Henning Mankell ‘Wallander Series’


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I’m a great fan of crime writing, being a lecturer in Criminal Psychology and Criminology.  I enjoy both fiction and non fiction.  However, like anyone who knows something about real life crime, I do get irritated if there are too many inaccuracies.  A bit of dramatic licence is fine, but completely ridiculous well…..  So Henning Mankell fits the bill for me.  His books are gripping without being ridiculous, or too far-fetched.  Once I start one of his books I am there for the long haul.  The plots are complex enough to be interesting, but not so complex as that you forget what is going on.  The characters are also believeable and very beautifully crafted so that you miss them if they are not there, even if you don’t like some of them.  The characters in the police station are the people you work with every day.  There are the same tensions and the same politics.  The perpetrators tend to be on the mad side and are a little bit far-fetched, but hey I’ll let him off with that.  Sweden is also a country with which I am not familiar.  I’ve found myself fascinated by the concerns he portrays in Sweden and pouring over a map to find out where all the towns are.  He also sets some of his books in Africa.  This has annoyed me on occasion, as it detracts from the small town police investigation element which I love.  The only thing that I would criticise is that it is all too often Wallander who ends up on his own chasing the criminal on his own.  Oh and the fact that I can’t stand Baiba Lieba.  However, it is refreshing to read a series that is not formulaic.  I must add that I have attempted to read other Henning Mankell books (not the Wallander series)  and completely given up after the first few pages.