When Kurt Wallander first appeared in Faceless Killers back in 1990, he was a senior police officer, just turned 40, with his life in a mess. His wife had left him, his father barely acknowledged him; he ate badly and drank alone at night.
The Pyramid chronicles the events that led him to such a place. We see him in the early years, doing hours on the beat whilst trying to solve a murder off-duty; witness the beginnings of his fragile relationship with Mona, the woman he has his heart set on marrying; and learn the reason behind his difficulties with his father.
These thrilling tales provide a fascinating insight into Wallander's character, and demand to be heard in one sitting. From the stabbing of a neighbour in 1969 to a light aircraft accident in 1989, every story is a vital piece of the Wallander series, showing Mankell at the top of his game.
Featuring an introduction from the author, The Pyramid is an essential read for all fans of Kurt Wallander.
©2008 Henning Mankell; (P)2009 Random House Audio
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
Kurt Wallander, the intuitive inspector, first came upon the scene as a 42-year-old detective with many years of experience in the first novel in the series. After four more novels, Henning Mankell realized that what was missing was Wallander's background. So he started to write several short stories to fill in the blanks. Three more novels in the series appeared before the five short stories in this volume were completed.
In the first short story, we find Wallander in Malmo as a uniformed patrolman who bumbles his way into the investigation into the murder of his next door neighbor, the beginning of his career as a homicide detective. It is during this period that he meets and weds Mona. The next story takes the couple to Ystad and the birth of Linda, their daughter. It is, of course, where he spends the rest of his career. The stories trace the development of Wallander's instincts as well as his divorce, relationship with his father and growing daughter.
All the characteristics of the novels in the series are present in these short stories. It is essential history and embellishes Wallander's personality. Also, the common thread in all the novels, the deterioration of society, runs through the stories. This book is Mankell in top form. For Mankell/Wallander fans, a must read, and highly recommended
"As good as Mankell gets"
If you are a Wallander fan then you simply must listen to this. It fills in the 'back story' of the gloomy and fiery tempered Swedish detective. The narration is well done, as always with Sean Barrett, although don't make the mistake I made of coming to this having just finished listening to his narration of Craig Russell's books (also excellent). It set up a weird resonance in my head that took half the book to subside.
If you are new to Mankell and Wallander, perhaps having already ready the Millenium trilogy, I would start with the first novel published 'Faceless Killers' because this prequel depends to some degree on already having some knowledge of Wallander. It explains how and why he is the way he is but sometimes omits to portray his character defects as fully as the earlier books.
"OK, but not what I was expecting?!"
This book was OK but I was expecting one long unabridged story, but what I got was a collection of about 3 or 4 stories. If I had realised it was a collection I would have bought something else.
I was looking forward getting the background stories to one of my favourite detective. I found the stories engrossing, but inconclusive. I thought my recording was incorrect, because I did not realise the end of the story had arrived. Not really worth my one credit.
"Great background to Wallender"
This is a good background to Kurt Wallender and how he became the moody, divorced detective. The first few short stories lead into a longer story bringing us up to the first book.
"Not as good as the TV series"
It's rare to say a book isn't better than the TV show, but in this case I think it's true. The prose is ponderous at times, and there are large patches where nothing much happens. And yet inessential detail is squeezed in at other times, making the reader wonder whether it's worth remembering or not. I wanted to enjoy it more.
"Great read - great background to Wallander"
Very interesting as 3 short stories, each giving a good background to inspector Wallander
If you like the other Wallander books, this is a must listen. It fills in a lot of his background, and the 3 stories themselves are great mini-mysteries in their own right
Sean Barrett is great again, as he is on the other Wallander audiobooks
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