Good as the Kenneth Branagh series for BBC TV was, I’m starting to think that the Swedish television take on Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander is even better. Thanks to Karen Meek of the excellent Eurocrime blog, I learned that the programmes are going out on BBC 4 and I have just watched ‘Mastermind’.
Needless to say, ‘Mastermind’ has nothing to do with either the television quiz show or its Crimefest equivalent! But it is an outstanding story, which I found gripping from start to finish. I’m not wildly enthusiastic about sub-titles, but on this occasion they proved no obstacle at all to my enjoyment.
Kirster Henriksson is very good as Wallander. It’s a more subdued performance than Branagh’s, but highly effective. In this story (which is original, not based on a Mankell novel) a middle-aged woman’s body is found hanging from her apartment ceiling, and drained of blood. Soon, the daughter of one of Mankell’s colleagues is snatched from her blood-spattered bedroom, and it turns out that the blood is not hers, but belongs to the murdered woman. Mankell’s daughter is then injured, and it emerges that someone is targeting the police. But why?
The climax is very tense. All in all, this is first-rate viewing. Strongly recommended.