I write this blog post with an overwhelming sense of loss! I have read every word written about Kurt Wallander and there is nothing more of him nor Henning Mankell although for those of you who follow the Nordic Noir genre they will live long in our collective psyches.
A classic Wallander story; conflict in himself; with Linda and the world. He wants to desperately live out his days in a more relaxed environment with his love of classical music away from the stress of policing and the city. He takes the opportunity presented by Martinsson, to check out an idyllic place and in doing so he stumbles across a crime scene, in his attempt to find the place to live away from the city. This opens up the under-resourced cold-case investigation that his boss can’t support.
He is lonely and has lost his father, he needs some love. I know how that feels – how the agonising relationship between a father and son can be until one day they are no longer there. His relationship with his ex-wife – there is no longer any contact although he has now rekindled the relationship with his daughter, now a budding police officer herself, after a period of separation. She is a good thing for him if he only realises it in time.
I have felt a kindred spirit with Kurt for some time; I read ‘A Troubled Man’ recognising the signs of type II diabetes in the narrative! Time caught up with him too! One day I will find my children, again or them me, hopefully before it’s too late.
This novella – a simple plot – wasn’t a difficult read, not that any of Henning’s Kurt books are; in fact for me returning to the pages of a Wallander thriller only at the weekend it felt like I was meeting a schoolboy friend with whom I’d not spent any time for years and yet it didn’t feel like we’d been apart for days at all.
It’s Monday night in late November as I write this and ‘An Event in Autumn’ is set in the coldness of late autumn leading into winter in Ystad; snow one minute; then rain and slush! I hate this time of year – going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark!
Kurt unravels things as he usually does, as most great detectives do, by noticing things in people and in places that aren’t quite right! He does the unspeakable and walks into the jaws of a trap without calling for back-up! It all works out in the end.
You know I don’t do spoilers, but I expect most of you will have read this anyway but something in me needed to write this as most bloggers know! The melancholy of a Wallander and most critically for me is the afterword by HK himself a beautiful essay on the life he and Kurt shared! I admit to shedding a tear or maybe two.
On a lighter note I have seen Lassgard; Branagh and Krister Henriksson play Kurt and was fortunate to meet Krister in 2014 at Nordicana. He will always be my Wallander! A wonderfully humble and gracious man overwhelmed by the excitement I showed in meeting him!
May you rest in peace Henning! Thank you for the gift and legacy you gave us.