I have caught up with the final episode of the Swedish TV series about Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander. This was The Secret, and it has to rank as about the darkest episode in a television cop series that I’ve ever seen. Not easy viewing, but impressively done.
The story involves the abduction and murder of an 11 year old boy. Early scenes also detail the abuse of another young boy. Wallander and his team soon identify a prime suspect, but he is found murdered. By this time, Stefan (brilliantly played by Ola Rapace) has become very personally involved in the case. He knows the dead boy’s father, but this does not seem to explain the depth of his rage about the crime.
A retired cop who was associated with the dead suspect comes into the frame. He appears to be a sinister character, but it turns out that he has a track record of pursuing paedophiles with considerable success. However, there are further twists in the story before the traumatic final moments of the story.
I found this series – and I watched almost all of the 13 episodes, something I don’t often manage to do – exceptionally good viewing. At its best, it was outstanding, and even the weaker story-lines were competently done. Krister Henriksson was superb as Wallander, but part of the strength of the series lay in the quality of the supporting cast, notably Rapace and Johanna Sallstrom as Linda Wallander. Others have written about the sad death of Sallstrom after the series was filmed. Suffice to say that hers is a tragic story, and a great loss.