Jun. 30th, 2012

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35. The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell

Set in 1991, The bodies of some Eastern European gangsters wash up on the shore in Ystad, a Latvian police offcer comes over to help with the investigation, and is murdered as soon as he gets back to Riga.  Wallander is sent over to assist.  As it's the dying days of the Soviet empire, it all goes a bit John Le Carré, with people spying on each other and nobody trusting anyone else.

I didn't love it quite as much as Faceless Killers, and it's quite different from the rest of the series, but it's very good indeed.

It's one of the very few Wallander stories which has never been filmed, either in English or Swedish.  I wondered if that was because it's no good, but I think it's because it's set in a very specific time and place which would be difficult to re-create (Riga, late 1991), but remove it from that context and it would become meaningless.
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36. Kraken by China Miéville

I'd been putting this one off because I heard it wasn't very good.

I then made the mistake of taking it as holiday reading, on a holiday where I was exhausted all the time.  Which means there's tons in there, especially about the nature of belief, that I'm sure I missed.  But it's about religious nutcases using magic to kidnap a specimen of a giant squid from the Natural History Museum, so I figured how intellectual can it be?

This is Miéville, so the answer is, well, pretty intellectual.  There was a lot more to it than I expected, and while there were bits I didn't like, I thought it was pretty damn nifty overall, and think it deserves a re-read some time when I'm more with it.


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