clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Monday, June 10, 2013

Farm Country Bad

Swedish farm country can be rough. There are cows to milk, eggs to gather, hay to pitch, and brutal murder to solve.

Henning Mankell created the Wallander character (featured on PBS by Kenneth Branagh) as a near alcoholic detective dragging so much self-loathing and regret around as to require a safari train of porters to help.

I liked this first book in the series for the issues of Displaced Persons in Sweden and the brutality of the countryside murder. Right in the front of the book Mankell hits us. Sweden. Summerfest, blonde girls. Oh, and murder.

Wallander as a character becomes tiresome after a bit. Self-doubt and loathing only get you so far and the brightest star in this guy's heaven shines a little dim. I feel I need more variance in the characters I read for pleasure. All Wallander is missing is circular bruises on his temple in the morning from pressing his service automatic against the skin too hard.

I'm starting a new series of stories myself tonight. I outlined one at Bear River and have figured out how several things I've worked on will fit together for this series of stories. I don't think there is a novel among them; but, it could be a collection when I am farther along. It is a good drill and I'm going to work on these for the next 120 days (with the exception of a story entitled "Wabakimi" which I will stop and polish sometime in July).

Is it inspiration? Probably not. It is a partial solution. A workaround - as it were. It is a Wallender solution. At its best, it isn't bad. That's about where this one is found.

Try a little Swedish mayhem. There is more afoot than Ikea and meatballs. Ohhhh, I do love a good murder in the countryside. Makes me feel like it is old home week.

No comments: