Sunday, 3 April 2011

Armchair Novel Review - The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell

The Troubled Man
A Kurt Wallander Novel

by Henning Mankell
Hardcover, 384 pages
also available as an unabridged audio CD, unabridged audiobook download and an eBook

There is no doubt about it, North Americans have been captivated by Nordic authors lately. Maybe it was the surprising and intense popularity of the Stieg Larsson Millennium series, but we can't get enough of Scandinavian writers. Especially mystery writers.

Sweden's Henning Mankell is a true Renaissance man. A lifelong author and playwright, director and humanitarian, Henning goes deeper than the average writer. His books are meditations in what it is to be human as much as they are works of fiction.

This novel is the last in Henning's internationally best-selling and acclaimed Kurt Wallander detective series. 

The Troubled Man refers to the character Håkan von Enke, a retired naval officer, and also to detective Wallander himself.

At the age of sixty, Wallander is feeling the effects of age on his body and his mind. He is less sure of himself, and contemplative of his past and future. His daughter has settled down and has given him a granddaughter, a beacon of joy in what seems like a gray existence.

But their lives are complicated by the sudden disappearance of Linda's future father-in-law Håkan. Wallander is not the investigating officer, nor is he on the case at all. But he is drawn in by the family and by his own morbid curiosity, fueled by cryptic conversations that he has had with the man.

The Troubled Man moves at meditative pace. This isn't a book you rush through, it is an intelligent look into history, humanity, intrigue and the world stage. And a very rewarding one at that.