Friday, July 6, 2012

Book club! Mankell, hero of crime fiction.

Hallo meine Lieben,

it's Friday which means it's weekend and time to link up with fabulous Heather from Blonde...Undercover Blonde.

I have always been fascinated with crime stories, killers and detectives. As a kid I spent most of my time reading the detective stories of Die Drei Fragezeichen, TKKG and so on. But my huge fascination with bloody murders started when I read my first book from Henning Mankell.  My Mom was a huge fan of his book series and his detective Wallander and so I always grabbed her books and read them at a stride. This was more than ten years ago, I discovered many more fascinating writers, especially from Scandinavia but Henning Mankell will always be my biggest hero of crime fiction. His books have been published all over the world, the movies were a huge success and I hope this man will never ever stop writing.

I though it might be a good idea to read about the very first book of his Wallander series today.

It is called "Faceless killers". The German title is "Mörder ohne Gesicht". And here is what it looks like.

First I want to tell you a little bit about the background of the book.
Kurt Wallander is the protagonist of several mystery novels, set in and around the town of Ystad, 60 km south-east of the city of Malmö, in the southern province of Skåne in Sweden. As a young police officer, he was nearly killed when a drunk whom he was questioning stabbed him with a butcher's knife. He was once married to Mona who makes an appearance in several books of the series. His wife left him and they have a difficult relationship. They also have an rebellious child named Linda who survived a suicide attempt when she was fifteen. Later in the series she becomes a police officer too. Wallander also had issues with his late father, an artist who painted the same landscape 7,000 times for a living; the elder Wallander strongly disapproved of his son's decision to join the police force, and frequently derided him for it.

Inspector Wallander has few close friends and is known for his less-than-desirable lifestyle; he consumes too much alcohol and junk food, exercises very little, and sometimes struggles with anger. He frequently regards the crimes he investigates on a very personal level, throwing himself into catching criminals and going against the orders of his superiors to try to solve a case.

I really admire Mankell for creating such great characters. He put a lot of thoughts into them, they are all very multifarious and unique and once you started reading you want to find out more about them. You have no choice but you have to love Kurt Wallander!

As I have already mentioned "Faceless killers" is the first book of this fantastic series. 

On a cold night in a remote Swedish farmhouse an elderly farmer is bludgeoned to death, and his wife is left to die with a noose around her neck.

Wallander and his team are put on the case. Mankell created more fantastic characters here: Rydberg is an aging detective with health problems and Wallander's mentor, Martinsson is a young rookie who becomes an important partner for Wallander, Naslund is a thirty year veteran and many other interesting characters. 

Maria Lovgren is taken to a hospital, but dies anyway. Her last word is "foreign" which leaves the police the one tangible clue they have–and in the process, the match that could inflame Sweden’s already smoldering anti-immigrant sentiments. 
Wallander quickly becomes obsessed with solving the crime before the already tense situation explodes, but soon comes to realize that it will require all his reserves of energy and dedication to solve.

Once I started reading my first Mankell book I was addicted. This writer is responsible for my huge fascination with crime novels. A fact I will always be thankful for. I own all his books and they never get boring, even when you read them several times. 

I highly recommend watching the Wallander movies! 

What are you currently reading? Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. This sounds really good and totally my type of book. I'm adding it to my list (which just keeps growing and not getting shorter!).

  2. I would definitely read this book! I'm currently reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and it's pretty good so far. I reviewed a German book earlier this year that I had to read for school and I loved it. You should check it out, unless you've already read it. Haha.

    1. I have read it too and it is great! What German book is it? I am gonna check out your blog! Thanks for stopping by!
      You also live in Ohio?

  3. Crime novels are definitely my favorite books to read. This one sounds pretty good, I'll have to check it out later :)

    1. Mine too. They are the best! I hope you will like this one!

  4. The more you review crime novels the more and more convinced I am that I should pick a few up! That's what I love about blogging and the blog work you get introduced to things you may normally not have tried.

    1. That's what I love about it too. :) You always discover new interesting things! And I really hope you will like crime novels too! :)


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