Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Before The Frost” as Want to Read:
Before The Frost
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Before The Frost

(Linda Wallander #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  10,285 ratings  ·  632 reviews
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 p ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published May 7th 2009 by Vintage (first published February 20th 2007)
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 Before The Frost, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Before The Frost

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,285 ratings  ·  632 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not quite ready to give up on the Swedish mysteries but this one has me close to it. What a horrid, spoiled, immature brat the main character, Linda Wallander is - very unlikable. I was wishing one of the bad guys would off her so the story would end. There were parts that I had to laugh at and had me wondering if perhaps the author is totally unaware of how a young woman should be. The plot held promise but that quickly died after the 2nd chapter as the main character had one tantrum after ...more
M.J. Fiori
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
Feb 17, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Yigal Zur
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mankell is one of the best ever.amazing story and a nice combination of Wallander and his daughter Linda who joins the forece.
Nancy Oakes
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 more 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.

Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2013
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 acr
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 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 more prosaic and often very subtle. You don't have to create monsters to write intelligently. Adolf Eichmann was ...more
Judy Ryan Ryan Hall
Oct 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Judy Ryan by: I got Firewall as a present for xmas and then started collecting
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 charact ...more
Bob  Brinkmeyer
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deutsch
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 i
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 Stars. Still reading through the Wallander series, with the daughter (Linda) as an up-and-coming police officer getting ready to work in the same station as her father (Kurt). While the story is still as interesting as the earlier books, I’m not so crazy about the focus shifting to Linda (in this one, at least). Too many things involving her just come across as too farfetched. The crimes link to someone she knows and she seems to come up with all the answers, despite not being officially on ...more
I am pretty sure I read this a few years back and I may not have added it for some reason. I seem to know the cover well and the name jumped out of me in memory. I wish the summary went a little further which would help for sure if I read it or not. Hard to figure out which star to put on it. I know I liked it , but did I like it enough for the fourth star? 3.5
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
One of the latest entries in the Kurt Wallender series, Before the Frost features his 30 year old daughter Linda as the 3rd person narrator of the story.[return][return]The Prologue, however, takes place at the mass suicide/massacre of the followers of the Revered Jim Jones at Jamestown in 1976, and recounts the escape of the single survivor. [return][return]The first chapter of the book, which takes place in August, 2001, is a graphic account of the murder by burning of a flock of swans on the ...more
I've been waiting a long time to read first Linda Wallander mystery. I've always liked her character, particularly in the BBC version of the Wallander mysteries, and I was worried Henning Mankell's elevating of Linda to a place of prominence would be diminishing for me. That seems paradoxical, I know, but there are some characters who just shouldn't be leads. My fears that Linda was such a character were misplaced.

In fact, having so much prior knowledge of Linda made for a much richer "first no
Oct 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first novel by Henning Mankell, and it is the tenth in the Kurt Wallander Crime Series. This book introduces Kurt's daughter, Linda, who has recently finished police training, and is ready to begin her career in law enforcement. The prologue to BEFORE THE FROST is set on the Jonestown compound in Guyana in 1978 right after the massacre. A crazed and demented member of The People's Temple escapes the killings, and travels to the US, and on to Sweden to form his own murderous Christian ...more
Oscar E.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wise
A very good crime novel, imbued with Swedish popular culture and habits yet enjoyable by international readers. The events surrounding Kurt Wallander and his daughter unfold at a thrilling pace. No character, not even cops, can feel safe. And there is some kind of magic in the way Mankell makes you subtly feel that the Scandinavian winter is approaching. Just Before The Frost.
Henning Mankell is, for me, a hit-and-miss writer. While I’ve enjoyed the Wallander series (about a detective in Ystad), I haven’t particularly liked his other novels. Mankell tends to focus on the darkest aspects of the human psyche, and without the narrative device of the investigator (Kurt or, in this case, Linda Wallander), I can’t find much positive to hold on to, which is why I avoid the non-Wallander books these days. I would definitely recommend reading the other books in Wallander serie ...more
Stephen Hayes
Oct 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Detective Kurt Wallander's daughter Linda is about to join him on the police force in the town of Ystad in southern Sweden, and while she is waiting to start work Linda re-establishes contact with a couple of old school friends, Anna and Zeba. Then Anna says she thiinks she has seen her father, who had been missing for many years, and shortly afterwards goes missing herself. Linda begins searching for Anna, and thinks her disappearance may be linked to a case her father is working on, of animals ...more
Mankell is better than this one. Haven't read many of the Wallander books, but this didn't come across as one of the better ones. The female characters felt flat; even Linda was a disappointment. While she did pursue leads on her own because her friends were involved, she took foolish risks and demonstrated a certain amount of immaturity for a 30-year old.
The plot provided an opportunity for an interesting and involved case. But it became so bogged down in "my friend is missing" reminders that
Apr 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, fiction, wallander
Kurt Wallander has spent nine novels and several short stories telling us that no lead should be ignored, no matter how small. In this book he, and everyone else whom Linda comes into contact with, discount everything she has to say, including her clear account early on in the book of her assault and the reasons for it. This is frustrating. Linda also acts incoherently throughout the novel, I say incoherently rather than incompetently because it has nothing to do with her being a rookie cop. She ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this audiobook. Henning Mankell has written many Kurt Wallander books. Kurt is a Swedish police detective. In this new spin-off series Kurt's adult daughter Linda has trained to join the police. She is living with Kurt, and growing restless while she waits for new job to begin. She spends her days with two friends. When one of her friends goes missing Linda has a hard time getting her dad or anyone else to take it seriously. A woman is found brutally murdered in a cabin and that is ...more
Jo Jenner
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting expansion into the Wallander family with Linda deciding she wants to join the police force and how she is thrust into the middle of an investigation.
I found Linda quite annoying at times but I liked how she discovers who her father is and how he is so much more than the man she thinks she knows.
I hadn't realised that ManKell had expanded the Wallander story to centre on Linda but I would like to read more of these if they exist.

If you are a Wallander fan read this, if you are new
A good story not a great one. Linda Wallander's first and only adventure just before she joins the police. Henning Mankell tries to show how much similar Linda is to her father Kurt Wallander. She has a lot to learn but we will never get to know how she turns out as a police officer. The story shows how fanatic religious people think that they are right in their beliefs and actions but they are actually a threat to the society.
Jun 27, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'll be honest: this is the book group book I got closest to not finishing – I put it aside altogether for about a week, and finally picked it up and plodded through the rest of it over the last few days, heaving a sigh of relief when I'd finished.

Admittedly, it's not my cup of tea – I don't read detective/police fiction at all, so I'm not qualified to say if it's a good example of the genre. Anyway, I am obviously out of step with the majority, since both Goodreads and Amazon have dozens of rav
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
Heretofore, Linda Wallander has been a secondary character in the detective series starring her father, Kurt. Now Kurt, a sort of Swedish Inspector Morse in terms of personality and philosophy, is considering retirement. At the same time, Linda, now about 30 years old, has graduated from the police academy and chafing at the bit to start her new job in her father's department. She's bored and frustrated with the wait, and her father, seeing that Linda will be an officer in a few weeks, fills her ...more
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm still not sure that Mankell has sold me on Linda Wallander following in her father's footsteps but, at least in this book, it's clear that he's allowing for that doubt -- not even Linda is sure she should be taking up Kurt's mantle. Yet in this book, there she goes, drawn up into the investigation of a brutal murder and the disappearance of a close friend only a few weeks before she's scheduled to take up her police uniform. What pans out is an interesting book -- not focused on the center o ...more
Aoife Martin
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in what was supposed to be a trilogy. Tragically, the actor who played Linda Wallander on Swedish television took her own life and Mankell was so upset he didn't write any further books about her character. Linda Wallander, while not exactly likeable, is an interesting character. She is very much her father's daughter and the two of them rub each other up the wrong way.

The plot centres around the weeks before Linda is due to join the police force and deals with religious f
Jun 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of detective stories
Before the Frost is another great detective story by Henning Mankell, the Swedish novelist. Mankell charts a new course for the Wallander series because he tells the story through the eyes of Linda Wallander, the daughter of Kurt Wallander. Linda has graduated from the Police Academy and is waiting to begin her first job with Ystad police. She is living with her father until she can get her own apartment. They both have short tempers and get on each other's nerves.
Linda's friend is missing and L
I thought it was smart of Mankell to write this from Kurt Wallander's daughter's perspective because it added something new to the Wallander novels. Linda is a strong character who deserved to be given a bigger role. And since her relationship with her father has been a continuing theme in the series, it was interesting to see it through her eyes.

This book shows Linda in the week before she starts working as a police officer. She's anxious to start working, but full of doubts as well. When she
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I've finally come the end of the Kurt Wallendar books. How I wish that Henning Mankel has more of them waiting in his writing queue!

This one is the culmination of the ones that came before, because Wallendar's daughter, Linda, has joined him as a police officer. We've been hearing about Linda since novel #1.

I highly recommend this series to crime novel lovers. These books are not just "mysteries," they really do succeed in being novels, at least for me. Of course, some are better than oth
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: Before the Frost (Linda Wallander #1) 1 3 Jun 04, 2013 06:44PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Locked Room (Martin Beck, #8)
  • Sun and Shadow (Inspector Winter, #3)
  • The Torso (Inspector Huss #3)
  • The Return (Inspector Van Veeteren #3)
  • The Fourth Man
  • The Draining Lake (Inspector Erlendur #6)
  • The Demon of Dakar
  • The Black Path (Rebecka Martinsson, #3)
See similar books…
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.
“You think you know everything about a person, but the truth often comes as a surprise.” 23 likes
“We don't have time to argue. Nobody has time.” 15 likes
More quotes…