New Year reading - The Troubled Man

I stumbled upon the hard copy of The Troubled Man, the English title of the novel translated from Swedish a few days back.  The original novel, as I learnt subsequently was by popular Swedish crime writer, Henning Mankell, who passed away in Oct 2015.

The novel features police inspector Kurt Wallander.  Menkell has written a series of books based on Wallander - this one incidently was the last Wallander novel.

A retired naval officer, von Enke disappears during a morning walk.  A few days later, von Enke's wife disappears as well.   von Enke is soon going to be the father-in-law of Wallander's daughter Linda.  This gives cause for Wallander to investigate the disappearance.

As Wallander interviews the near and dear of von Enke, various incidents involving Swedish navy, NATO and Russia during von Enke's career comes to light.   Could there have been a spy and could some of the politicians during that period made mistakes?

Wallander has also grown old and realises that he has occasional lapses of memory.  Could this be the end of his police career?

The novel intersperses between Wallander's personal challenges and von Enke investigations.  As it moves to the climax, a number of unanswered questions crop up, leaving the reader to wonder if some of these could be real.

What attracted me to the book was the synopsis and the chance to read the book of a new author.    While the book has slow periods, overall it makes for entertaining reading.  It exposes the reader to Swedish places, weather, culture and history in a subtle way.  Menkell, a much acclaimed author has exhibited his literary skills in abundance.

As I learnt later, many of his books have been made into TV programs, and Wallander, in fact, was resurrected (a la Sherlock Holmes) after the author had previously announced that there would be no more novels.