The Pyramid: The First Wallander Cases

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Overview

The missing piece of the internationally bestselling Kurt Wallander mystery series: the story of Kurt Wallander's beginnings.

Revealing a side of Wallander that we have never seen, the long stories collected in The Pyramid are vintage Mankell. Here, we see Wallander on his homicide first case as a twenty-one-year-old patrolman, as a young father facing unexpected danger on Christmas Eve, as a middle-aged detective with his marriage on the brink, as a newly separated investigator...

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Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries

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Overview

The missing piece of the internationally bestselling Kurt Wallander mystery series: the story of Kurt Wallander's beginnings.

Revealing a side of Wallander that we have never seen, the long stories collected in The Pyramid are vintage Mankell. Here, we see Wallander on his homicide first case as a twenty-one-year-old patrolman, as a young father facing unexpected danger on Christmas Eve, as a middle-aged detective with his marriage on the brink, as a newly separated investigator solving the brutal murder of a local photographer, and finally as a veteran detective, with his signature methodical and instinctive work style, discovering unexpected connections between a downed plane and the assassination of a pair of spinster sisters. In these five riveting tales we watch Kurt Wallander come into his own not only as a detective but as a human being

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A marvel of spare, purposeful prose and artful storytelling."--St. Petersburg Times

"Excellent. . . . Sure to bring [Mankell's] fans stampeding back into the fold."--The New York Times

“Absorbing, chilling, and dripping with evil atmosphere.”–The Times, London

“Superb. . . .Mankell has mastered his craft."--Tampa Bay Tribune

“A triumph. . . . Mankell’s quiet specificity is mesmerizing. . . . They are surprising small masterpieces.”–Times Literary Supplement, London

“No crime writer balances genre conventions with personal concerns as well as Mankell.”–Boston Globe

“Kurt Wallander remains one of the most impressive and credible creations of crime fiction today.” –The Guardian, London

“This book is Mankell in top form. . . . For Mankell/Wallander fans [it is] a must read.”–The Midwest Review

“The Wallander series . . . [is] essential reading for all crime fiction fans, and this collection adds an indispensable chapter to the saga.”–Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400095827
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Series: Kurt Wallander Series
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 200,786
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Henning Mankell
Internationally bestselling novelist and playwright Henning Mankell has received the German Tolerance Prize and the U.K.’s Golden Dagger Award and has been nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize three times. His Kurt Wallander mysteries have been published in thirty-three countries and consistently top the bestseller lists in Europe. He divides his time between Sweden and Maputo, Mozambique, where he has worked as the director of Teatro Avenida since 1985.  

Biography

Henning Mankell was born in Stockholm in 1948. He is the author of many works of fiction, including the nine novels in the Kurt Wallander series. He has worked as an actor, theatre director, and manager in Sweden and in Mozambique -- where he is now head of the Teatro Avenida in Maputo.

Author biography courtesy of The Random House Group.

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    1. Hometown:
      Mozambique, Africa
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 3, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Stockholm, Sweden
    1. Education:
      Folkskolan Elementary Shool, Sveg; Högre Allmäna Läroverket, Borås

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 19, 2011

    Five good stories, easy to read, put down, pick up without missing clues

    Henning Mankell's Pyramid and Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries . . . Henning Mankell is Swedish and has-who would have guessed it-created a Swedish detective in Kurt Wallander. Sweden is a very different country culturally and politically from the U.S. and its policing is different in some respects, similar in others. That gives these short stories and their central character, a police detective, extra dimensions that add interest to each of the different plots. Putting these mysteries together as they are is, to me, almost a stroke of editing genius. These mysteries were written at different times, some have run in newspapers, two have not seen the light of day until this book was published. (Mankell, in his foreword, sets the tone for the stories in the book. Please don't miss it.) Mankell wrote Wallander's First Case long after the others, in response to readers who expressed interest in knowing some back story of Kurt Wallander and how he got to be who he is. The stories, all with good plots and intriguing mysteries, are an easy read; Mankell's style, at least in these mysteries, consists mainly of short sentences, and he wastes few words on long expository or descriptive passages. Each of the stories is very different and also vary greatly in length. Pyramid is the longest, The Man with the Mask the shortest. This is a series-in-a-book, and each story neatly follows the other in an almost novelistic manner. Mankell uses this technique to show the reader how Kurt Wallander evolves from a young cop (Wallander's First Case) on his first job to a full-fledged detective (Pyramid) with 20 years experience to his credit. Each of the five stories grows Wallander, in age, in wisdom, and in his professional life as a respected but generally insecure finder of clues, solver of puzzles. As he works his way through each crime in each story, in the back of his mind there is always some elusive, worrying "thing" that he can't quite grasp and that he believes could be important. We also see the evolution, for better or worse, of Wallander's painful and awkward relationship with his father, his falling into and out of love-and marriage-with Mona, and his deep love for their daughter. He keeps himself to himself, and his generally somber outlook on life reflects the countryside and the climate. Apparently the insecurity that Wallander manifests is not unusual in the Swedish population. Here is how Mankell, who gave life and personality to Wallander, says it: "It was only after I had written the eighth and final installment in the series about Kurt Wallander that I thought of the subtitle I had always sought but never found. When everything, or at least most of it, was over I understood that the subtitle naturally had to be 'Novels about the Swedish Anxiety.'" But whether Wallander is riddled with "Swedish Anxiety" or just the anxiety that in our troubled world today afflicts all of us, unless we are living in a cave somewhere, he makes an interesting detective and these are interesting stories. The plots and the crimes are inventive and have unusual elements and odd twists and characters that kept me-and of course Kurt Wallander-wondering until the last paragraph. An interesting read. Because it's made up of short and connected mysteries featuring the same detective, it's an easy book to read awhile, put down and pick up again, without losing any plot points. Read it, and listen up! Do not neglect the foreword.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    How Wallander Became Wallander

    If you watch the various foreign mystery series on MHz from Virginia, you know Wallander, the Swedish detective from Ystad in southern Sweden. This book is really a series of short stories that tells those of us who are fans what he was like before we got to know him and makes events in the rest of the book series more understandable. I rated topical as a factor for conversation because Sweden is dealing with many of the problems we find familiar and this series deals with them in the light of Swedish law.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Horrible writing

    Seemed as though it was written by a child. Could not even get through all of the stories they were so poorly written.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2012

    Great reading. You are almost in Sweden

    I really enjoyed the stories and especially the gloomy charachteer, Dective Wallander. Good stories with weather included. Guess it's a bit rainy and cold there, and spring and summer are pretty short

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wallander

    Awesome great story

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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