Swedish television adapted Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander books for the small screen before the BBC got there with the recent series starring Kenneth Branagh. Thanks to Roger Cornwell of Cornwell Internet, I’ve just watched one of the shows, Before The Frost.
I haven’t read the book which sourced the tv programme, but I did find it enjoyable viewing. The actor who plays Wallander, Krister Henriksson, is less obviously charismatic than Branagh, but I liked his rather shambolic interpretation. The story features the cop’s daughter, Linda, who joins her father’s police force only to become personally involved in a bizarre mystery with origins in a horrific real-life event.
Like a number of other Mankells, this one opens with a vivid, horrific and baffling scene – an attack on swans. This is witnessed by an elderly woman who is out mapping abandoned pathways through the woodland. She suffers an accident and is incapacitated, making her easy prey for the villain of the piece. When her daughter reports her missing, Wallander comes on to the scene.
It’s a dark story, but compelling, and as usual insight is offered into a particular aspect of society of which Mankell disapproves – to say more would be giving too much away. I’m glad to have seen it – thanks, Roger.