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The Troubled Man
Cover of The Troubled Man
The Troubled Man
Kurt Wallander Series, Book 10
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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 daughter's 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 won't 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, he's 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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 daughter's 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 won't 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, he's 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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    1

    The year Kurt Wallander celebrated his fifty-fifth birthday, he fulfilled a long-held dream. Ever since his divorce from Mona fifteen years earlier, he had intended to leave his apartment in Mariagatan, where so many unpleasant memories were etched into the walls, and move out to the country. Every time he came home in the evening after a stressful and depressing workday, he was reminded that once upon a time he had lived there with a family. Now the furniture stared at him as if accusing him of desertion.


    He could never reconcile himself to living there until he became so old that he might not be able to look after himself anymore. Although he had not yet reached the age of sixty, he reminded himself over and over again of his father's lonely old age, and he knew he had no desire to follow in his footsteps. He needed only to look into the bathroom mirror in the morning when he was shaving to see that he was growing more and more like his father. When he was young, his face had resembled his mother's. But now it seemed as if his father was taking him over-like a runner who has been lagging a long way behind but is slowly catching up the closer he gets to the invisible finish line.

    Wallander's worldview was fairly simple. He did not want to become a bitter hermit growing old in isolation, being visited only by his daughter and perhaps now and then by a former colleague who had suddenly remembered that Wallander was still alive. He had no religious hopes of there being something in store for him on the other side of the black River Styx. There would be nothing but the same darkness that he had once emerged from. Until his fiftieth birthday, he had harbored a vague fear of death, something that had become his own personal mantra-that he would be dead for such a long time. He had seen far too many dead bodies in his life. There was nothing in their expressionless faces to suggest that their souls had been absorbed into some kind of heaven. Like so many other police officers, he had experienced every possible variation of death. Just after his fiftieth birthday had been celebrated with a party and cake at the police station, marked by a speech full of empty phrases by the former chief of police, Liza Holgersson, he had bought a new notebook and tried to record his memories of all the dead people he had come across. It had been a macabre exercise and he had no idea why he had been tempted to pursue it. When he got as far as the tenth suicide, a man in his forties, a drug addict with more or less every problem it was possible to imagine, he gave up. The man had hanged himself in the attic of the condemned apartment building where he lived, hanging in such a way that he was guaranteed to break his neck and hence avoid being slowly choked to death. His name was Welin. The pathologist had told Wallander that the man had been successful-he had proved to be a skillful executioner. At that point Wallander had abandoned his suicide cases and instead stupidly devoted several hours to an attempt to recall the young people or children he had found dead. But he soon gave that up as well. It was too repugnant. Then he felt ashamed of what he had been trying to do and burned the notebook, as if his efforts were both perverted and illegal. In fact, he was basically a cheerful person-it was just that he had allowed another side of his personality to take over.

    Death had been his constant companion. He had killed people in the line of duty-but after the obligatory investigation he had never been accused of unnecessary violence.

    Having killed two people was the cross he had to bear. If he rarely laughed, it was because of what he had been forced to...

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.
    www.henningmankell.com
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 17, 2011
    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 Håkan 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. 150,000 first printing; 5-city author tour.

  • AudioFile Magazine HŒkan von Enke is a troubled man. At a birthday party, he confides to Swedish police detective Kurt Wallender the story of a 1980 incident that involved an unidentified submarine illegally entering Swedish waters when he was a naval admiral. When von Enke goes missing soon after, Wallander investigates even though it's not his case; von Enke is his daughter's future father-in-law. Robin Sachs is terrific at voicing the gloomy Wallander (also a troubled man) as he faces his demons of old age, memory loss, diabetes, and lost loves. Sachs is untroubled by the Swedish names and locations, and he rolls through them without hesitation or unnecessary showiness. He also creates distinctive character voices with authentic accents for Wallander's fellow detectives, von Enke, and von Enke's American friends. This is Wallander's last outing, a development that will result in many troubled fans. A.B. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • People (four stars)

    "It's an unforgettable finale . . . As satisfying for its emotional depth as its suspense . . . A gripping mystery."

  • Los Angeles Times "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."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "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."
  • Booklist (starred) "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."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred) "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."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred) "Masterful . . . Mankell deftly interweaves the problems of Swedish society with the personal challenges of one man trying to understand what happened and why."
  • Ian Thomson, Financial Times (UK) "A magnificent finale . . . Wallander finds himself embroiled in John le Carré--style cold war machinations . . . It's to be hoped that Mankell may be persuaded to revive his grumpy Nordic inspector . . . He's far too good to lose."
  • David Sexton, Evening Standard (UK) "The Troubled Man delivers in full as a whodunit, as all the Wallander books do . . . [It] brings in all the elements his fans would hope for . . . The Troubled Man is a sorrowful--how could it not be?--but fully satisfying conclusion to a great series. No Mankell reader will think of missing it."
  • El Periódico (Spain) "The best of Mankell's books, without a doubt . . . A magisterial farewell."
  • Brigitte (Germany) "By far the most touching Wallander novel."
  • James Urquhart, Independent on Sunday (UK)
    "The anchor of Wallander's personality ensures that The Troubled Man operates as a good, gritty procedural . . . Mankell is undoubtedly a skilled writer with plenty of breadth, but it's clear that his subtleties of character, plot, and pace achieve greatest expression in the Wallander series."
  • Barry Forshaw, Daily Express (UK) "With The Troubled Man, Mankell must have known he had to deliver something really special and that is precisely what he has done. This is a perfect valedictory novel if, that is, we believe Mankell won't find some way to reactivate his hero . . . Fears the final appearance of a beloved character would be an anticlimax are quickly banished and it seems Mankell has worked hard to ensure his customary storytelling engines are firing on all cylinders, delivering one of the richest tomes in the Wallander canon."
  • La Razón (Spain) "Mankell has created a singular character with this policeman named Kurt Wallander, with whom he has reshaped the history of the European crime novel."
  • Qué Leer (Spain) "The curtain
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Henning Mankell
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