Wallander’s creator Mankell passes

Henning Mankell, creator of Kurt Wallander, passed away after a year long fight with cancer. His novels were favourites with modern crime fans across the world for ironically displaying an angst about the state of affairs of Sweden (and the First World) and Wallander possessed an old-fashioned moral force and sense of disquiet. ‘What used to be considered a crime 10 years ago is now judged a non-crime’, the detective observes morosely. Questions of responsibility and morality, of justice and democracy are explicitly raised, which is unusual in detective fiction. Mankell believes passionately in ‘solidarity’ (as he calls it) among people, and his murder mysteries are an expression of that belief.

Through the gloom of the killings and ever-present corruption the spine of the Wallander novels was the character of Kurt and his relationship with his father and daughter, Linda. In his dour way, Wallander is a lovable gumshoe, a slogger that eats junk food, he distances himself from all the perils he faces, be they “faceless killers” or his own tense and trying personal relationships. One of the most credible creations in contemporary crime fiction.

British crime writers warmed to Henning Mankell’s books. Our signed Scorpion Press editions of The White Lioness, The Man Who Smiled and Kennedy’s Brain contained appreciations by acclaimed and best selling authors as Minette Walters, John Harvey and Dan Fesperman. They are available by clicking the title of the book.ManWho smiled1

“Wallander is one of the great creations of modern crime fiction” said leading critic Barry Forshaw, and further “overweight, diabetes-ridden and with all the problems of modern society leaving scars on his soul”. He made it to the TV screens with Kenneth Branagh in the lead; but not before the books had been highly successful in a home-grown Swedish series. Mankell is survived by his wife Eva Bergman, daughter of legendary Swedish film maker Ingmar Bergman.

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