An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell

An Event in Autumn
Henning Mankell

Vintage Books

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“. . .a welcome return to the American market . . .”

Late fall is giving way to winter in the Swedish city of Ystad, and thirty-year police veteran Kurt Wallender is feeling even more jaded than usual. His job isn’t what it was when he first joined. Paperwork increases every week, but police numbers are cut. Each month sees another new and useless official procedure to follow, yet crime is on the increase. Wallender can only conclude he has at least made people feel a little safer during his exemplary career, but he wonders if it’s time to retire.

As if reading his thoughts, a colleague offers to sell him a house in the country, something Wallender has always dreamed of owning. It’s in a location he knows well, close to where his late father lived. The place is a definite fixer-upper, but it’s within his means. Everything looks promising as he inspects the property., but this is Kurt Wallender, and nothing ever goes smoothly for him.

A gruesome discovery in the garden starts a police investigation which seems to point to a murder during the war years. Frustrated by the decades that lie between crime and discovery of the corpse, Wallender and his colleagues wait and hope for the break that will open up the case. They little expect to find a culprit after all this time. When the break comes it leads Wallender in a surprising direction. The murderer is not only alive but very much kicking.

Popular world-weary cop Kurt Wallender makes a welcome return to the American market in An Event in Autumn. The book contains an interesting afterword by author Henning Mankell explaining his take on the mystery series.

Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews