18 June, 2021

The Dogs Of Hades

His only wish was not to have to be an afterthought to Larsson

The Dogs Of Hades

There is an interesting anecdote in a ‘bonus’ in the first Wallander DVD series aired on BBC which went on to become a worldwide hit. The TV crew which landed up in the little town of Ystad in Sweden, where Kurt Wallander lives and detects, narrates how it faced a curious problem. The production team had read all the Wallander books before it left London and had come prepared with extra lights, cameras which could shoot through fog, raincoats, umbrellas, heavy woollens and a general melancholic mood. But when they reached the little town in May, spring was in full glory, and they found it swept in sunshine, the air fragrant with azaleas and its citizens full of laughter and music. It was not the dark, brooding town where everyone was plotting murder. This is the stuff of Henning Mankell’s writing: places and characters so real that even neighbours in London, just a short hop away, can be deceived.

His are literary novels with the allure of crime fiction. His Wallander is an Every Middle-aged Man, who is coping with loneliness, divorce, office politics,...

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