It’s confession time: I am a fan of Wallander – Inspector Kurt Wallander of the Ystad police in Sweden. BBC3 or BBC4 carried Swedish TV adaptations of Henning Mankell’s detective novels, then English versions of other stories emerged starring Kenneth Branagh. The Swedish actor, Krister Henriksson, was the first Marian and I saw in the role, so he’s the benchmark. We think the others don’t make it. But, then, isn’t that often true of the first recording one hears of a piece of music?
One reason I like Wallander is that he is getting older, touching 60 in later stories, his life has been unpredictable and disappointing in some areas, in his failed marriage, for example. Yet he’s passionate in his pursuit of criminals and a just response to their deeds.
Since last Autumn I have read the first six novels – in English translation, as my Swedish is as accomplished as my “insert language name of your choice here.” What a little islander these British Isles have brought forth.
Dark deeds, Swedish land- and seascapes, in light airy Summer or freezing wind-swept Winter, and a frail, flawed detective who always resolves the mystery. Excellent!

13 April, 2011