This story begins on a remote farm in rural Sweden. An older man wakes up earlier than usual and notices a strange light in his neighbour’s window. Unfortunately for him he finds a crime scene that is truly heinous. The couple who live there are their best friends and he finds the husband already dead and the wife very close to death, with a noose around her neck.
The home is destroyed in what seems a senseless act as the farmer knows they had nothing of any value there. One anomaly is that the horse has been fed. Who would do that? After doing numerous checks of their family and state of financial affairs a witness comes forward who declares that the husband was actually extremely wealthy due to illegal affairs during the war. This brings a whole different light to the investigation. Wallander quickly becomes obsessed with the case, keeping ridiculous hours and not eating well. He follows lead after lead until all seems exhausted including himself. He is also dealing with a different public prosecutor as the usual man is on an extended leave of absence. The interim prosecutor is a married woman who is quite attractive. At this point in his life he is divorced and doesn’t have a lot of contact with his daughter so there is a deep sadness around his personal life as well. How this man gets up in the morning is a mystery to me; drinking cup after cup of coffee and never seeming to get his laundry finished let alone eating a decent meal but by golly I’m glad he does as he is ruthless in finding his answers.