In none of his 9 preceding mysteries has Inspector Kurt Wallander been less discerning or quick-witted. We are tempted at several points to shout hints to him about clues he has seemingly missed until hours later and just kick him on the ankles to get him moving out of his constant funk. The story is a good one, both well suited to our political fears in these days of slipping back into Cold War jitters, and also befitting Mankell's considerable skills. The telling, however, is marred (for me, ruined) by Wallander's fixation on how old he's become (he's 60, for gosh sake's, not 90!). OK, Mankell needs to be sure we don't expect an 11th Wallander mystery, but surely he did not have to immerse the real mystery of The Troubled Man (not a reference to Wallander, by the way, although it might as well be) into this back story. On the plus side, a wonderful reading by Robin Sachs, who is responsible for 1-1/2 of my stars. Reach for an earlier Wallander book.
I've listened to quite a few of the Kurt Wallander detective novels and have always enjoyed them. Yes, as other reviewers have noted, they are not particularly "exciting" or action packed, but Kurt's life, relationships, and the problems he works to solve have been like visiting an old, comfortable friend. This last effort was somewhat interesting, but long and sad.
I love to read and hope you do too! Audio books are great for people on the go!
I have to weigh in on the side of Dick Hill, because he's one of my favorite readers and he really did an outstanding job reading the Wallander series - "...with...or...without...the grouse". Robin Sachs does a creditable job, but Hill really had done a perfect job characterizing the mood of the series. And a British accent is not a Scandinavian accent. Neither reader actually pronounces the -berg ending correctly, for example. Listen to those Maj Sjowall-Per Wahloo books to get that right.
The book itself was a dark and brooding end to a dark and brooding series. It was a little less in character than the other more consecutive books in the series, but overall was a good but sad end to the series.
This book moved along, even though Wallander was quite depressed. It was very apparent that after the supposedly final Wallander mystery, Mankell was looking for ways not to bring him back. Too bad, because Kurt Wallander is so much more interesting than his characters in The Man from Beijing. So he did bring Wallander back for this one, and I am glad. But at times was ready to commit suicide because of the depression.
I'm an avid mystery reader and listener. Henning Mankell is a skilled author, and I have overall enjoyed his books, even though I believe they would be better if he stayed clear of political commentary. Although his left leaning sensibilities are pervasive throughout his novels (in particular the Man Who Smiled), the Anti-Americanism in The Troubled Man was tiresome. If you aren't an apologist for the Soviet Union, perhaps you will also be frustrated and bored by the intrigue in this novel.
This was diverting as I washed the dishes. That's about it.
While I liked the idea of aging and crankiness being incorporated into the detective story format, the repeated deus ex machina action tested even my willingness to be disbelieving of chance meetings or gut decisions in detective fiction. I was ready for this to be the last book in the series by the time it ended, and kind of wish I hadn't wasted my time.
Robin Sachs does brilliant male characters and generally conveys the tone of the narrative's moment. But--like far to many men narrators--he can't seem to differentiate between women! With one exception, all women characters seem to have been drugged into near-catatonic flutteriness. I simply don't buy Linda's passivity of speech (particularly when descriptions of her tone and actions are totally opposite). Just annoying, and I would avoid any future audiobooks that have women characters read by Sachs.
This is begging for a spoiler, but I'll refrain.
This book was a pleasant surprise. I had not read any of this series, but I saw an episode based on the books on PBS. I didn't really like the show at all, but I thought I would give it a try. While Kurt Wallander is definately not my favorite character - too whiney and dramatic for me - I would recommend this book. The plot was good and it was interesting enough to have me looking for an escape to take my MP3 somewhere and get 30 min of listening time.
I wasn't really on the edge of my seat, but it did draw me back, pulling on my emotions of what happened to the missing man and the story of the girl in the home.
When Wallander was visiting the home, describing the emotions he was experiencing there.
A suspensful and heart rending story!
This was a very enjoyable book.
Clearly the last book of this series, which is sad. The story line was very good, the writing excellent, as always. Not a fast paced book but one very worthy of your time. Deserving of the NYT best seller list!
I have never heard a more depressing book. Half of the time Wallander is moaning about being 60 like he was at the brink of death! I'm glad Mankell finally put him out of his misery--even if it felt like an afterthought. I wouldn't listen to any more blubbering from Kurt Wallander even if it were available.
This may indeed be the final book in the Kurt Wallender seriesbut, in my view, Mr Mankell saved the best for last. I was thoroughly entertained by both the clever plot and the exceptional narration of Robin Sachs.