An Event in Autumn (Kurt Wallander)
by Henning Mankell
Translated by Laurie Thompson (Translated from Swedish);
Cover Artist: Photo: Cristian Baitg / Getty Images
Review by Verna Suit
Vintage Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780804170642
Date: 12 August 2014 List Price $14.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Detective Kurt Wallander goes to look at a house in the country that he's thinking of buying and finds the bones of a human hand sticking out of the ground. More digging eventually produces the skeleton of a woman, and later the skeleton of a man. They have been there a long time. But they are still an unsolved murder case.
Through dogged investigation and research, Wallander and his colleagues arrive at the surprising solution to this 60-year-old crime. Wallander himself is feeling his age, and frequently reflects on his life. We observe the details of his daily routines, and his relationship with his daughter Linda, who now is living with him and also working as a police officer at the same station.
At 149 pages, An Event in Autumn is a fast read. The author explains that it was a story written many years earlier for a Dutch promotion. Perhaps to add bulk to this edition, a separate essay titled "Mankell on Wallander" has been included at the end. Here the author discusses the Wallander books, which he refers to as "novels of Swedish unrest", and how the character of his famous protagonist came about and how he developed. An Event in Autumn is a good story, but "Mankell on Wallander" is the real gem in this volume. It will be treasured by the author's fans.