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SethLynch

SethLynch

Currently reading

Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
Philip K. Dick
Hothouse
Brian Wilson Aldiss
Hierarchy of Needs: A Theory of Human Motivation
Abraham Maslow

Faceless Killers (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

Faceless Killers - Henning Mankell, Steven T. Murray The first few pages are written from the point of view of an elderly farmer who discovers his neighbours have been brutally attacked. Wallander is called in to investigate. The rest of the book is written from his perspective. Wallander’s perspective is tired and singular. Outside of work he is a pathetic man whose life is falling apart. His wife has left him, he has no relationship with his daughter. He eats crap food and dedicates himself to his work – because then he doesn’t have to think beyond the case he’s working on.My first impression of Wallander was of Martin Beck updated. In fact this book felt like a Martin Beck book – as if Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö had passed the baton on to Mankell. This isn’t really fair but there are a lot of similarities. Both Beck and Wallander are police inspectors, they both have the feeling of lonely isolation about them. Wallander is getting a divorce – for Beck the divorce comes later in the series. They both feel detached from their family life and the world around them. In this book Wallander complains about getting a sore throat and an impending cold – something Beck does too in Roseanna.Wallander feels social change more than Beck. He also sympathises with the conservative anti-immigration sentiment prevailing at the time – although he also dreams about sleeping with an unknown black woman. Wallander makes fumbling attempts to get the public prosecutor into bed – these scenes are cringe worthy. We also have a running theme where Wallander is dealing with his increasingly senile father – from the two Beck books I’ve read so far his personal life is further in the background.The case follows a relatively straight course – a lot like Rosanna this is boring police work where the case is solved over a length of time. They go up the wrong track, they make mistakes, they get there in the end. I do like this style of book. I enjoyed the small details tucked into short paragraphs as we move between scenes. I like the scene of hopelessness in the book – that events are bigger than Wallander and one day he’ll be overwhelmed by them. The most recent book came out recently. It is the tenth in the series and Mankell has said it will be the last Wallander. There were ten Martin Beck books too. I think I will finish the beck books before I read the rest of the Wallander ones. Although I imagine I won’t be able to resist picking up book two: The Dogs of Riga.