This is an interesting Swedish mystery with Kurt Wallander leading a team of detectives attempting to solve two crimes. While the mood of the story is often gloomy – rain, personal worries, fear that his (Wallander’s) girlfriend is seeing another man, illnesses, old age, deaths, needing to give up planned vacations, lack of sleep, Wallander’s new boss being unsure of himself – this atmosphere does not detract from the story. It offers readers a more in-depth understanding of characters and the difficulties facing the police. It is true that when I watched the TV versions of several Wallander mysteries which were moody, I was somewhat turned off by the gloom, but I did not have this feeling reading this book or the several other Mankell Wallander mysteries that I read. In fact, I looked forward to reading this book and enjoyed it. It is well written and gripping.
One of the mysteries, the smaller one, the one that takes up less police and story time, is the apparent suicide of a young Jamaican girl who showed up in Sweden for unknown reasons, seemed to be afraid of something, went out to a strange field, apparently simply because it was there, poured gasoline in a circle around her and on her, and when Wallander began to approach her, she ignited herself and burned to death. Wallander and his team try to find out why she apparently wanted to commit suicide and why she did it the way she did, for there is just about no more hurtful way to die than to be burned to death. This is why Joan of Arc was burned and why witched were burned, to give them as much pain as possible.
The other mystery is what seem to be bizarre serial killings. We are told that the murderer identifies with Herbert Hoover of the American FBI and with the Indian Chief Geronimo, and that he paints his face when he goes out to kill. We are also told that he is seeking revenge for his sister. This is about all we know at the onset of the novel, but the police do not know this. What they do know is that the murders are carefully planned, an ax or hatchet is used, and the victims are scalped. They try to find a connection between the victims but do not find it and they try to delve into the psychology of the murderer but do not see it.
- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: VINTAGE ARROW - MASS MARKET; 1 edition (18 October 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099571730
- ISBN-13: 978-0099571735
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 358 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 417,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)