AMC’s excellent new mystery series The Killing is set in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s based on a Danish show and the scenery, atmosphere, and quiet vibe are all pure Nordic noir. So if you’ve found yourself sucked in and are eager for more chilly Scandinavian-style suspense, here’s a recommendation: Swedish crime novelist Henning Mankell, whose new (and final) Kurt Wallander mystery, The Troubled Man, recently hit bookstores.
Mankell has been beaten by French police and arrested by Israeli commandos. He’s worked on a Swedish merchant ship, at a Paris musical-instrument shop, and as the artistic director of an African theater company. He spent years living in the middle of a long, bloody civil war in Mozambique. And he’s managed to find time to write some 40 books, which are available in 41 languages and have sold almost 40 million copies around the world. “I have been accused of many things in my life,” he says in a feature in this week’s Entertainment Weekly. “But never of being lazy.”
Mankell is best known for his 11 books featuring Wallander, an overweight, middle-aged, diabetic police inspector who fights bad guys and personal demons in a small town at the desolate southern tip of Sweden. Fans of The Killing will love the Wallander books’ precise procedural detail, thoughtful pace, and well-drawn characters. So if you find yourself getting antsy while waiting a whole week to find out what happens next on the show, pick up one of Mankell’s books (they’re all good, but start with the first one, Faceless Killers). And be sure to check out our story on Mankell in the latest issue, on newsstands now.