Carolyn's Reviews > The Troubled Man

The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell
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's review
Apr 25, 2011

really liked it

This is not a book with which to begin your relationship with Henning Mankell's moody detective, Kurt Wallander. This is a novel purely for those who have formed a connection with Wallander over the many preceding novels. I find Wallander one of the most richly human characters I've encountered in fiction--believably flawed and lonely and morose (perhaps because I am always flawed and sometimes lonely and morose, myself)--and I was a bit saddened, going into this book, knowing that it was to be the last Wallander novel.

The mystery here is not as gripping and pulse-pounding as those in some earlier books, which was a bit disappointing. But the slower pace allows more time for Wallander to simply be Wallander, and the nature of the case creates reasons for Wallander to spend time with his daughter. Their thorny relationship has always been one of my favorite aspects of the books, and it gets plenty of focus here.

For me, the most deeply unnerving portions of this book had nothing to do with the crime Wallander investigates, but rather with another, more immediate threat he faces. And the ending is not the one I wanted for Wallander, but it is a deeply human ending, and I respect Mankell for not compromising in the final moments of his time with his most famous and beloved character.

It's probably silly of me to hold out hope for some Linda Wallander mysteries now, but I can't help it.
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