13 October 2011

Before the frost - book review

Before the FrostBefore the Frost by Henning Mankell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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 that have been cruelly killed and then a murder, that seems to be linked to a religious motive.

Until about halfway through, I thought that this was the best book Henning Mankell had written. The point of view has shifted to Linda Wallander, and we see her father through her eyes, rather than his own rather jaundiced view of the world, and his battles with booze. There seem to be too many boozy policeman novels nowadays.

The second half doesn't hang together too well, and there seems to be too much of the deus ex machina. Perhaps, however, that is more what real police work is like -- strokes of luck and chance happenings.

Despite these faults, however, it is still one of Mankell's better novels.

View all my reviews


James Higham said...

For a moment there I thought it was something to do with David Frost. Silly me.

marcuse said...

I also enjoyed it, and I agree with your observation about the second half of the book dropping off. However I feel that about most of his books.


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