Friday, January 04, 2008

Suspense and a Lesson

I finally got around to reading a book I've always been interested in--Henning Mankell's Firewall. Reading a book like this is like taking a class in how to write a mystery. I'm amazed at the way that Mankell can include so much detail in his story--the endless details of a policeman's day--and yet maintain suspense.

I haven't finished yet, but I already feel that I've taken a little mini-course from Mr. Mankell, both in how to write a clean sentence and how to construct an important chapter.

I know that the text is translated from Swedish, but I am assuming that this is very close to Mankell's style if I were reading it in his actual language. The translation by Ebba Segerberg is clear and lucid, and at times I get the sense that it simplifies some Swedish idioms that are difficult to re-word.

In any case, this is my second Mankell novel and I'm enjoying it greatly. And then I'm moving on to an Australian mystery writer I just discovered.

Only two more days of break: must read.

Art link


Anonymous said...

I haven't read Henning Mankell yet. I've plan to read more Scandinavian writers this year. Glad to hear a comment on his style.

Julia Buckley said...

I'll tell you which one I liked even better, Kaye--his book called FACELESS KILLERS, which I think might be the first Kurt Wallender mystery.

Pam Quimby said...

ugh, don't remind me... only 2 more days... must paint. ( :

Julia Buckley said...

I know--bummer, isn't it? :0