Sunday, July 31, 2016

61 Books: #35

The project: to read 61 books, of whatever sort—short, long; literature, schlock; prose, poetry: you name it—before December 4, 2016.

The first ten books can be seen here. The second ten are here. Nos. 21–34 are below this post.

35. Henning Mankell, The Troubled Man (2012) (7/30/16)
Leave it to me to finally pick up a Kurt Wallander mystery, about which I've heard such good things, and learn that it's the last one in the series! Although in truth, I didn't really "pick it up": I inserted disks in my car CD player, and ejected them, over and over—sixteen times, I believe. It's a long book! And because I was listening to it, I didn't absorb it as well as if it had been a book I held in my hands. I am a good listener one on one with another person, but in the car with the world—and words—rushing past, I am a distracted listener at best.

I got the basic gist of this one: the disappearance of a naval commander (who happens to be Wallander's daughter's partner's father) kicks off the investigation, this shortly after the officer tells Wallander about some mysterious goings-on back in the 1980s. The commander's wife disappears—and then is found murdered, with evidence that suggests she is a Russian spy. Americans enter the picture. It's all very Cold War–like, and satisfying enough.

The other thread here is more poignant: Wallander is starting to have memory lapses, and he's generally morose about being past sixty, his life more or less over. Which, please! Sixty???? But then again, Mankell died at sixty-seven of cancer, so perhaps these musings were pretty personal.

I don't feel I can do this book justice, because listening and reading just aren't the same. I couldn't highlight! Or dog-ear! Or flag! I have no beautiful passages to share here—which is part of my MO. But . . . I did finish this book, so it counts. I just wish I had pithier comments to share.

It was a fine book. I was not convinced that I need to read any more of the series, however.

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