Everyone is reading Scandinavian thrillers at the moment and the question to be asked is, what do you read after reading Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy? My mother is reading Jo Nesbo (and thoroughly enjoying it), so I decided to try Henning Mankell.
Faceless Killersis the first of the Inspector Kurt Wallander mysteries, set in the quiet Ystad area of Sweden (my Swedish geography is not the best, but that’s away from Stockholm). In a quiet, rural area, an elderly man is brutally murdered and his wife is beaten and tortured to death. All the police have to go on is the word ‘foreigner’. Cue attacks on refugee camps and other baffling issues and the police have very little to work on. (This book is set in the early 1990s, before mobile phones and internet so the detective work appears much more time consuming).
Of course, with many detective fiction books there comes problems in the detective’s personal life and Wallander is no exception. Recently divorced with a daughter that wants little to do with him and a father heading towards dementia, Wallander has many problems. Not to mention drinking and driving and then being caught by his colleagues…
The writing is sparse but effective, the plot tight and clever. A short read, but a very good one that left me thinking after what a great storyteller Mankell is. It’s certainly different to Stieg Larsson in that there’s less detail and no mention of Ikea, but the twists and turns are just as good.
Read it if: you enjoy well-written detective novels with good twists.
8 out of 10.