Synopses & Reviews
The much-anticipated return of Henning Mankell's brilliant, brooding detective, Kurt Wallander.
On a winter day in 2008, Håkan von Enke, a retired high-ranking naval officer, vanishes during his daily walk in a forest near Stockholm. The investigation into his disappearance falls under the jurisdiction of the Stockholm police. It has nothing to do with Wallander — officially. But von Enke is his daughters future father-in-law. And so, with his inimitable disregard for normal procedure, Wallander is soon interfering in matters that are not his responsibility, making promises he wont keep, telling lies when it suits him — and getting results. But the results hint at elaborate Cold War espionage activities that seem inextricably confounding, even to Wallander, who, in any case, is troubled in more personal ways as well. Negligent of his health, hes become convinced that, having turned sixty, he is on the threshold of senility. Desperate to live up to the hope that a new granddaughter represents, he is continually haunted by his past. And looking toward the future with profound uncertainty, he will have no choice but to come face-to-face with his most intractable adversary: himself.
"In Mankell's masterful 11th novel featuring Kurt Wallander (and likely the last in this internationally bestselling series, according to Sonny Mehta's note to the reader), the 60-year-old Swedish detective unofficially pursues a baffling case that's part mystery, part spy thriller. At the 75th birthday party for Hakan von Enke (the 'troubled man' of the title), von Enke, a retired Swedish naval commander, tells Wallander about a 1980 incident involving an unidentified submarine that 'invaded Swedish territorial waters.' Von Enke was about to fire depth charges to bring the sub to the surface when higher-ups ordered him to abort. A few days after von Enke confides in the detective, he disappears; shortly after, his wife goes missing as well. As Wallander's quest for the truth leads him back to the era of cold war espionage, Mankell (Firewall) deftly interweaves the problems of Swedish society with the personal challenges of one man trying to understand what happened and why. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"It's an unforgettable finale....As satisfying for its emotional depth as its suspense....A gripping mystery." People (starred review)
"With his new Wallander novel Mankell ups his game and enters John le Carré territory. Not only does The Troubled Man widen the scope of the detective's investigations into the world of international geopolitics and the relationship of Sweden to the U.S. and Russia, it is a work of genuine heft and substance, a melancholy, elegiac book that is thoughtful and perceptive about memory, regret and the unfathomability of human nature....Marvelously astute about behavior and motivation, Mankell has created in Wallander a shambling central character whose unconventional personality is at least as compelling as the crimes he investigates....We can feel Mankell consciously saying goodbye to these people [from Wallander's past] and that he will regret not writing about them as much as we will miss reading about them. Which is more, really, than words can say." Los Angeles Times
"An absorbing and exciting work....The unique nature of The Troubled Man is how its two concerns — the search for the missing ex-officer, and Wallander's emotional history and physical health — run along parallel (sometimes conjoining) tracks....The resulting book is at once richer in personal detail and more suspenseful than either a work of strictly mainstream fiction or a simple police novel could be. Mankell remains in the vanguard of those writers taking the crime story back to its origins in the realistic novel." San Francisco Chronicle
"Readers whose knowledge of Scandinavian crime fiction goes beyond Stieg Larsson know that it was Henning Mankell who jump-started what has developed into a twenty-year Golden Age. Mankell's latest novel, the final volume in his Kurt Wallander series, represents a landmark moment in the genre comparable to the swan songs of Ian Rankin's John Rebus and John Harvey's Charlie Resnick....Moving and oddly inspiring. An unforgettable series finale." Booklist (starred review)
"Wallander makes a riveting [11th] appearance....Though shivering in the winter of his discontent, Wallander will grip the reader hard....He is that rare thing: a true original." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The much-anticipated return of Henning Mankell’s brilliant, brooding detective Kurt Wallander.
Håkan von Enke, a retired naval officer, disappears during a walk in a forest near Stockholm. Wallander is not officially involved in the investigation, but he is personally affected — von Enke is his daughter’s father-in-law — and Wallander is soon interfering in matters that are not his responsibility. He is confounded by the information he uncovers, which hints at elaborate Cold War espionage.
Wallander is also haunted by his own past and desperate to live up to the hope that a new granddaughter represents, and will soon come face-to-face with his most intractable adversary — himself.
Suspenseful, darkly atmospheric, psychologically gripping, The Troubled Man is certain to be celebrated by readers and critics alike.
About the Author
Henning Mankell's novels have been translated into forty languages and have sold more than thirty million copies worldwide. He is the first winner of the Ripper Award (the new European prize for crime fiction) and has also received the Glass Key and Golden Dagger awards. His Kurt Wallander mysteries were adapted into a PBS television series starring Kenneth Branagh. Mankell divides his time between Sweden and Mozambique.