Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review: An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell

Continuing our trip around the world today, we stop in Sweden,
with this new book, the next to last, in the Kurt Wallander series, which started back in 1991!

An Event in Autumn  cover


After nearly thirty years in the same job, Inspector Kurt Wallander is tired, restless, and itching to make a change. He is taken with a certain old farmhouse, perfectly situated in a quiet countryside with a charming, overgrown garden. There he finds the skeletal hand of a corpse in a shallow grave. Wallander’s investigation takes him deep into the history of the house and the land, until finally the shocking truth about a long-buried secret is brought to light.


It is always hard for an author to end a VERY popular series!  In this case, the end had already come in A Troubled Man but per Henningthis  shorter 'book (he prefers short story) has been previously written for the BBC, as part of a short series by known authors, to get people reading again. After coming across it again, he decided to go ahead and have it published, for the Wallander fans. And we're so thrilled he has! I actually started reading the series, after catching the BBC series a couple of times. So I was intrigued to see how he would end it, having not read the last book yet.

This story feels natural and honest to the characters. His daughter Linda has joined the Police force, making Wallander feel his age and length in his profession, and feeling the need to start planning for his own retirement, something most police officers tackle with a bit of dread. For Wallander, it is a nostalgic trip, as he finds a house that might be perfect, close to where he grew up. But is it too perfect?

Wallander's job follows him to the brink of his decision about retirement, something that shakes him internally, while giving him a case to sink his teeth into. Will he solve the case and move into the house? Is he truly ready for retirement, to allow modern officers like his daughter, to change the force, as he changed it when he started? There are wonderful subtexts and character changes that Mankell is known for, making this a gripping tale of deliverance and change. 

the afterword by the author is an interesting tale of the author's life and the birth and rise of Wallander and his end. It is a treasure for all fans!

About the Author:

Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander mysteries are global bestsellers and have been adapted for television as a BAFTA Award-winning BBC series starring Kenneth Branagh. Mankell was awarded the Crime Writers' Association's Macallan Gold Dagger and the German Tolerance Prize, among many others. He divides his time between Sweden and Mozambique. Check out his website for more info.

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