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Inspector Kurt Wallander of Ystad police
Inspector Kurt Wallander of Ystad police is the main character in a series of ten detective novels by Henning Mankell. A few years after the first Wallander book was published curious tourists started to appear in Ystad, that was ten years ago, and today Kurt Wallander is more popular than ever.
Wallander lives on Mariagatan; he is divorced and has a daughter Linda who is in her mid 20s. He has a melancholic disposition and his social relationships are rather lacking in substance – a fact that leads him to spend a lot of time lost in his work.
His greatest joy in life is his daughter, although he sees far too little of her. Kurt’s relationship with his father is problematical; the latter has never accepted his son’s choice of career and when they meet there is nearly always tension.
His romances are almost non-exictent. For some time after his divorce he desperately wanted his wife back and at one stage he makes a clumsy attempt to start a relationship with Anette Brolin, the public prosecutor, a move she sharply rebuffs.
On one case he is required to make a visit to the Baltic States where he meets and falls in love with Baiba Liepa, a Latvian interpreter. Her reluctant response to his hope that they will marry and live together in Sweden results in their relationship dying a natural death.
His eating habits are disastrous, he drinks endless cups of coffee from the coffee machine during the day and fills his stomach with hamburgers or pizzas at meal times – he also has a tendency to drink too much, although he knows he has a weak character when it comes to beer.
Sport and any sort of physical training do not exist in Kurt’s world – in fact he goes out of his way to avoid any type of exercise – facts that have lead to a degree of obesity and diabetes.
Kurt sometimes wonders if he has chosen the right career and occasionally considers looking for a new job. He frequently breaks the rules of his trade to solve a case but, at the end of the day, he knows he doesn’t want to do anything else and is a good detective.
When Linda, his daughter, makes the decision to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a policewoman, Kurt finds himself in a bit of dilemma and is unsure how to handle his daughter’s choice – the decision becomes even more complex when he learns that she has decided to join the force in Ystad.
The Wallander stories
Faceless Killers, 1991
The Dogs of Riga, 1992
The White Lioness, 1993
The Man Who Smiled, 1994
The Fifth Woman, 1996
One Step Behind, 1997
The Pyramid, 1999
Before the Frost, 2002
The Troubled Man 2009
The Wallander stories
Films with Krister Henriksson as Kurt Wallander in the Swedish films and Kenneth Branagh as Kurt Wallander in the Brittish films. Information and trailers at HenningMankell.com