The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell

66%

12 Critic Reviews

Yet it is as though the book ends with a sigh. In a poignant glimpse of what lies ahead, Mr. Mankell writes, “It is as if everything had fallen silent. As if all colors had faded away and all he was left with was black and white.
-Washington Times

Synopsis

The much-anticipated return of Henning Mankell’s brilliant, brooding detective, Kurt Wallander.

On a winter day in 2008, Håkan von Enke, a retired high-ranking naval officer, vanishes during his daily walk in a forest near Stockholm. The investigation into his disappearance falls under the jurisdiction of the Stockholm police. It has nothing to do with Wallander—officially. But von Enke is his daughter’s future father-in-law. And so, with his inimitable disregard for normal procedure, Wallander is soon interfering in matters that are not his responsibility, making promises he won’t keep, telling lies when it suits him—and getting results. But the results hint at elaborate Cold War espionage activities that seem inextricably confounding, even to Wallander, who, in any case, is troubled in more personal ways as well. Negligent of his health, he’s become convinced that, having turned sixty, he is on the threshold of senility. Desperate to live up to the hope that a new granddaughter represents, he is continually haunted by his past. And looking toward the future with profound uncertainty, he will have no choice but to come face-to-face with his most intractable adversary: himself.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Henning Mankell

See more books from this Author
Bestselling author Henning Mankell has received numerous awards, including the Crime Writers' Association's Macallan Gold Dagger and the German Tolerance Prize. His Kurt Wallander mysteries are global bestsellers and have been adapted into the PBS Masterpiece Mystery! series Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh. He divides his time between Sweden and Maputo, Mozambique. Ebba Segerberg has translated One Step Behind, Firewall, and Before the Frost by Henning Mankell (all available from The New Press) and Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
 
Published March 29, 2011 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard. 385 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Crime, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 17 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Troubled Man
All: 12 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 4

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Mar 27 2011

...the mysteries of “The Troubled Man” are not what make it compelling...But this novel’s main interest isn’t really the disappearance of Hakan von Enke. The disintegration of Wallander is its primary concern.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Brian Oliver on Apr 02 2011

One only has to turn to the second page of chapter one of The Troubled Man to find a few lines that are, for fans of Wallander and all good writers of Scandinavian crime, satisfyingly gloomy.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Andrew Brown on Mar 25 2011

There's no explanation for this plot twist. I think it is meant to show how profound and conflicted a character the hero is: not just cardboard, but cardboard twisted into origami. When I reached it I understood that I must quickly and without explanation drink a bottle of cheap wine...

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Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by Ian Thomson on Mar 04 2011

Mankell’s anger at the state of his country lends the novel an old-fashioned moral force and sense of disquiet. Questions of responsibility and morality, of justice and democracy are explicitly raised.

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Washington Times

Above average
Reviewed by Muriel Dobbin on Apr 22 2011

Yet it is as though the book ends with a sigh. In a poignant glimpse of what lies ahead, Mr. Mankell writes, “It is as if everything had fallen silent. As if all colors had faded away and all he was left with was black and white.

Read Full Review of The Troubled Man | See more reviews from Washington Times

LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Kenneth Turan on Mar 30 2011

We can feel Mankell consciously saying goodbye to these people and that he will regret not writing about them as much as we will miss reading about them. Which is more, really, than words can say.

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The Telegraph

Above average
Reviewed by Jake Kerridge on Apr 01 2011

If the Wallander books are Mankell’s finest achievement, it is perhaps because Wallander is so manifestly not a reassuring presence, the slow decay of Swedish society reflected in the deterioration of his own body, mental health and morale.

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Booklist Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Bill Ott on Jan 01 2011

Always a reticent man, Wallander shows an intensity of emotion here, a last gasp of felt life, that is both moving and oddly inspiring. An unforgettable series finale.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Above average
Reviewed by Tom Nolan on Apr 02 2011

The resulting book is at once richer in personal detail and more suspenseful than either a work of strictly mainstream fiction or a simple police novel could be.

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Oregon Live

Good
Reviewed by Larry Brooks on Apr 09 2011

While the plot alone would compel a reader to forfeit a few early nights, it is the voice of the author -- through his hero -- and the illumination of layers of life in a thankless profession that lead into a delicious abyss of urgency...

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The New Yorker

Below average
Reviewed by Andrea Thompson on Apr 25 2011

Mankell’s prose is as blunt and pragmatic as his hero, and the often crudely expository tone isn’t enhanced by the wordy translation. Yet an affecting melancholy pervades, as a once virile force slowly withers.

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The Agony Column

Above average
Reviewed by Rick Kleffel on Apr 20 2011

Even as every moment feels entirely naturalistic, Mankell maintains a driving tension that does not let up until the last words on the last page. As Wallender has aged, so have we. If he is afraid of what the mirror may show, then perhaps we should be as well.

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Reader Rating for The Troubled Man
76%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 698 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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