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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 November 2002
This is one of the better Wallander novels. The story begins with typical Mankell opening - a killing with mysterious and incomplete details. The tension builds as Wallander's team are increasingly aware of links with one of their colleagues mysteriously killed in an apparently unrelated incident. The culmination builds to a crescendo as the killer gets very personal. Some of the details are totally unexplained even at the end of the book, but this does not spoil the overall quality of the writing. In spite of actually being a quiet rural area with a distinctive accent, Skåne comes over in the Wallander series as a lethal place to live. Wallander continues his decline in this book, now suffering from diabetes and angst over his dead father - he reminds me of both John Rebus(by Ian Rankin) and Martin Beck (Sjöwell/Wahlöö). Thoroughly recommended as an expose of aspects of contemporary Swedish society as well as a riveting police procedure novel.
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on 27 October 2002
Inspector Kurt Wallander and his team return to investigate the harrowing case of a serial killer whose victims include one of their own colleagues. Interspersed in the investigation, that takes Wallander to the Swedish Baltic islands and to Copenhagen, the anxieties, doubts and health concerns of the all too human Kurt Wallander intervene.
Mankell tells a good story, creates a believable atmosphere of an overworked, under-resourced police team investigating a brutal and baffling series of crimes plus coping with the loss of a colleague while the media, politicians and high brass are pressurising for quick results. The detection (99 % perspiration and 1 % inspiration) is realistically recreated while Mankell is excellent in evoking the changing environment of modern Sweden and the loss of the old certainties, while Kurt Wallander must be one of the most human and sympathetic detectives in current fiction.
Although perhaps not quite as good as some of Wallander's previous excursions (The Fifth Woman is particularly excellent), One Step Behind succeeds as both crime story and novel. Somehow that the peaceful Skane area of southern Sweden seems to have a murder rate similar to that of Glasgow or Los Angeles simply doesn't seem to matter. We look forward to the next in this consistently readable and well thought out series.
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Did you get an email from Amazon about the 'new' Kurt Wallander novel? Well this is just to mention that One Step Behind isn't new at all, it's about 15 years old in fact. Definitely a good one however.

It's Midsummer's Eve. Three young friends meet in a wood to act out an elaborate masque - but unknown to them, they are being watched. With a bullet each, all three are murdered. Soon afterwards, one of Inspector Wallander's colleagues is found murdered. Is this the same killer, and what could the connection be? In this investigation, Wallander is always, tantalisingly, one step behind.

If you haven't read it yet, then you should. It's one of the better ones in the Wallander series.
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on 12 June 2006
On Midsummer night (a big celebration in Sweden) 3 young adults are shot to death in cold blood in a nature reserve in South Sweden. The killer is extremely careful: he removes all traces, including the bodies, and makes the parents belief that their children have gone on an extended summer holiday to Europe. But something is not right and this feeling becomes very urgent when one of Inspector Kurt Wallander's colleagues is found in his apartment with his face blown to pieces. Time for Wallander and his team to start an investigation for a killer that always seems to be one step ahead of the team. Four more people die before the team has an idea who the killer might be, and even when the investigation turns into a manhunt, they need all their considerable skills to bring this case to a good end. And in all this mess Wallander also finds out that he is a diabetic and has to change his lifestyle: not an easy option when you are trying to catch one of the most gruesome serial killers that Sweden has ever seen...

Once you are reading this book you cannot stop. The book seems to be slow-paced, but that is only at the surface, below that there are numerous developments that keep the reader interested. A real page turner.
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on 22 September 2011
It is very difficult to read a series of books in the order they were written. Amazon only put the date of digital publication which is completely different from the order i which they were written. I'm tired of Wallender leaping back and forth between robust good health and near death from diabetes and I'm tired of reading about whther his father might die when I've already read about his house and effects being disposed of. WAKE UP AMAZON - put the original publication date and sort them into that order when we search for Wallender of Rebus books. Not too hard is it?

Martin Frey
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on 9 November 2003
'One Step Behind' by Mankell is a fantastic read which I will recommend to anyone. This is another installment in the Detective Wallander series, and Mankell has clearly flourished into a much more accomplished writer and teller of crime fiction than he was when he first started out.
In One Step Behind, we follow Wallander as he investigates a Midsummer's Eve murder and the murder of a fellow policeman. The chase is riveting, and fast-paced, and the main character comes so close to the killer many times but each time just misses. This makes for exciting reading. What's more is that everything is believable, and the novel is not written in an overhyped Hollywood-script type way.
This is a very enjoyable read, and I recommend it to all fans of this genre. Let's hope Mankell will flourish even more, and join the elite of the crime fiction ranks.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 May 2004
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This Kurt Wallander story follows the pattern Mankell has established for these novels. I hesitate to call it a formula because I think Mankell's novels stand above run-of-the-mill formula crime novels. Still, there are some formulaic elements.
Don't let that put you off though: it means you get not only what you expect, but what you want.
Obviously, there's a murder, multiple murders in fact (hopefully the real Ystad is a safer place!). And these are some of Mankell's grisliest moments.
You also expect Kurt Wallander and his fragile personal life. Why is he likeable? He shouldn't be, yet you can't help but empathise; as an outsider you would hate him, but he is most definitely our hero, with all his faults. He's a great character.
For once, it isn't winter in Skåne, and it's quite unusual in these novels for Wallander to be battling against something other than the Swedish climate. This time he's battling against his own body, which is protesting against years of abuse in the form of diabetes. The summer setting is highly appropriate for these murders though.
Mankell has the knack of keeping you guessing pretty much right to the end, and as usual I found myself glued to this book and read it much faster than I intended to.
I feel I should be a little annoyed with Mankell for making the killer the way he is (my politically correct antennae swivelled somewhat).
Still, it's a satisfying read: well paced, gripping, tense, atmospheric.
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VINE VOICEon 13 November 2007
This is the 6th in the Kurt Wallender novels written by Henning Mankell and In my humble opinion the best to date.

We see much of the same skilfull prose of this master writer as he makes the Swedish part of Skane once again come so clearly to the readers mind.

One of Inspector Wallenders colleagues is murdered and so too are 3 young people found dead in the woods, Is there a connection, and by whom and why were the victims murdered.

Enter Wallender by now very much alone and without the female companionship he desires, blood pressure high, illness setting in. The investigation is deliberating and exhausting.

Mankell ones again writes a masterpiece of police thriller writing. He simply brings Skane and the Ystad police force so clearly to the front of our minds.

Terrific book.
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on 11 November 2002
This is one of the better Wallander novels. The story begins with typical Mankell opening - a killing with mysterious and incomplete details. The tension builds as Wallander's team are increasingly aware of links with one of their colleagues mysteriously killed in an apparently unrelated incident. The culmination builds to a crescendo as the killer gets very personal. Some of the details are totally unexplained even at the end of the book, but this does not spoil the overall quality of the writing. In spite of actually being a quiet rural area with a distinctive accent, Skåne comes over in the Wallander series as a lethal place to live. Wallander continues his decline in this book, now suffering from diabetes and angst over his dead father - he reminds me of both John Rebus(by Ian Rankin) and Martin Beck (Sjöwell/Wahlöö). Thoroughly recommended as an expose of aspects of contemporary Swedish society as well as a riveting police procedure novel.
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This is the second of Mankell's books in his Inspector Wallander series that I have read and I enjoyed it as much as the first. This was partly due to the novelty of the rural Swedish setting, but mainly because of the combination of an excellent thriller plot with the continuing story of the character of Wallander. The plot concerns a multiple murderer whose victims seem to have nothing in common and include a close police associate of Wallander himself. As usual, there are plausible trails that lead nowhere and police failings, but when the solution emerges it does so logically and is totally believable. The detective as a flawed character is common enough - Inspectors Rebus and Morse come to mind - but Wallander's problems make him unique. I recommend this book as a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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