Henning Mankell Books

Henning Mankell was a crime writer from Sweden who was best known for his Inspector Wallander series of novels. Besides literary fiction, Henning has produced plays and screenplays for television. The author was well-known for his left wing political attitudes and activism.

Order of Kurt Wallander Series

# Read Title Published
1 Faceless Killers 1991
2 The Dogs of Riga 1992
3 The White Lioness 1993
4 The Man Who Smiled 1994
5 Sidetracked 1995
6 The Fifth Woman 1996
7 One Step Behind 1997
8 Firewall 1997
9 The Troubled Man 2009
10 An Event in Autumn 2014

Order of Kurt Wallander Collections

# Read Title Published
1 The Pyramid 1999

Order of Linda Wallander Series

# Read Title Published
1 Before the Frost 2002

Order of Sofia Alface Series

# Read Title Published
1 Secrets in the Fire 1995
2 Playing With Fire 2001
3 Shadow of the Leopard 2005

Order of Fredrik Welin Series

# Read Title Published
1 Italian Shoes 2006

Order of Joel Gustafsson Series

Order of Henning Mankell Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published
1 Quicksand 2014

Order of Henning Mankell Standalone Novels

Order of Henning Mankell Childrens Books

# Read Title Published
1 The Cat Who Liked Rain 1992

Anthologies/Collaborations

# Read Title Published
1 I Die, but the Memory Lives on 2003
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Henning Mankell was born in Stockholm in 1948 to a lawyer who divorced his mother when he was just twelve months old. Most of Henning’s childhood was spent with his father, and he once said that his days in Sveg, where the family moved after his father was appointed district judge, were the happiest of his life.

Henning’s life took a curious turn when he dropped out of school and found his way to Paris when he was sixteen, working on a cargo ship and immersing himself in the hardworking community around him before finally taking on the challenge of becoming a writer.

His writing efforts allowed him to collaborate with a number of Swedish theatres, with ‘The Amusement Park’, his first play, eventually hitting the scene and garnering popularity for his name.

The author was very active on the political scene. And his interests and causes took him all over the world. He took a particular interest in Africa, finding a home in places like Guniea-Bissau and Zambia, not mention Mozambique where he was the artistic director of Teatro Avenida in Maputo.

Henning Mankell’s love for Africa is such that he even built ‘Leopard Forlag’, a publishing house designed to provide support for African writers.

Henning was a common sight at protests in Sweden, and he wasn’t afraid to raise his voice against dictatorial regimes across the world, this including Mao’s government in China and Apartheid in South Africa.

Henning Mankell also spoke out often against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands. He admitted on more than one occasion that his love for Africa rose after he realized that Sweden had become so racist over the years, this prompting him to settle in places like Mozambique.

In fact, it was when Henning went back home to Sweden after a long stay in Mozambique that his idea for the ‘Wallander’ character was born. Henning Mankell used the Wallander books to express his disgust at the absence of optimism and fairness that he believes permeated the 1960s.

Henning also used the Wallander books to represent changes in Sweden, with his plots acting as criticisms for all the wrong that he observed. Wallander, Henning Mankell’s hero, seemed to grow more miserable with each new book, a reflection of Henning’s view that the world was growing darker.

Henning Mankell died in 2015, most likely the result of his throat and lung cancer diagnosis. By this point, the author had been married four times, his relationships producing four children.

Henning Mankell Awards

Henning is one of Sweden’s most prolific crime writers, boasting awards like the Corine Literature Prize (One Step Behind), Glass Key Award (Faceless Killers), Gumshoe Award (The Return of the Dancing Master) and the Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger Award.

He also garnered accolades like Nils Holgersson Plague and Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.

Henning Mankell Books into Movies/TV

Henning wrote a number of novels for children and adults, both series and standalones. However, it is the Wallander books that have garnered the most interest, having elicited multiple adaptations into television series by the likes of Sveriges Television and Yellow Bird.

Though, it is BBC’s own adaptation of the series, starring Kenneth Branagh, that has been the most prominent, attracting success globally and winning BAFTA Awards.

Best Henning Mankell Books

Even with all the books he has written, Henning Mankell will always be associated with the Kurt Wallander books, with the best including the following:

The Fifth Woman: When a retired car dealer and a missing florist are murdered, Inspector Kurt Wallander is appalled by the means of their death. The clues at hand—a photo, a skull and a dairy—mean very little to Kurt, and it soon occurs to him that he must solve the deaths of four nuns and a fifth mysterious woman in an African convent if he wants to make sense of things.

One Step Behind: Three Young friends went to the woods with an elaborate masque in mind only to meet death at the hands of a bullet each. When a colleague of Kurt Wallander’s dies, he cannot help but wonder whether the two crimes are connected.