Every morning Håkan von Enke takes a walk in the forest near his apartment in Stockholm. However, one winter's day he fails to come home. It seems that the retired naval officer has vanished without trace. Detective Kurt Wallander is not officially involved in the investigation but he has personal reasons for his interest in the case, as Håkan's son is engaged to his daughter Linda. A few months earlier, at Håkan's 75th birthday party, Kurt noticed that the old man appeared uneasy and seemed eager to talk about a controversial incident from his past career that remained shrouded in mystery. Could this be connected to his disappearance?
When Håkan's wife, Louise, also goes missing, Wallander is determined to uncover the truth. His search leads him down dark and unexpected avenues involving espionage, betrayal, and new information about events during the Cold War that threatens to cause a political scandal on a scale unprecedented in Swedish history. The investigation also forces Kurt to look back over his own past and consider his hopes and regrets, as he comes to the unsettling realisation that even those we love the most can remain strangers to us. And then an even darker cloud appears on the horizon....
The return of Kurt Wallander, for his final case, has already caused a sensation around the globe. The Troubled Man confirms Henning Mankell's position as the king of crime writing.
©2011 Henning Mankell (P)2011 Random House Audiobooks
The story or mystery is very compelling. There were lots of loose ends left untied, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. However, I would suggest that when listening to this title you keep well away from the Gin. The book also deals with Kurt's advancing old age and slowly deteriorating mental state and there aren't many bright spots, apart from his grandaughter. I know it's not always the best time of your life, but there didn't seem to be any "let up" in the gloom and doom. Excellently read by Sean Barrett, who I hope didn't go and listen to his Radiohead back catalogue when he'd finished reading this - there's only so much a man can take.
A compelling listen but not without its challenges. Apart from the intriguing tale of a missing person, a murder and Cold War politics this is a book which is about growing old and dealing with thoughts of past successes and failures, present dilemmas and relationships and the prospect of a future of potential ill-health. Although there are reflective passages these do not distract from the excellent mystery but I would urge listeners to make sure they only listen to this title when they have listened to (or read) every other Wallender title.
Another great listen from Henning Mankell, read brilliantly as ever by Sean Barrett. The plot will keep you hooked and listening. Wallander is his usual brooding self. There is a lot of historical and political background but enough murder to keep you interested. So sad there will be no more Wallander stories!
As the last book of Wallander I found this quite compelling, memorable but very sad.
The end of the Wallander series somehow seems impossible.
There was a certain amount of unremitting misery in Wallanders personal life so choose your moment before reading!
I really like Mankell's characterisation and attention to detail in the Wallender novels and the standards of both are up to his usual standards in The Troubled Man. The storyline in this book is almost secondary to what's going on in Wallender's head; his obsession with ageing dominates everything. The plot is OK, twists and turns and an unexpected ending, as I should have expected of Mankell. I don't want to give away the ending but it is quite a bleak novel.
God this is a dark one from Henning Mankell! Atmospheric, haunting and troubling - just what we expect from this excellent author and his hero Wallender. The last minute is a most moving piece of writing and left me stunned. Recommended highly by this listener.
I agree with both previous reviews. This book has a haunting quality both on a personal level for Kurt and in the various strands of the mystery. An excellent last book and one which will stay with you.
Fascinating conclusion to Wallander series. Intriguing political background combined with deeply personal and sometimes heartbreakingly sad. Have listened more than once.
Brilliant performance as always by Sean Barrett, the story is not overly complicated and moves along at a good pace. Good back story concerning Wallander getting older... Really enjoyable and something I would highly recommend.
"Another Great Mystery"
Kurt Wallander solves his last case before descending into dementia. As a Mankell/Wallander fan, I regret writing these words but find this ending somehow appropriate for the dogged detective whose case investigations never faltered despite personal life baggage and the infirmities of aging. The Troubled Man gives us Wallander working on a case of Swedish spys (who knew!)tied to submarines, Russia and the the good old USA while he grows to adore a grandaughter. This story deals the detective some blows with the death of a loved one and his ex-wife's mental health and sobriety problems. Despite his malaise and life's foilbles, the beleaguered policeman ultimately outwits the criminals and he and daughtter Linda come to a more mellowed relationship. The finely etched and eccentric character of Detective Kurt will be missed but perhaps Linda, who is impatient to return to police work, will carry on the Wallander name.
"A meditation on life as well as a spy story"
It seems a satisfying tradition of Scandinavian detective stories that both the human condition and the individual psyche are examined in them. In the Troubled Man, the plot concerns a disappearance of two people that seems linked to spying dating back to the Cold War. Increasingly emerging from the background is Wallander's attempts to understand what is happening in his body and brain as he ages. He also reflects on the events of his past life and the continuing, in fact growing sadness associated with them. The result is a disquieting meditation on ageing and the fears it evokes within us as well as Henning Mankell's usual compelling storytelling. I find myself continuing to think about this story long after listening to it. The narrator does it full justice.
Yes. In my late 50's so am really able to relate to where Wallander is at.
Sean Barrett does EVERY character to perfection.
It's a Wallander to cherish
Wallander and Sean Barrett were made for each other.
"Mankell delivers again!"
Like returning to visit an old friend, this series has been engrossing, real and of a consistently high standard. Wish there were more like this.
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