I m typically not much of a detective mystery reader, but I really like Henning Mankell and the ongoing saga of Kurt Wallander, though the focus in this particular novel is primarily on his daughter Linda who is joining the police force with him Mankell is so good developing plot and character, really pushing the limits of the mystery genre, and the series overall is staggeringly good.I m slowly but surely reading through all of the Wallander books, in German no less, to keep up and I hope to improve my knowledge of Deutsch I mean, I can t read Swedish, so I d be reading the novels in translation if I read them in English so I might as well get double value out of my reading. I m a huge Henning Mankell fan, and I love Kurt Wallander All through the series, his daughter Linda has always been there, but here she plays a major role The book is touted as a Kurt and Linda Wallander novel, and from that I gather that he s planning to write with the father daughter duo as a unit After Wallander solo, it s going to be tough, because that particular series is so good that it s really difficult to top And thus, we come to this particular novel, Before the Frost.The novel opens with, of all things, an escapee from the horrible Jonestown Massacre that happened in Guyana in November of 1978 Fast forward a few years to an unknown figure setting swans on fire in Sweden What the two have in common will be made obvious as the story progresses.Linda Wallander has finished up at the police academy and is waiting for her first assignment in Ystad For the time being she s staying with her dad, Inspector Wallander, and decides to go catch up with some old friends One of these friends, Anna, tells Linda that she s just seen her long lost father, then Anna disappears Linda tries to get her father interested in finding Anna, but Kurt Wallander and his team are looking into the disappearance and death of another woman, whose name mysteriously appears in Anna s journal, later found by Linda The coincidence leads Wallander to believe that maybe Linda s got something here From here, the story takes several strange twists and turns, and the investigation leads them to a rather bizarre group who have set a deadline for something terrible to happen.To be honest, this isn t my favorite book featuring Kurt Wallander It tends to drag in places, is a bit melodramatic, and the core mystery is a bit over the top, as in the prior book featuring Wallander, Firewall Considering that this is Kurt and Linda Wallander novel, Kurt tends to play less of a role than his daughter My guess is that Mankell wants the readers to become familiar with Linda in her new role, especially if there will be novels featuring this pair Many of the other characters, especially the really bad guys, just didn t ring true to me, and it seemed like the addition of Linda in her new role toned down the edginess and suspense of Mankell s other Wallander novels.Mankell is great at police procedurals as well as intense social criticism, and that s what keeps me reading his books It will definitely be interesting if he chooses to continue the series featuring father and daughter to see if Linda Wallander and younger members of the police turn out to be as cynical about their society as is Kurt Wallander and his group, or if the generational aspect leads them to view things in a different light I would still recommend it for Mankell and Wallander fans, and for fans of Swedish crime novels in general I wouldn t make this one my first Wallander novel, but would definitely start with Faceless Killers and move through the series in order.Overallnot my favorite, but it wasn t bad, either. Mankell s novels are not bad usually, but this one was completely off the mark simply because of the main character Linda Wallander is just graduated from the police academy and waiting through the summer until she begins her posting as a new police officer, in the same precinct as her famous detective father, Kurt Wallander At the end of the summer, Linda entangles herself in a friend s disappearance, which surprise, surprise ends up tied into a case her father is working on What irritated me the most was the Linda acted like a total idiot throughout the novel She did everything wrong doing things she wasn t supposed to, saying things she shouldn t, sticking her nose way into too many stupid places And what s even worse is that she realizes she s being stupid and yet she doesn t stop By the end of the novel, I was actually wanting her to die because of her stupidity I simply could not muster any sympathy for her I know that a lot of police mysteries are based around a reckless cop, who bends and breaks the rules in the call of justice But Linda clearly had no idea what she was doing and seemed to be breaking the rules simply out of boredom and a need to piss of her father And that s the other thing that annoyed me In the couple other Mankell novels I ve read, Kurt Wallander was set up to be a good guy A big, taciturn, thoughtful cop who puts his work above his personal relationship Now, all of a sudden, he s portrayed as an abusive father with anger control issues He s a completely different character than I remember from other novels Overall, very disappointing. Mankell is one of the best ever.amazing story and a nice combination of Wallander and his daughter Linda who joins the forece. As it turns out, Linda is an insufferable idiot and Kurt a permanently angry man I normally like Wallander books but this one was exasperating Two stars. I don t think I can correctly describe how I feel about this book It was strange and just felt off in a number of places Normally I really like Swedish crime novels and was really looking forward to the first by this author I wish I hadn t started with this one, although, now they can probably only get better.I think I could enjoy the character of Kurt Wallander in another setting where he is not overshadowed by the annoying character of his daughter Linda Wallander She is 30 but comes across and has the dialogue of a 16 year old She is constantly saying things like I knew something was there if I could only clear my head and remember and then a few pages later I was really mad and suddenly I remembered what it was this happened over and over Linda s character has just finished the police academy and is about 5 days away from officially starting She will be working in the same place as her father, but as a patrol officer Of course in this book she gets herself all caught up in his murder investigation Her relationship with her father and her friends seems so juvenile at times, that I almost laughed out loud This book isn t supposed to be funny, it deals with very disturbing subject matter Here is one example Linda swept a salt shaker and a vase of withered roses to the floor He had gone to far She rushed out into the hallway, grabbed her coat, and slammed the front door behind her I hate him, she thought, fumbling in her pocket for the keys I hate his endless nagging This might work between a 16 year old her father, but these are two adult police officers discussing a murder investigation Linda is also constantly doing police work she shouldn t be..over and over throughout the book she says I m not the person who should be doing this My personal favorite though would have to be People have been murdered, Linda This isn t an exercise at the police academy Linda grabbed an ashtray from the table and threw it at him, hitting him right above the eyebrow Blood ran down his face and dripped on Harriet Bolson s file I didn t mean to do that Wallander pressed a fistful of napkins against the gash I just can t stand it when you needle me, she said This scene took place in a conference room at the police station Really Most of the Swedish crime I have read is hardcore.this seemed at times, just silly I have to believe some of this may have to do with the fact that it is translated There are something like 10 Kurt Wallander books previous to this one, so I think I need to try one of them The actual story itself was very interesting subject matter and some of the other characters were much stronger than Linda. I like Mankell, but this book seems to have fallen into the Silence of the Lambs Syndrome that seems to have become endemic It s not enough to have someone get killed in the heat of passion or for greed Now killers have to have killed hundreds, kill animals, butcher little children, bring about the end of the world, etc., etc I hate to break it to these authors, but evil is much prosaic and often very subtle You don t have to create monsters to write intelligently Adolf Eichmann was the guy next door who was just really good at paperwork OK, enough ranting.Just how much do we know about our close friends even our family That might be one theme of this Wallender novel.Linda Wallender takes center stage Two threads start the book a man is setting swans alight and Anna, Linda s friend has disappeared shortly after insisting she has just seen her father who hasn t been heard from in 25 years A third strand is added when a woman whose life s work has been to explore and catalog old pilgrim trails disappears, only to be found dismembered in a small cabin in the woods.It s not too hard to predict that those threads will all wind together soon Kurt and Linda are equally irascible but have worked out a precarious truce Linda, recent graduate of the police academy, hasn t been yet assigned to begin work at a station so she spends her time trying to track down Anna Wallender is a harsh father who has trouble relating to his daughter and she has little patience with her father although both try to find an accommodation as Linda, with the curiosity of a seasoned detective, inserts herself into her father s formal investigation, much to his dismay and irritation SPOILER well,hardly a spoiler since it s revealed way early, and if you read the book s description there are spoilers out the wazoo, but The best parts of the book are investigative the worst the insertion of Jim Jones and his relationship to one of the characters That was unnecessary and dumb Not worthy of Mankell It almost seemed as if Mankell had to say something about Jones and this was his vehicle. I really recommend reading the Wallender books in order and this is the last It s actually mostly from Linda, Wallender s daughter s, viewpoint and is very telling about the great man This is my favorite of the books for that reason What is so wonderful about this series is that, although you get a well crafted mystery, you also get deep insight about the character of Wallender Compared to the Sue Grafton alphabet series, this is head and shoulders above Kinsey is a fairly static character while Wallender is always changing and growing and gaining new insight while we gain new insight into his thinking and observations And when is that poor man going to get that house and his dog I read this book after watching Kenneth Branagh play Swedish Detective Kurt Wallender in the BBC mini series Very moody, atmospheric very muffled in tone, very Swedish But the plots wear a bit thin Not that one minds when one has Kenneth Branagh to contemplate He is an eternally engaging actor Anyway, Before the Frost is actually subtitled A Linda Wallender Mystery, concerning principally his daughter, who is poised to join the Ystad police force herself The book was OK I m terrible at rating thrillers and mysteries I have no real basis on which to review them and can only sheepishly confess that I read them from time to time in order to clear my intellectual palate Can I tell good from bad, tropes from originality I doubt it However, comparing this to, for instance, the obvious choice, the Swedish Stieg Larsson trilogy, it s clear that Larsson was a master plotter capable of weaving dozens of sturdy strands at a time into his big design Mankell s skills are modest, though the character of Wallender himself does intrigue He s not quite perfect in the way that the main character of the Cracker series was frustratingly imperfect, yet still somehow likeable, still relatable Women are not falling all over themselves to bed our Wallender, who from time to time, caught up in a case, is we are told smelly, soiled, rumpled, distant, difficult, selfish, and tousled but not in a good way But He Always Gets His Man Here, the contrasts with other books end I guess they all do, the protagonists of these books get their man Otherwise it would be far too unsatisfying to read them to the end.Now I m working my way through all the Wallender books available for the Kindle I consume books on the Kindle while I read, savor and work my way through books in HB or PB dead tree books, as the Kindle fanatics on the Kindle forums call them It s that time of year Yes, when I m again putting off immersing myself in Paradise Lost And Clarissa What I really want to do, actually, is watch endless Wallender movies starring Kenneth Branagh Alas, there are only three and I ve already seen all of them. In Woodland Outside Ystad, The Police Make A Horrific Discovery A Severed Head, And Hands Locked Together In An Attitude Of Prayer A Bible Lies At The Victim S Side, The Pages Marked With Scribbled Corrections A String Of Macabre Incidents, Including Attacks On Domestic Animals, Have Been Taking Place, And Inspector Wallander Fears That These Disturbances Could Be The Prelude To Attacks On Humans On An Even Alarming ScaleLinda Wallander, In Preparation To Join The Police Force, Arrives At Ystad Exhibiting Some Of The Hallmarks Of Her Father The Maverick Approach, The Flaring Temper She Becomes Entangled In A Case Involving A Group Of Religious Extremists Who Are Bent On Punishing The World S SinnersFollowing On From The Enormous Success Of The Kurt Wallander Mysteries, Henning Mankell Has Begun An Outstanding New Chapter In Crime Writing
Henning Mankell was an internationally known Swedish crime writer, children s author and playwright He was best known for his literary character Kurt Wallander.Mankell split his time between Sweden and Mozambique He was married to Eva Bergman, Swedish director and daughter of Ingmar Bergman.
- 480 pages
- Innan frosten
- Henning Mankell
- 09 May 2018 Henning Mankell