Saturday, 7 March 2009

Before the Frost


Swedish television adapted Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander books for the small screen before the BBC got there with the recent series starring Kenneth Branagh. Thanks to Roger Cornwell of Cornwell Internet, I’ve just watched one of the shows, Before The Frost.

I haven’t read the book which sourced the tv programme, but I did find it enjoyable viewing. The actor who plays Wallander, Krister Henriksson, is less obviously charismatic than Branagh, but I liked his rather shambolic interpretation. The story features the cop’s daughter, Linda, who joins her father’s police force only to become personally involved in a bizarre mystery with origins in a horrific real-life event.

Like a number of other Mankells, this one opens with a vivid, horrific and baffling scene – an attack on swans. This is witnessed by an elderly woman who is out mapping abandoned pathways through the woodland. She suffers an accident and is incapacitated, making her easy prey for the villain of the piece. When her daughter reports her missing, Wallander comes on to the scene.

It’s a dark story, but compelling, and as usual insight is offered into a particular aspect of society of which Mankell disapproves – to say more would be giving too much away. I’m glad to have seen it – thanks, Roger.

10 comments:

Dorte H said...

To a Scandinavian Kenneth Branagh would hardly be the first choice for the role of Kurt Wallander (in spite of his being a terrific actor). Instead of commenting on who is the best actor for this part, I made my own little Wallander contribution today, inspired by yours.

Martin Edwards said...

Tnanks. And I confess I don't know which of your four is the odd one out, Dorte!

Dorte H said...

Norman has suggested one possible solution. There is another one, and if none of my guests come up with it, I shall provide it later of course.

bookwitch said...

I know, I know! It's ....

Martin Edwards said...

Greetings, Bookwitch, very suspenseful!

bookwitch said...

Yep. If this blogging doesn't work out I can always write crime fiction!

Dorte H said...

And now I know what it is that Bookwitch knew which I have now added to my post about Wallander, - if you get what I mean?

Martin Edwards said...

A mystery solved! Bookwitch, I will add your blog to my blogroll.

bookwitch said...

Me, too. I mean the blogroll business. I already bookmarked you, but the 'gaga'meter is high today, and to do two things requires a lot of concentration...

Btw, a few months ago when I had lunch with Kate Ellis and Adèle Geras, we talked about you. Just so you know.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Bookwich, your blog is officially on the roll. As for being a subject of conversation, I'll try not to feel too anxious about it! Incidentally, I've never met Adele, but I recently came across her assessment of Andrew Taylor's Roth books, which I thought was hugely insightful.