Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “One Step Behind (Kurt Wallander #7)” as Want to Read:
One Step Behind (Kurt Wallander #7)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

One Step Behind (Kurt Wallander #7)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,806 Ratings  ·  548 Reviews
On Midsummer's Eve, three friends gather in a secluded meadow in Sweden. In the still-sun-lit northern night, they don costumes and begin to role play. But an uninvited guest soon brings their performance to a gruesome conclusion. His approach is careful; his aim is perfect. Three bullets, three corpses. The murderer then carefully photographs the grisly tableau. Meanwhile ...more
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by New Press, The (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Step Behind, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about One Step Behind

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
There's something to be said for knowing the answer to a mystery while you're reading a mystery. I watched the first season of Wallander, of which One Step Behind was the last episode, before ever cracking a Wallander book, yet it didn't hurt my experience reading the book. Henning Mankell did that quite well on his own (but more on that later).

When the book opened, and Wallander's colleague, Svedberg, was found murdered in his flat, I was thrilled with knowing who the killer was and how the kil
Lars Guthrie
Oct 07, 2009 Lars Guthrie rated it really liked it
When I read the works of one author, and more emphatically when I read a series by one author, I feel that I almost go further than just the reciprocal relationship between text and reader outlined by Louise Rosenblatt in her transactional theory of literature. With Mankell (and also recently with the twelve volume 'Dance to the Music of Time' by Anthony Powell), it's as if I am in a dialogue with the author. I know that's impossible; the books have already been written. But my reaction to the f ...more
The tension and the depth of the plot from each book become more and more interesting. In this we find Wallander looking for the killer of a fellow detective who was looking for three missing students. Simple yet terribly complicated and dark. Wallander's private life is the back bones of the series. We see him struggling with health problems, his emotional ups and downs. The plot keeps you reading but Wallander's personal turmoils makes you turn the pages faster.
Donald Gallinger
Henning Mankel has proved himself to be a wonderful crime novelist. His books create a wonderful sense of atmosphere along with razor sharp plotting. The great pleasure in reading Mankell is the social commentary on Sweden's changing society. His fiction is at least as much about evolving mores in Swedish culture as it is about the classic "who done its."
Bill Krieger
Mar 20, 2013 Bill Krieger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This is a must read for all Wallander-philes. The plot is very good. Even better though, Wallander is a mess. He has health problems, his father died in the last book, he doesn't have a girlfriend, his ex-wife is getting remarried, and his confidence is completely shot. It's classic, wonderful Wallander. Ups and downs and dog tired through a difficult case, it's just a lot of fun to follow along.

One of my favorite scenes is when Wallander learns that one of his coworkers considers Wallander
One Step Behind was my second Henning Mankell novel about Swedish policeman Kurt Wallander, and like Sidetracked, the first Wallander novel I read, I wanted to like it more than I did. One Step Behind concerns the investigation into the murder of a policeman, one of Wallander’s colleagues, who was himself involved in a secret investigation of a crime that no one else believed had been committed. How Wallander manages to catch the criminal despite constantly being “one step behind” forms the myst ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This isn’t the same Wallander that I’ve come to expect in this series. Sure, he is still depressed and depressing. But this one takes place in the summer, and when the weather’s good, you don’t have the moodiness bad weather causes piling on to the issues faced by the detective. To make up for the good weather, Mankell kills off a peer of Wallander’s, and gives Wallander some bigger health problems to deal with. In this one, bloodwork finds an issue that nags at Wallander every few pages through ...more
A movie was made based on this book.

From IMDb:
Shortly after police discovers the murder of three friends, police inspector Wallander finds his friend and colleague Svedberg dead. At first believing that Svedberg killed himself, Wallander soon discovers links between Svedberg, the three friends and a fourth person, a young woman at a mental institution.
Jan 30, 2015 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this edition, Wallander is ill but can't/won't stop to take care of himself. This installment brings out some secrets about one of Wallander's co-workers and a serial killer with little to no reason for his actions is caught...eventually. The recurring thought that I had while reading this was that, while this was written in the 90s, the social issues reflected in Sweden then seem to be coming to pass here in the States. A man killing serially for no other reason than he didn't want to see 'h ...more
Dec 14, 2008 Reinhold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, the-very-best

Mankell ist mit diesem Buch ein ganz großer Wurf gelungen. Einerseits steht Kurt Wallander, der irgendwie liebenswerte und gleichzeitig unerträgliche aber immer 100% einsatzbereite Polizist. Fast ist man versucht zu sagen, wie üblich steckt Wallander in seiner Midlife Crisis. Und wie üblich steht er einem Verbrechen gegenüber, das eigentlich über Wallanders Grenzen hinausgeht.

Wer Mankells Wallanderreihe kennt, weiß dass dieses Strickmuster zwar immer wiederkehrt, dass die Bücher d
May 20, 2009 Bob rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Kurt Wallander - He works tirelessly, eats badly and drinks the nights away in a lonely, neglected flat. Still, he tackles some pretty incredible cases --

Here are the titles in the series (with a few extras) -

Faceless Killers
Dogs Of Riga
White Lioness
The Man Who Smiled
The Fifth Woman
One Step Behind
Return Of The Dancing Master (a Stefan Lindman mystery)
Before The Frost (actually a “Linda Wallander” mystery)

An old man has been tortured and beaten to death, his wife lies barely
Mar 15, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
A couple of years have passed since the events in Book #6, which means it's time for another heinous crime in Ystad and for Wallander to once again bemoan the horrific state of Sweden. It's a good mystery, with all kinds of twists ands turns (although I, and probably most mystery readers, figured out quickly what was up with the picture of Louise way before Kurt did). The darkness of the murders this time contrasted sharply with the beautiful summer weather--a theme that echoes throughout the bo ...more
Jun 05, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characters come to life, and most important, I like them. One does not think of Sweden in terms of a serial killer, but this is what Wallander and his team were up against. Good suspense and enough interest to keep me hooked.
Dec 01, 2015 Shari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mankell just makes it seem easy. And this time out Kurt Wallander will drive you crazy with his lack of self-respect. Ailing in a big way with the onset of diabetes, caught up in a deeply perplexing serial killer spree with no clear clues to grab onto, Wallander stumbles around for a way to begin. Not being in good health he is not clear of mind too much of the time; he's over-tired, not even making a pretense of taking care of himself, and he lets important, screamingly obvious clues slip by hi ...more
Quang Khuê
Jan 23, 2015 Quang Khuê rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cảnh sát trưởng hay rên rỉ về cuộc đời và sự nghiệp. :D
Deborah Moulton
Dec 31, 2009 Deborah Moulton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kurt Wallender finally turns a corner in this book. It feels like he has worked through the anger and bewilderment of the societal changes in Sweden and come out on the other side: more accepting of the changes and turning his attention to the more practical aspects of tackling what is before him now. He looks at some changes, notably women integrating into the police force in detective and managing roles, and sees all that has been gained, not what has been lost.

It is a better time in his life
May 29, 2012 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This turned out to be one of my favorite Kurt Wallander books. It had an intricate plot, lots of murder, lots of talk of how violent Sweden is becoming(compared to the US, it's laughable), angst on the part of Wallander and murder - oh, did I mention that?
I like it when Wallander travels all over Sweden to look for clues. Trouble usually follows him, like when he went to the island to find a witness and she got murdered while he was upstairs asleep. Poor Wallander, he just couldn't seem to catch
An excellent Kurt Wallander mystery with deep underlying themes questioning the fall of democracy in Sweden due in part to the brutal and senseless crimes. The Ystad police force seems unable to cope with the growing crime rate nor do they have the staff or advance technology to quickly track down the killers. Swedish society is changing but not in a good way. Wallander once again doggedly pursues a killer who carefully selects victims. But how does he pick his victims and what are their connect ...more
Henning Mankell is a excellent writer so much so that this is the seventh book in the Kurt Wallander series that I’ve read. His series are a wonderful blend of plot and character. The detective Kurt Wallander is a character who I’ve really come to know and look forward reading about in every new book - to find out how he is doing and what current case he is working on.

Wallander is an altruistic and flawed character – a detective committed to his work, considered by his peers to be the best of t
Jul 22, 2015 Marieke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010, crime
I was thinking about this book last night for some reason -- it's been a little while since I finished it. It struck me that the plot relies on a lot of strange details. I don't read a lot of murder mysteries, so maybe this is common.

Of all the characters, Inspector Kurt Wallander is perhaps the most 'normal'. He's overweight, lonely, and intelligent but sometimes unable to connect with others. All the other characters have sordid secrets. The murdered policeman, the circle of unusual teenagers
Marissa Morrison
Of course the reader knew what was odd about the picture the moment that detail popped up, but otherwise this has a tricky plot. The usual suspense is increased by Wallander's new health problems. There are several exciting scenes in which danger is very close. The reader wonders whether Wallander will collapse while chasing down the bad guy.

Why does Wallander never think that a bad guy will want to _________________________? Why doesn't he get himself a ______________________?
Apr 08, 2010 Lori rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
April's book club selection.

While I thought the plot was fairly interesting, I had a difficult time liking Wallander, the protagonist. I realize that he was in the midst of a huge murder investigation, but I found myself wanting him to take better care of himself, ask better questions, take fewer unnecessary risks, etc. I know he's supposed to be flawed, but I wanted him to be flawed and likeable, not flawed and irritating. Perhaps if I had read previous books in the series and not jumped in at
Sep 27, 2015 Margarida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantástico. Kurt Wallander a chegar aos 50 anos com problemas de saúde, ao mesmo tempo que se depara com um sentimento de impotência perante o aumento da violência e a descrença nas forças policiais suecas. E como se lida com a perda de alguém próximo, de que, afinal, pouco se conhece?
Sep 20, 2010 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Swedish detective Kurt Wallander has developed diabetes as he pursues a long, complex case. Six weeks after three college students are shot during a Midsummer's Eve party, Wallander's colleague Svedberg is also found murdered. As more killings follow, with the exhausted, understaffed detectives too late each time to prevent the next crime, Wallender cannot take the time to do anything about his deteriorating health. The tone of the book is dark and reflects a crumbling Swedish society and widesp ...more
Oct 17, 2010 Christophe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deuxième contact avec le polar suédois pour moi, après avoir été très déçu par la série Millenium (beaucoup de mal à finir le deuxième, le troisième m'est tombé des mains) je me suis risqué de nouveau après avoir découvert les islandais (Arnaldur Indridason).
J'avoue aimer de plus en plus les écrivains nordiques. Il y a chez eux de véritables pépites. Contrairement à la production américaine, (et si on excepte Larson) on ne sent pas le besoin de tirer à la ligne pour faire du volume, mais plutôt
Nov 28, 2009 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's such a treat to read a new (to me) book by an author I like and have it live up to my anticipation of it. Mankell's One Step Behind was a perfect nighttime read over the course of the week. Three role-playing young people shot on Midsummer's Eve as they picnicked in a nature preserve, but not found for a month - bodies carefully wrapped and hidden, then carefully arranged in their death poses.

Inspector Kurt Wallander is at his dogged best, worrying the leads and his intuition, side-steppin
Jan 08, 2015 Huy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
chậm rãi, tỉ mỉ và rất thật.
Bev Taylor
Nov 17, 2015 Bev Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
on midsummer's eve three young people meet in a wood in 18th century dress. then they r killed and their murderer hides their bodies

their parents then receive postcards from europe saying they r travelling and r not worried - apart from one mother who is convinced that they r a forgery

wallender is called into the case and soon afterwards one of his colleagues is found murdered. r the 2 cases connected? in this investigation he always seems one step behind

great characters, both good and bad, e
Pranjal Sahu
Mar 08, 2015 Pranjal Sahu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally One Step Ahead....

Bought this books from Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Book Fair. Didn't have much expectations from it but I must say my first attempt at reading a crime novel didn't disappoint me.

Very short sentences. I felt the characters are not very well described, which is probably because I started with the 7th novel of the series. Very well structured. Every chapter ends with a question mark and keeps reader wanting for more. There are certain portions of novel where you can actuall
Czarny Pies
Jun 18, 2015 Czarny Pies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Czarny by: I like to read books set in countries with large moose populations.
Shelves: scandinavian-lit
If you like crime novels add two stars to my rating. Because crime novels are by definition works of formula writing, the highest rating that I will give to to one is three stars.

This book shows Henning Mankell at is best. Mankell is a master of describing the struggles of every day life for middle class individuals living in social democracies. He describes the relations of his hero Kurt Wallander with his family and co-workers with great skill.

The problem for some readers will be that in givi
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover 4 149 Jul 11, 2012 06:14AM  
  • The Man on the Balcony (Martin Beck, #3)
  • The Return (Inspector Van Veeteren #3)
  • The Glass Devil (Inspector Huss #4)
  • Sun and Shadow (Inspector Winter, #3)
  • Voices (Inspector Erlendur #5)
  • When the Devil Holds the Candle (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #4)
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.
More about Henning Mankell...

Other Books in the Series

Kurt Wallander (10 books)
  • Faceless Killers (Wallander #1)
  • The Dogs of Riga (Wallander #2)
  • The White Lioness (Wallander, #3)
  • The Man Who Smiled (Wallander #4)
  • Sidetracked (Wallander #5)
  • The Fifth Woman (Wallander, #6)
  • Firewall (Wallander, #8)
  • The Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries (Wallander, #9)
  • The Troubled Man (Wallander #10)

Share This Book

“Police work wouldn't be possible without coffee," Wallander said.
"No work would be possible without coffee."
They pondered the importance of coffee in silence.”
“Yo creo que más bien los atrae el saberse en las cercanías de la crueldad , con la tranquilidad de que no es uno el mismo afectado” 1 likes
More quotes…