by Henning Mankell
Vintage, January 2017, $16.95

Early January 2014, Henning Mankell was diagnosed with the incurable cancer that would claim him in October 2015. These 67 short essays, averaging about four pages each, are the memories and reflections of a dying man. The reader will find little if anything about mystery writing or the origins of his series cop Kurt Wallander. For that, see the essay following his last published novel, An Event in Autumn (Vintage Crime, 2013). As the subtitle suggests, he has more profound matters in mind. Areas touched on include philosophy, science, politics, religion, and history, natural and human. Some of the most interesting observations have to do with visual art. A recurring concern throughout is the danger of nuclear waste to inhabitants of Earth thousands of years in the future. I admit, having gone on record more than once, that I am no fan of the Wallander novels. But this collection of vignettes, stimulating and thought-provoking, decidedly not depressing, is surely one of the best books I’ll read this year.

Jon L. Breen

mankellquicksandA collection stimulating and thought-provoking vignettes from a master of crime fiction

Teri Duerr
January 2017