The library will sponsor a discussion of Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell on Monday, March 28. This is the second in a series of book discussions featuring Scandinavian mysteries.
Faceless Killers is the first novel in Mankell’s bestselling series featuring Swedish police inspector Kurt Wallander, and was the inaugural winner of the Glass Key award for crime novels from Nordic countries. The Wallander novels have been adapted for both Swedish and Anglo-American television; the English versions featured Kenneth Branagh as Wallander and aired in the U.S. on the PBS series “Mystery!”
Faceless Killers opens with the brutal murder of an elderly farming couple in rural Sweden. Inspector Wallander of the Ystad police takes charge of the investigation, assisted by a group of officers who will become regular characters in the series. Recently separated from his wife, estranged from his daughter, and struggling with a father who is developing dementia, Wallander drinks too much, eats poorly, and doesn’t exercise. His personal demons, however, are balanced by his skill as an investigator, though he is put to the test when the original crime later leads to a second murder.
A social critic and activist, Henning Mankell painted an unsparing portrait of Swedish society in his Wallander novels. With the international success of his work, he also became an active philanthropist, particularly supporting organizations in Africa. He was also the author of numerous other works, including a mystery novel featuring Linda Wallander, the daughter of his most famous character. This book was intended to be the first in a trilogy, but Mankell abandoned the project when the actress who played the role in the Swedish television adaptations committed suicide.
Henning Mankell died of cancer in 2015.
The Scandinavian Mysteries series will conclude on April 25 with a discussion of The Snowman by Jo Nesbø.