Cliffhangers Crime Fiction
Books and videos for  mystery mavens
Henning Mankell
Author of the Kurt Wallander Mystery Books
Police Procedural Series Set in Sweden
Above: Author Henning Mankell
Video Recommendation
There is an excellent adaptation of this book series for Swedish TV:  TV Series: Wallander (Swedish with English subtitles, 2005- )

Of all the video versions, I think this does the best job portraying Kurt Wallander. Plus: good stories. Minus: subtitles.
Art by JM Coleman
The Master of Nordic Noir
As crime writers go, Swedish author Henning Mankell (1948-2015) was a rock star. His series of police procedurals,  Kurt Wallander Mystery Books , has sold tens of millions of copies, topping bestseller lists in many countries around the world.

Mankell, whose father was a judge, was interested in law enforcement since childhood. With the Wallander series of police procedurals, his goal was to tell a good crime story, and, along the way, to comment on changes in Swedish society.

"I work in an old tradition that goes back to the ancient Greeks," Mankell said. "You hold a mirror to crime to see what's happening in society. I could never write a crime story just for the sake of it, because I always want to talk about certain things in society." *

The middle-aged Wallander is famously grumpy and chronically anxious because Swedish society seems to be changing in ways that he finds disorienting.

A leftist himself, Mankell created in Wallander a sort of Swedish Everyman, rather conservative and change-averse. Not the kind of person Mankell himself would want to be friends with, said the author in an interview published in the Guardian. *

Wallander mysteries are set in Skåne, farm country on the southernmost edge of Sweden, where the land is flat and treeless and the sea is omnipresent. Mankell chose this setting for artistic reasons: "Skåne is the place where Sweden ends--a sort of Baltic Texas. ...Border areas have a dynamism all their own: they set off a reflex of unease." *

Mankell wrote many books besides the Wallander police procedurals, including thrillers, children's books and novels set in Africa.

Married to Eva Bergman, famed director Ingmar Bergman's daughter, Mankell divided his time between Sweden and Mozambique, where he ran a theater.

WINNER! 1991 Swedish Mystery Academy Prize
WINNER! 1999 German Crime Prize
WINNER! 2001 Macallan CWA Gold Dagger Award
WINNER! 2002 Author of the Year, Germany.

*"True Crime," Ian Thomson, The Guardian, Friday 31 October 2003
Album: Click on an image to find a book that will take you there.
Author Henning Mankell