An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell

Parting with Kurt Wallander was difficult. Mankell sent him off to that gentle night in 2009 in The Troubled Man. I thought I would never meet with him again.
This series should be more well-known. Kenneth Branagh’s TV series was on PBS a few years ago, but I would love to see the Swedish series. I don’t think Branagh caught the real Wallander – I was not blown away. TV can spark interest in a book; I guess that’s a good thing.
To my delight, Wallander’s back! An Event in Autumn is now, for the first time (!!!!), available in the U.S. It is set in 2002, and Mankell’s note places it chronologically in the period just before The Troubled Man. He adds that “There are no more stories about Kurt Wallander.” Mankell himself has been diagnosed with cancer: he has a tumor in his left lung, another in his neck and the cancer may have metastasized elsewhere in his body.
Wallander is feeling his age and is troubled by intimations of mortality. He discovers two skeletons in the yard of a house he is considering buying. This leads him to visits to old folks’ homes and an investigation of happenings 60 years before. A melancholy man by nature, Wallander sinks deeper into depression.
His relationship with his daughter Linda is up and down, as usual. She lives with him, giving him some human contact; I can only imagine what would happen were he more alone.
Mankell writes that he doesn’t miss Wallander and that his story about Wallander “has come to an end.” He may not miss him, but I certainly will.
I had wondered why there had been only one book about Linda Wallander. I learned that the actress who portrayed Linda committed suicide. Mankell has not written another book in that series.
If you enjoy mysteries, discover Henning Mankell and Kurt Wallander.


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