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Customer Review

on 8 August 2010
Mankell does not do action well. In fact there is very little action in this book - much of the text being taken up with introspective stuff about the value and point of the case - a sort of internal management meeting thing. I kept saying Get On With It!

There are some tiresome elements. Wallander keeps withholding information from his colleagues. Knowing that he is being watched by the hoods he takes liberties with his own safety merely by operating on his own so much. The putting in of a young spy - Sophie - is a cavalier move that I doubt would be made in similar circumstances. We only get to see the most charismatic character - Harderburg - on two occasions.

The final few pages of this book are frankly a bit farcical as our man decides to take on the baddies Rambo-style and the airport runway scene is Keystone Cops stuff. It's most unconvincing and rather a shame. I think the popularity of the Wallander series lies largely in the vulnerability of the hero and his bleak personal life. Some of that is moving. In the realm of police procedural, however, Mankell cannot hold a candle to several other authors.

Do you ever get the feeling that an author got bored and hurried up the denoument? That's what happened here. I like the style of Mankell's writing (or the translation of it) but I'll get my kicks somewhere else in future.
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