It is Midsummer's Eve, three young friends gather in a wood. In the still-sunlit Scandanavian dusk, they don costumes joyfully to enact - or so it appears to an unseen observer - a kind of masque. The hidden watcher soon brings their performance to an end. His approach is careful; his aim is perfect. Three bullets, three corpses. The murderer then carefully photographs the grisly tableau. The Ystad police station meanwhile is experiencing a summer lull, indeed Inspector Wallander is at last at liberty to attend to - albeit ...
It is Midsummer's Eve, three young friends gather in a wood. In the still-sunlit Scandanavian dusk, they don costumes joyfully to enact - or so it appears to an unseen observer - a kind of masque. The hidden watcher soon brings their performance to an end. His approach is careful; his aim is perfect. Three bullets, three corpses. The murderer then carefully photographs the grisly tableau. The Ystad police station meanwhile is experiencing a summer lull, indeed Inspector Wallander is at last at liberty to attend to - albeit reluctantly - his deteriorating health, but his peace of mind is shattered when one of his colleagues is murdered. An unknown killer, seen by no-one, is on the loose, and the police's only lead is a photograph of three dead young people in costume. Forced to dig more deeply than he would have wanted into the personal life of one of his colleagues, Wallander's investigation reveals something none of his team could ever have imagined. However, they remain tantalisingly, terrifyingly one step behind the lethal progress of a killer Wallander would have to suppose was deranged if his methods were not so meticulous and his victims so clinically targeted.
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never disappointed in Mankell! look forward to other books by him!
Jul 25, 2008
Henning Mankell books are always great! The entire Kurt Wallander series is wonderful, and well worth reading. I only just discovered him, and my husband and I are both reading the entire series. A police detective with amazing powers of observation and patience. I think reading the books is giving me a new perspective on how to pay attention to things around me in a way I am unused to doing. We love them!
Apr 3, 2007
Another Winner in the Swedish Police Procedural
"One Step Behind" is one of the books in the Inspector Kurt Wallander series but, to be honest, because the English translations of this series have been released out of order of original publication, I haven't a clue where it belongs in the ongoing story. Having read all the books released thus far, I will say it is one of the later entries in this excellent Swedish police procedural.
This is the story of the search for a serial killer who has not only coldly murdered a number of young people but one of Kurt's police comrades. It is a finite police procedural and not for someone who is looking for a page turner. Wallander and his crew endlessly go over each clue looking for a break in the case. At times I found this rather annoying and wanted to scream...."I know, I know...let's move on." In retrospect, I believe that in "One Step Behind," Mankell's aim was to give us an insight into how much work goes into a police investigation. To see Wallander pore over each lead and get into his mind as he struggles to make sense of a senseless series of murders is the joy of this book.
In this book, we don't get to see as much of Kurt's angst as we have in the earlier books. He has put his personal problems on the side for the duration of the investigation and his only goal is to find the killer before he strikes again.
Unlike most of Mankell's other books, there was a minimum of violence and no gruesome murder scenes. Kurt seems to have mellowed out and so has Mankell's writing.
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