wallander series because I really did not want to say goodbye.
I appreciated the Cold War elements of the story. Like many in the series, this is a very slow burning novel as Kurt investigates the disappearance of the parents of his daughter's partner. It is an unofficial case that he slots into his free time and during various holidays. Througho I had put off reading the last in the Kurt Wallander series because I really did not want to say goodbye. Throughout Kurt is haunted by his own fears of old age and dying. His health has never been brilliant and now something else is stalking him.
I found it a very sad book for this reason. It is certainly not one to read first if not familiar with the series and characters even though Mankell provides a good amount of back story and reminders of past events. While not the best in the series, it still proved that Henning Mankell is a master of the Scandinavian crime genre. I am so glad that I discovered his writings before Nordic Noir came into fashion.
Oct 26, Elly Wendy rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed this audiobook and wish it wasn't the last in the series. It had been quite a while since I had checked in on Kurt Wallander, so the time seemed appropriate. I wondered if perhaps his creator, Henning Mankell, had allowed him to mellow out at all in the interim. Early in the book, as the author was describing Wallander, I came across a sentence asserting that the Swedish policeman was, in fact, quite a cheerful person. I had to laugh out loud. If there is one adjective that could likely never be honestly applied to Kurt Wallander it is "cheerful.
He is turning sixty and staring mortality in the face. Plus, he is struggling with diabetes, having difficulty controlling his blood sugar. Most frighteningly of all, though, he is having memory lapses - memory blackouts, actually. He has instances of indeterminate length when he cannot remember what he is doing or why he is where he is. During one of these blackouts, an incident occurs which results in his suspension from the police force for a period and is a foreshadowing of things to come. He goes out to eat one evening and leaves his service revolver in the restaurant when he goes home.
The Troubled Man: A Kurt Wallander Mystery by Henning Mankell – review
The personnel there know him and they turn the gun in to the police station. Wallander cannot remember having the gun with him or leaving it in the restaurant. While banished from his job, he attends the seventy-fifth birthday party of Hakan von Enke, who is the father of the man his daughter, Linda, lives with and has a daughter with.
Soon after, von Enke, a retired high-ranking Swedish naval officer, vanishes during his daily walk. The disappearance is investigated by the Stockholm police, but because of Wallander's personal involvement with the family, he disregards normal procedure and conducts his own investigation.
Several weeks later, von Enke still has not been found and his wife, Louise, also disappears. There is no apparent motive for either disappearance and no clues to what has happened to them. The police are notably unsuccessful in resolving either case. Wallander comes to believe that there is some kind of Cold War connection to these disappearances, that the couple might have been involved in espionage.
He struggles to make sense of it all as he also struggles with his health issues and those periods of blackout that are coming more frequently. There are other subplots, besides Wallander's health, to contend with as well. The most important women in his life - his ex-wife Mona and the love of his life, the Latvian widow Baiba - make appearances and complicate matters. They don't really add anything to the overall plot, except perhaps to serve to emphasize if any more emphasis was really needed Wallander's ambivalence and the uncertainty of his personal life.
He is haunted by a past of unresolved relationships. Indeed, the only bright spot in his life is that new granddaughter. He wants to live up to the hope which she represents, but he is forever dragged down by his essential moroseness and pessimism. I, frankly, found this whole story a bit of a muddle.
I couldn't really see the point of it, and, in the end, I sort of wished that I hadn't decided to check on Kurt Wallander again. Jan 04, Dorian rated it it was amazing. A very, very sad book. When Mankell is at his best, as he is here, there are two things that I especially love about his work. The first is the pace: The second is Wallander himself, for me one of the greatest of all fictional detectives.
Paradoxically, perhaps, the distance brings him close. That self-troubling quality becomes almost unbearably poignant in this book, as he begins to be troubled by memory loss. Mankell helps us to think about what the genre of crime fiction means when the very mechanism of detection begins to go awry.
A marvelous, autumnal, careful, rueful, wise and utterly compelling book, with a devastating final paragraph that stays with you for weeks. Kurt has always been a melacholy character, but in this final adventure he has become more like his late father and at times is just a plain old curmudgeon. But I like that his character has developed and in the course of 10 books and 20 Wallander years, of course the character has changed.
Linda drove me nuts in some parts of this book, but she is her father's daughter. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. There were instances of convenience that Wallander just happened to remember an expert who could guide him on his way, but I didn't really focus on these too much and found it easy to overlook because I was interested in the greater story. I was sad to read the end of the book only because I had to say goodbye to my beloved Wallander, who has not always been the most loveable person but for that very reason has always been real.
I prefered this translation better than some of the previous versions. I try not to judge the style of writing too much because I have no idea how much might be lost or altered during translation.