The Pyramid: Five Kurt Wallander mysteries | By Henning Mankell

I am not a big short story fan. Don’t really know why but I just never get into them a lot. I have read all of Jeffrey Archer’s and they are great but these are really good as well and give an insight into the characters and their lives. Apparently, according to the author, this book is the result of fans asking for more details on Wallander’s life prior to his first books i.e. before January of 1990. Mankell chose to write the stories in the 90s to also address the general anxiety felt as a Swedish nation with regard to the state of the country and the relationship between the welfare state and democracy.
There is more anxiety and anger about these issues than ever and the question of what was happening to the Swedish welfare state especially in the 1990s remained. Wallander in 1990 was already 42 and divorced with a daughter. He had been a policeman for many years and also moved to a different station with a different boss. The first story is his first case and starts in 1969. He is a beat officer whose neighbour dies and he suspects wrongdoing although the police have written it off as suicide. He is told to back off which of course he doesn’t especially when he catches someone in the dead man’s apartment after the crime. Mankell writes about the stormy beginning of Wallander’s relationship with Mona, who becomes his wife, as well as his father who we know is strongly opposed to his choice of career. It is great to be able to look back at where they all came from and put pieces together to make a complete picture of Wallander’s life.

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