Monday, June 10, 2013
This first book in the Kurt Wallander series set in Sweden and written by Henning Mankell was originally published in Sweden in 1991 (English translation 1997). Chapter one sets the scene - a savage attack, resulting in murder, on an elderly man and his wife in their farm house. The only clue is provided by the dying words of the wife 'foreign'. A neighbour on an adjoining farm found the victims when he awoke in the middle of the night to the feeble cries from the wounded woman but he did not see or hear anything relating to the actual attack. Inspector Wallander and his team face the painstaking task of discovering the perpetrators of the crime and the motive for such a vicious attack. The only clue, foreign' only complicates the issue as the police attempt to prevent possible attacks on foreigners by a section of the community. Immigration policy in Sweden is a major theme explored throughout the book. The book also focuses on Kurt Wallander's personal problems including issues with family members, his health and the health of his respected colleague, Rydberg. This is a gripping thriller with many twists and turns as Wallander and his team endeavour to solve this brutal crime.