Kathleen Hagen's Reviews > One Step Behind

One Step Behind by Henning Mankell
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Jul 05, 2008

bookshelves: 2008-mysteries-suspense, 2008-audio-books
Read in April, 2008

One Step Behind, by Henning Mankell. A. read by Dick Hill, produced by Blackstone Audio Books and downloaded from audible.com. Discussion book.

In this book, we see Wallander aging. His health isn’t good, he weighs too much, and he learns that he is diabetic-a fact which he denies throughout most of the novel. But he is tired , depressed, feels that Swedish society is in decline, and generally doesn’t seem to have much fire in the belly for police work. On the other hand, when one of his most competent police officers is murdered, and it becomes clear that his murder has something to do with his investigation of the deaths of three teenagers on Summer Solstis Eve, and when more people are killed in the same way as Svedberg and the young people are killed, Wallander puts his whole being into figuring out the murders and who did it. This is one of the best Wallander novels, if not the best. Here, we sometimes have the reader knowing things before Wallander. We see Wallander heading into several hypotheses that we already know aren’t the answer, and it just heightens the tension. In some ways I’m not sure that I liked the attempt to get into the murderer’s mind by having the reader introduced to his thinking. It distracted from the story for me. I don’t want to know what the killer is thinking or feeling. I may want to know what the victims thought or felt. It is clear that by the time Mankell wrote this book he was bringing the Wallander series to a close, not with this book, but very soon thereafter. I will be very sad to say farewell to Wallander and the police force.

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