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Danslärarens återkomst (2000)
av Henning Mankell
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En diciembre de 1945, un avión británico aterriza en Bückeburg y de él desciende un misterioso hombre; se dirige a la prisión de Hamelin, donde estan encarcelados doce criminales de guerra alemanes, con una siniestra misión. Cincuenta y cuatro años después, en Suecia, Herbert Molin, un policía ya jubilado que vive apaciblemente en el pueblecito de Härjedalen, es brutalmente asesinado; además, la policía descubre alrededor del cadáver huellas sanguinolentas muy extrañas, como si alguien hubiera ejecutado en torno a él unos pasos de baile. Un antiguo compañero de Molin, el joven Stefan Lindman, pese a que no está en muy buenas condiciones de salud, decide viajar a Härjedalen para averiguar lo ocurrido. Sin embargo, poco a poco descubrirá sospechosas conexiones entre el asesinato de Molin, los colaboracionistas durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial y los grupos neonazis de la actualidad. Para Lindman ya no habrá marcha atrás: cada pista lo incitará a seguir investigando para dar con la verdad y atar todos los cabos.
Set in the Nordic Noir landscape of snow and nutters, a horrific and ritualised murder occurs in a remote settlement. Enter the main character, a young detective full of self-doubt and cancer who is in a relationship that seems unclear to everyone, including me. He soon finds himself enmeshed in a web of mystery where each step towards a resolution leads to more and more questions and deeper mysteries.
While having no official role in the investigation he nevertheless seems to be always at the centre of all that unfolds.
This is a story that takes many twists and turns yet never seems any nearer to a resolution. In fact it appears that to move one step forward to the resolution it is necessary to go three steps back in the main characters histories.
The flawed detective struggles to understand his mortality and emotional availability while at the same descending deeper into the horror of the event and its subsequent fall out, including into his own life from a quarter he never suspected.
In essence he is fighting three battles, the murderer, the cancer and the girlfriend.
In the end he he wins one, loses another and reaches a draw on the third.
All up, I was gripped from the beginning in that slow, calm, understated, Nordic way. It’s not so much a ripping yarn as a slow measured HR approved yarn, yet still a bloody good read.
I registered this book at BookCrossing.com!
The first Stefan Lindman mystery. Lindman is a 37-year-old police officer, recently diagnosed with cancer of the tongue. When he is on medical leave he reads about the murder of a former colleague, Herbert Molin, in another city. He had learned from Molin when Lindman was a younger officer and he is curious about his death. Perhaps as a way to avoid thinking too much about cancer, he decides to visit Harjedelen, where Molin was murdered.
Fortunately for Lindman, the detective assigned to the case takes a liking to him and lets him intrude in areas where he really should not. The two spend much time trying to figure out what happened and especially why. The murder was particularly horrific and the crime scene mysterious.
Lindman finds out connections among the major characters to an underground Nazi network. Further, he finds out more about himself and about his own father than perhaps he wants to know.
As is typical of Mankell, history and culture take a front seat here. He uses the story to raise awareness of the past, in hopes perhaps that we will not repeat it. Yet his typically dark nature is never convinced about the ultimate good of human nature.
Complex, complicated. But again Mankell manages to create women who aren't as fleshed out as the men and who tend to make demands. It seems that he only likes women for vague aesthetic qualities. I can never figure this out.
A side note: he refers to the police dogs as "Alsatians". This term was created during WWII by the British because they did not want to associate with anything German and the favorite police dog was a German Shephard. They are one and the same, in other words, and the word "Alsatian" is no longer in general use. I wonder why Mankell chose to use it.
This 400+ page novel would have been barely acceptable as a 200 page novel. As it is, it was a chore for me to read. I almost gave up in the beginning because there was too much explanation for everything, even things that did not need explaining.
The first part was too grisly for my tastes. But I got beyond that to the point of being bored. The novel moves slowly. And while I couldn't predict all the convoluted twists, a good part of the plot was easy to predict.
I really didn't like Lindholm, the main character. He is a police officer on medical leave, and he involves himself in investigating a murder of a former co-worker, someone not in his jurisdiction. He was diagnosed with cancer, a treatable one, early in the story and continuously felt sorry for himself before even beginning treatment. And he was quick to play the “cancer card” whenever he needed an excuse for any bad behavior. Cancer is a scary diagnosis but this guy's continual whining got annoying. He was selfish and unkind to his girlfriend. This is a male-dominated story, and there is more than a little disregard and disrespect towards women. And I really didn't need to read about someone being “completely blocked up. I haven't had a bowel movement since....”
The language often seemed clunky to me. Whether this was because of the original writing or because of the translation, I cannot say. I do know that although I finished it, I didn't really enjoy this book but kept hoping it would get better. It didn't.
I borrowed an ebook edition of this novel from my local library.
Ingår i serien
Stefan Lindman (1)
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Wikipedia på engelska (1)
Den 12 december 1945. Det besegrade Nazityskland ligger i ruiner. Ett engelskt arméplan landar på flygplatsen i Bückeburg. En ensam passagerare med en liten svart väska som enda bagage stiger ut och blir körd i en jeep till Hameln. Där försvinner han in genom fängelseportarna. I gryningen dagen efter avrättas nio manliga och tre kvinnliga krigsförbrytare genom hängning. I oktober 1999 hittas den pensionerade polismannen Herbert Molin död utanför sitt ensligt belägna hus i Härjedalen. Han har blivit plågad till döds med de mest utstuderade metoder. På golvet i Molins hus finns tydliga blodspår. En polis från Östersund, som undersöker fallet, tycker att de bildar ett egendomligt mönster. Plötsligt inser han vad de betyder: i detta rum har någon dansat tango med mordoffret ... Han börjar ana hur skuggor ur ett ont förflutet träder fram djupt inne i de härjedalska skogarna. [Publit]
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)839.7374Literature German literature and literatures of related languages Other Germanic literatures Swedish literature Swedish fiction 1900-1999 1945-1999
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