1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Better than Larsson, decent murder mystery,
This review is from: Before The Frost (Mass Market Paperback)
Having read The girl with the dragon tattoo last year on a trip to Sweden, I thought I'd try another Swedish mystery and so turned to the bestselling Wallander series by Henning Mankell. I randomly chose Before the Frost.
In so many ways Mankell is the superior writer to Larsson, the prose is better, the characters more real, the settings more recognisable, the mystery just as gripping and the plot more convincing. Before the Frost is a better book.
It also has two Wallander lead characters: Kurt the father, experienced, stubborn, sharp detective and his daughter Linda a new recruit but who has some of her fathers instincts if not his wealth of experience and know-how.
Interestingly though Before the Frost & TGWTDT have something in common. The protagonist in both cases are a biblically inspired psychopath. In Larsson the Bible is used because it is full of sacrifice without faith whereas in Mankell it is the faith and deep belief in itself which is dangerous.
In Larsson a minor character has a deep faith and is portrayed as being part of a cult, in Mankell the bad guys are a cult. Now in neither case are they saying that the problem is mainstream Christianity but both show a disdain for religion and that in Sweden religious convictions are not well understood and seen as somehow `not Swedish'.
So I've read two best-selling Swedish writers and in both cases they have used faith as a device for evil doing and shown me that in popular culture Christianity has a major PR problem in Scandinavia.