One of Sweden’s best known authors, Henning Mankell, has passed away. He died earlier today in Gothenburg, after a long battle with cancer.
Mankell was one of the key figures in the rise of the Nordic noir sub-genre, and sold over 40 million books worldwide. He was a playwright, children’s author and a social activist as well, but he’s best known for the creation of Kurt Wallander. The dour detective of Ystad, who silently struggled with his health and family problems, and with his ability to look beyond the obvious in every case, has become a fan favourite around the world. His books delivered fantastic police procedural mysteries, while also questioning things that have gone wrong in Swedish society.
Henning Mankell was the first winner of the prestigious Glass Key Award in 1992, for the very first Wallander novel Faceless Killers. Sidetracked won the CWA Gold Dagger in 2001. The final book in the Wallander series, The Troubled Man, was published in 2009 and appeared in English in 2011, though the novella An Event in Autumn came out in translation last year.
It’s fair to say that if it weren’t for Henning Mankell, Crime Fiction Lover might not exist. The author, his books and the television adaptations of them have been a huge inspiration for us. We reviewed One Step Behind in the first week of the site’s existence in 2011, and have traced not just Mankell’s writing but the authors he’s influenced since day one.
Our guide to the Wallander series is one of the most visited articles on our site, and includes the books, films and television programmes. Series three of Wallander, with Krister Henricksson in the main role, was in our top six crime shows of 2014, and Wallander is also among our top 20 crime shows of all time. Like One Step Behind, An Event in Autumn received five stars from our reviewer.
Henning Mankell was a great humanitarian. He divided his time between Sweden and Mozambique, where he worked to support the emerging theatrical scene. He donated large sums of money to children’s charities there.
Here at Crime Fiction Lover we’ve known for a while that there would be no more Wallander stories. Today is a very sad day for us and for everyone who’s enjoyed Henning Mankell’s work. Rest in peace.