#FridayReads, May 24–“Before the Frost,” a Kurt & Linda Wallander novel

Henning Mankell photo#FridayReads Henning Mankell’s thriller 2004 thriller Before the Frost, featuring Detective Kurt Wallander and his grown daughter Linda, who like he did earlier in life, chooses to become a police officer. With surprising synchronicity, in Michael Connelly’s 2011 Detective Harry Bosch novel The Drop, (my May 10th #FridayReads), his teenage daughter informs him that she is going to choose police work for her career. I don’t believe these two writers, one in Sweden, the other in Los Angeles, read each other’s work or have directly influenced each other. Instead, I believe that with these authors–who have each written ten or more books featuring their detective protagonist–become extremely invested in their characters and loyal to them, so that in their protean creativity, they endow the two characters–late middle-aged single fathers in each series–with full lives and late-in-life-joy from growing closer to their own child. This highlights one of the things I love most about these books, Mankell’s and Connelly’s, as well as those by other authors I enjoy–featuring characters Travis McGee, Bernie Gunther, and Joe Gunther (no relation to the former), by John D. MacDonald, Philip Kerr, and Archer Mayor, respectively: The author is so devoted to their creation that they give them full lives, and I as a faithful reader, feel obliged to be solicitous of and devoted to them myself.Mankell photo

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  1. […] series, with protagonist Hubert Schuze, dealer in Native American ceramics). Last year, I wrote an appreciation of one of Mankell’s Wallander books that can just as well apply to all of these series, […]

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