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Showing posts from December, 2008

Swedish crime and simplified China: Mankell

Since his first Wallander books I have been an enthusiastic reader of Mankell's work. Sometimes the left-wing moralism of the old policeman irritated me, but it seemed to fit into the story like the snow, rain and wind of the South-Swedish landscape. 'What is becoming of the old socialist Sweden?' could be read as a piece of attractive folklore that gave some colour to the exciting crime stories. In his last book, 'Kinesen' (the Chinese person), Mankell's comment on the development of society seems to have become the main subject of the book, and the detective story a vehicle for his ideological message.
In a fictional small town in Northern Sweden, all inhabitants are brutally murdered. A woman in Southern Sweden, Birgitta Roslin, who works as a judge, finds out that distant relatives of her are among the victims. She starts a sort of parallel private investigation, which brings her in serious danger. The mass murder turns out to be related to what has happened…