If like me you rely on Nordic noir mystery novels to sustain an honest pessimism with respect to the world today, you mourned the end of the Kurt Wallander series written by Henning Mankell in 2011. Now, the author himself is gone.
Henning Mankell, who has died aged 67, after being diagnosed with cancer last year, established almost single-handedly the global picture of Sweden as a crime writer’s ideal dystopia. He took the existing Swedish tradition of crime writing as a form of leftwing social criticism and gave it international recognition, capturing in his melancholy, drunken, bullish detective Kurt Wallander a sense of struggle in bewildered defeat that echoed round the world.
For the uninitiated, here’s an introduction to the entire Wallander series.
The masters of the genre (at least my favorites) remain Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. Other authors whose work I continue to enjoy are Norwegians Anne Holt, Karin Fossum, and Jo Nesbø and, from Denmark, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Michael Larsen, Leif Davidsen, and Peter Høeg.