The troubled man
Mankell, Henning, 1868-1930
At the end of “The Troubled Man,” Henning Mankell needs only six short lines of narrative to pull the plug on his enormously popular series of Kurt Wallander detective novels. Mr. Mankell doesn’t do this delicately. “After that there is nothing more,” the swan song reads in part. “The story of Kurt Wallander is finished, once and for all.” As an irritable kiss-off to his readers this couldn’t be any more abrupt.
The Wallander career needn’t have ended this way. On other occasions when famous characters and series are bid adieu, their creators may contrive a cliffhanger, an actual tumble (à la Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty and Reichenbach Falls in Conan Doyle’s “Final Problem”) or a moment of passionate and intense surprise (à la Ian Rankin’s John Rebus in “Exit Music”). No matter how eager these authors were to extricate themselves, they were able to retire well-loved characters suspensefully, without sounding fed up and bored.
But Mr. Mankell isn’t one to worry about niceties. His brusque, gloomy Swedish police inspector can be downbeat even by the standards of Sweden, where the bar for brooding is already set so high. And in “The Troubled Man,” Wallander has a whole new set of problems to worry about. He is preoccupied not only with the crime story around which “The Troubled Man” revolves but also with his diminished prospects and deteriorating state of mind.
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Clasificación: PT 9876.23 A49 O7513