Books: Before the Frost, Without Fail


I read three books, and most of a fourth, on vacation last week. 

You can’t peck away at a Henning Mankell book. You need a big block of time so you can dive in and stay submerged until you’re done. 

So last week’s vacation started with Mankell’s “Before the Frost,” the last of the Kurt Wallander books currently available (I’ve read all the others). This one is actually billed as a “Kurt and Linda Wallander Mystery,” and daughter Linda is, in fact, the main character. 

Linda is within days of joining the police force where her father, Kurt, is an ace investigator. A murder occurs, and because of some relationships, she gets involved. It’s another excellent book. This one features some interesting religious themes.

This is the last Wallander book I have (3 other Mankell books sit on my shelf, unread). A collection of several short stories starring Wallander will be released by Vintage/Black Lizard in October, and there’s another book out there called “The Troubled Man” which I don’t think is available yet in English, and which supposedly brings the career (though not the life) of Wallander to an end. 

“Without Fail” is my fifth Lee Child book starring tough-guy Jack Reacher. These have all been tremendous books, and I think “Without Fail” may be the best (it’s between “Without Fail” and “Echo Burning”). In this book, the Secret Service invites Reacher’s help to foil a plot to assassinate the vice president. The Reacher books are pretty straightforward, with lots of action, though this one has a more intricate plot and less action than the other books. 

We have all but one (the first) of the Jack Reacher books. Pam has read all 11 of the books we own. It’ll take me a while to catch up.

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