A Kurt Wallander Mystery
The final Kurt Wallander Mystery - and the first new Wallander novel for a decade
On a winter’s day in 2008 Håkan von Enke, a retired high-ranking naval officer, disappears during his daily morning walk in the Liljan-forest near Stockholm. He has recently celebrated his 75th birthday.
To Kurt Wallander this becomes a highly personal case. Enke is Linda Wallander’s father-in-law and the grandfather of her baby daughter.
Although the investigation is handled by the Stockholm police, Wallander cannot help getting involved. When Louise von Enke,Håkan’s wife, also disappears under mysterious circumstances, Wallander’s involvement becomes serious.
Some clues point to the past, to the time of the Cold War, to right-wing extreme groups, and tohired killers from the old Eastern Europe. In particular, certain events at the beginning of the eighties, when Sovjet submarines on numerous occasions were accused of violating Swedish terrritory, play an important part.
It occurs to Wallander that he may be on to a huge secret which involves espionage and the whole of Swedish postwar history.
The series of events and complications are increasingly hard for him to comprehend.
At the same time an even darker cloud appears on the horizon...
“A heartbreaking tale of descent into despair and darkness that serves as a totem for what great crime writing can achieve”
Declan Burke, Irish Times
“By the time you get to the end, you'll be wanting another. But it would be hard to beat this tale of murder and loss which leads back to the heart of the cold war”
“A plot as twisted and exciting as any Le Carre thriller”
“It's a fine finale for the fretful policeman and it's hard not to feel you'll miss the old bugger”
Siobhan Murphy, Metro
“A novel that works on a number of levels: as a compelling investigation into a Swedish cold-war spy ring, a philosophical assessment of policing and its social function, and a very personal evaluation of a person's worth in the grand scheme of things...Written in Mankell's downbeat style (beautifully translated by Laurie Thompson) it has a fatalistic tone that is entirely fitting for the final testimony of one of crime fiction's great protagonists...a hugely satisfying novel that ranks alongside Mankell's best, a heartbreaking tale of descent into despair and darkness that serves as a totem for what great crime writing can achieve”
Declan Burke, Irish Times
“So The Troubled Man delivers in full as a whodunnit, as all the Wallander books do, beneath their impassive surface...The Troubled Man is a sorrowful - how can it not be? - but fully satisfying conclusion to a great series. No Mankell reader will think of missing it.”
David Sexton, Scotsman
“Unlike Larsson...Mankell's characters are complex and nuanced...The retirement of the terse, divorced, heavy-drinking Wallander is as significant as the retirement of the terse, divorced, heavy drinking John Rebus. This bleak, moving and gripping finale marks the perfect end to a brilliant career”
David Stenhouse, Scotland on Sunday
“To his fans this valediction will be greeted with sadness but it is also deserves applause, if only for the considerable services rendered”
David Connett, Express
“A fine finale for Mankell's fretful Swedish policeman, Hurt Wallander, and as the shadows close over him for the last time, it's hard not to feel you'll miss the old bugger.”
“Written in Mankell's downbeat style (beautifully translated by Laurie Thompson), it has a fatalistic tone that is entirely fitting for the final testimony of one of crime fiction's great protagonists. The result is a hugely satisfying novel that ranks alongside Mankell's best, a heartbreaking tale of descent into despair and darkness that serves as a totem for what great crime writing can achieve.”
Declan Burke, Irish Times
“Mankell is a category one writer in every respect.”
“This fine mystery, a fitting way to bid farewell to the wonderful Kurt Wallander, brings the frisson of old-world spy intrigue satisfyingly together with old-fashioned detective work...The detective work is painstaking, clever and fascinating as always”
“The mystery element is well crafted here, but of secondary importance: Mankell, and we, are more concerned with seeing how Wallander is facing up to the indignities of old age...As this novel closes, Wallander seems more than ever a symbol of Sweden's struggle with its place in the world.”
Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph
“An eloquent, moving and fitting farewell to one of fiction's greatest detectives.”
Janet Malcolm, The Times
“The final paragraph, which reveals Wallander's eventual fate, is heartbreaking.”
Julia Handford, Daily Telegraph
“This is a fascinating book, beautifully written (and translated)”
“The Troubled Man is a moving portrait of a man entering old age.”
Tom Shippey, Times Literary Supplement
“If he stops now, this is a fitting conclusion. Moving with wonderfully sparse language, it is a magisterial march towards the great unknown”
Big Issue Cymru
“A tangled story of espionage and betrayal, with its roots in the Cold War”
John Williams, Mail on Sunday
“The Ystad detective's many fans won't want to miss finding out how Wallander, now in his 60s, deals with a cold-war mystery involving Soviet submarines in Swedish waters, as well as his new role as a grandparent and the spectre of his own impending dementia.”
Anna Carey, Irish Times
“The last Kurt Wallander novel was a fitting farewell to the fictional detective who sparked the Scandinavian noir fashion”
“The first new Wallander book in 10 years is a bittersweet experience, as it also signals the end of our time with the sorrowful sleuth. ... it's portrayal of the inspector's mental and physical frailties that makes this an unexpectedly emotional read”
“But for anyone who has admired previous appearances by one of the greatest fictional detectives so far, this farewell needs to be read”
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