A Classic Detective Novel Swedish Style

The popularity of the Stieg Larsson trilogy has led to a number of northern European novelists gaining popularity in the U.S. market.  Among them is Henning Mankell.  I recently read the first novel in his Wallander series entitled “Faceless Killers”.

The story begins with a brutal double murder of an elderly couple living on a remote farm outside of a small Swedish town.  Inspector Wallander is the lead detective on the case and the last word of the farmer’s wife, “foreign”, leads him to the nation’s refugee camps and beyond.

It was interesting to learn from the novel the current immigration issues in Sweden and how the influx has changed the society as well as the types of crime that are now occurring there.  Drug trafficking, gun running and violent crime are all on the rise.  As is anti-foreign sentiment.

Kurt is a dedicated detective whose personal life is in disarray.  His wife has left him and his daughter is estranged and rebellious.  The back story provides a fleshed out character that you will want to meet again in the rest of the series.

The plot twists and turns and keeps you guessing.  No spoilers from me so I will leave it to you to discover the killers.

I’ll be reading book two for sure.

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