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Before The Frost. (Anglais) Broché – 28 février 2013

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Descriptions du produit


chapter 1

The wind picked up shortly after 9.00 on the evening of August 21, 2001. In a valley to the south of the Rommele Hills, small waves were rippling across the surface of Marebo Lake. The man waiting in the shadows beside the water stretched out his hand to discover the direction of the wind. Virtually due south, he found to his satisfaction. He had chosen the right spot to put out food to attract the creatures he would soon be sacrificing.

He sat on the rock where he had spread out a sweater against the chill. It was a new moon and no light penetrated the thick layer of clouds. Dark enough for catching eels. That's what my Swedish playmate used to say when I was growing up. The eels start their migration in August. That's when they bump into the fishermen's traps and wander the length of the trap. And then the trap slams shut.

His ears, always alert, picked up the sound of a car passing some distance away. Apart from that there was nothing. He took out his torch and directed the beam over the shoreline and water. He could tell that they were approaching. He spotted at least two white patches against the dark water. Soon there would be more.

He switched off the light and tested his mind--exactingly trained--by thinking of the time. Three minutes past nine, he thought. Then he raised his wrist and checked the display. Three minutes past nine--he was right, of course. In another 30 minutes it would all be over. He had learned that humans were not alone in their need for regularity. Wild creatures could even be taught to respect time. It had taken him three months of patience and deliberation to prepare for tonight's sacrifice. He had made himself their friend.

He switched on the torch again. There were more white patches, and they were coming nearer to the shore. Briefly he lit up the tempting meal of broken bread crusts that he had set out on the ground, as well as the two petrol containers. He switched off the light and waited.

When the time came, he did exactly as he had planned. The swans had reached the shore and were pecking at the pieces of bread he had put out for them, oblivious of his presence or by now simply used to him. He set the torch aside and put on his night-vision goggles. There were six swans, three couples. Two were lying down while the rest were cleaning their feathers or still searching for bread.

Now. He got up, took a can in each hand and splashed the swans with petrol. Before they had a chance to fly away, he spread what remained in each of the cans and set light to a clump of dried grass among the swans. The burning petrol caught one swan and then all of them. In their agony, their wings on fire, they tried to fly away over the lake, but one by one plunged into the water like fireballs. He tried to fix the sight and sound of them in his memory; both the burning, screeching birds in the air and the image of hissing, smoking wings as they crashed into the lake. Their dying screams sound like broken trumpets, he thought. That's how I will remember them.

The whole thing was over in less than a minute. He was very pleased. It had gone according to plan, an auspicious beginning for what was to come.

He tossed the petrol cans into the water, tucked his jumper into the backpack and shone the torch around the place to be sure he had left nothing behind. When he was convinced he had remembered everything, he took a mobile phone from his coat pocket. He had bought the phone in Copenhagen a few days before.

When someone answered, he asked to be connected to the police. The conversation was brief. Then he threw the phone into the lake, put on his backpack and walked away into the night.

The wind was blowing from the east now and was growing stronger.

chapter 2

It was the end of August and Linda Caroline Wallander wondered if there were any traits that she and her father had in common which yet remained to be discovered, even though she was almost 30 years old and ought to know who she was by this time. She had asked her father, had even tried to press him on it, but he seemed genuinely puzzled by her questions and brushed them aside, saying that she more resembled her grandfather. These "who-am-I-like?" conversations, as she called them, sometimes ended in fierce arguments. They kindled quickly, but they also died away almost at once. She forgot about most of them and supposed that he did too.

There had been one argument this summer which she had not been able to forget. It had been nothing really. They had been discussing their differing memories of a holiday they took to the island of Bornholm when she was little. For Linda there was more than this episode at stake; it was as if through reclaiming this memory she was on the verge of gaining access to a much larger part of her early life. She had been six, maybe seven years old, and both Mona and her father had been there. The idiotic argument had begun over whether or not it had been windy that day. Her father claimed she had been seasick and had thrown up all over his jacket, but Linda remembered the sea as blue and perfectly calm. They had only ever taken this one trip to Bornholm so it couldn't have been a case of their having mixed up several trips. Her mother had never liked boat journeys and her father was surprised she had agreed to this one holiday to Bornholm.

That evening, after the argument had ended, Linda had had trouble falling asleep. She was due to start working at the Ystad police station in two months. She had graduated from the police training college in Stockholm and would have much rather started working right away, but here she was with nothing to do all summer and her father couldn't keep her company since he had used up most of his holiday allowance in May. That was when he thought he had bought a house and would need extra time for moving. He had the house under contract. It was in Svarte, just south of the main road, right next to the sea. But the vendor changed her mind at the last minute. Perhaps because she couldn't stand the thought of entrusting her carefully tended roses and rhododendron bushes to a man who talked only about where he was going to put the kennel--when he finally bought a dog. She broke the contract and her father's agent suggested he ask for compensation, but he chose not to. The whole episode was already over in his mind.

He hunted for another house that cold and windy summer, but either they were too expensive or just not the house he had been dreaming of all those years in the flat on Mariagatan. He stayed on in the flat and asked himself if he was ever really going to move. When Linda graduated from the police training college, he drove up to Stockholm and helped her move her things to Ystad. She had arranged to rent a flat starting in September. Until then she could have her old room back.

They got on each other's nerves almost immediately. Linda was impatient to start working and accused her father of not pulling strings hard enough at the station to get her a temporary position. He said he had taken the matter up with Chief Lisa Holgersson. She would have welcomed the extra manpower, but there was nothing in the budget for additional staff. Linda would not be able to start until September 10, however much they might have wanted her to start sooner.

Linda spent the interval getting to know again two old school friends. One day she ran into Zeba, or "Zebra" as they used to call her. She had dyed her black hair red and also cut it short so Linda had not recognised her at first. Zeba's family came from Iran, and she and Linda had been in the same class until secondary school. When they bumped into each other on the street this July, Zeba had been pushing a toddler in a pushchair. They had gone to a café and had a coffee.

Zeba told her that she had trained as a barmaid, but her pregnancy had put a stop to her work plans. The father was Marcus. Linda remembered him, Marcus who loved exotic fruit and who had started his own plant nursery in Ystad at the age of 19. The relationship had soon ended, but the child remained a fact. Zeba and Linda chatted for a long time, until the toddler started screaming so loudly and insistently that they had to leave. But they had kept in touch since that chance meeting, and Linda noticed that she felt less impatient with the hiatus in her life whenever she managed to build these bridges between her present and the past that she had known in Ystad.

As she was going home to Mariagatan after her meeting with Zeba, it started to rain. She took cover in a shopping centre and--while she was waiting for the weather to clear up--she looked up Anna Westin's number in the directory. She felt a jolt inside when she found it. She and Anna had had no contact for ten years. The close friendship of their childhood had ended abruptly when they both fell in love with the same boy. Afterwards, when the feelings of infatuation were long gone, they had tried to resuscitate the friendship, but it had never been the same. Linda hadn't even thought much about Anna the last couple of years. But seeing Zeba again reminded her of her old friend and she was happy to discover that Anna still lived in Ystad.

Linda called her that evening and a few days later they met. Over the summer they would see each other several times a week, sometimes all three of them, but more often just Anna and Linda. Anna lived on her own as best as she could on her student budget. She was studying medicine.

Linda thought she was almost more shy now than when they were growing up. Anna's father had left home when she was five or six years old and they never once heard from him again. Anna's mother lived out in the country in Löderup, not far from where Linda's grandfather had lived and painted his favourite, unchanging motifs. Anna was apparently pleased that L... --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Revue de presse

"With this book his fans are in for a double treat as Mankell gives us two Wallanders for the price of one... Crime fiction doesn't get any better than this
" (Mail on Sunday)

"Probably Britain's favourite European mystery writer... Mankell's subtle use of his characters keeps you reading" (Daily Mail)

"This novel will not disappoint Kurt's followers. He remains integral, and his guilt-shot relationship to his daughter is beautifully done" (Independent)

"The Nordic King of European thriller writers" (Louise France Observer)

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Format: Broché
Kurt Wallander (KW) nears retirement. He wants to sell his flat full of bad memories and buy a house with a view of the sea to retire to, with a dog. But he fears his fate. His only real friend is dying of cancer; his father is dead and his ex-wife and daughter Linda are unlikely to keep him much company. Nor will his current colleagues.

This novel has weaknesses: 1) its sheer length; 2) the many pages filled with sick ideology; 3) the many irritations between father Kurt and his daughter Linda Wallander.

Re (1): in the 1960s and '70s, the writing duo Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö wrote 10 brilliant Swedish police procedurals. They needed 50% of the words crime writers like HM use today and produced a memorable series, immortalized by two Martin Beck tv-series, one Swedish, one British. Writing fat novels today is dumb: who reads them when social media are occupying readers 24/7? Only translators benefit from flabby books, not authors or readers, unless brilliant writing justifies many extra pages. Le Carré and Lee Child come to mind, but who else?

Re (2): in 1978, 900+ mostly US followers of a preacher called Jim Jones committed suicide in Guyana. One man escaped, a Swedish convert, so this novel's Prologue says. He is the bad guy in this book. But to read dozens of pages by or about this crazy self-styled prophet throughout the book, gives the term "page turner" a new meaning. But he is a very dangerous person, with a small devoted following intent on cleansing Christianity in Sweden...

Re (3): The book starts in August 2000 in Ystad, Sweden when Linda (29), a newly-minted policewoman, moves in with her father to bridge the 2 weeks before she can wear her uniform and occupy her own flat. The book is written from her perspective.
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Par J. Remi le 7 juillet 2014
Format: Poche
Mankell que voulez-vous c'est une ambiance ...
Et si vous aimer le genre "roman policier nordique" et bien vous aller adorer ...
Un peu moins bien que les autres de la série ... mais toujours l'ambiance Mankell
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
J'espérais que c'était une nouvelle histoire, mais s'est vite rendu compte que je l'avais vu en suédois et en anglais versions TV. Néanmoins j'ai beaucoup apprécié.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8c125c60) étoiles sur 5 183 commentaires
86 internautes sur 90 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8c0b9930) étoiles sur 5 Unusually for Mankell, highlights some weaknesses 14 janvier 2005
Par Androo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I think Henning Mankell is trying to up the ante in the Wallander books. The early books were about criminals, often loners. There was always some connection with national or world issues like immigration or racial tension, but the clever bit was how one small event in Ystad reflected world trends.
Lately though, Mankell is concentrating on more and more unlikely situations to, presumably, give the books a bigger impact. The trouble is, it has the opposite effect.
The last book, 'Firewall', had Ystad at the centre of a bunch of criminals infiltrating a computer network with the intention of world domination. It spoiled the book somewhat. In 'Before the Frost' it's a group of religious fundamentalists (how topical) with a 'grand plan'.
And I think Mankell's problem here is that even he doesn't really know what this grand plan is. So he has trouble describing it. The actions of the fundamentalists are a series of pseudo-symbolic acts, like burning animals, and putting women-who've-had-abortions to death. It's empty stuff, melodramatic, and dull. It doesn't move the plot along and feels like Mankell was struggling with his material.
The rest of the book deals with soon-to-be police officer, Linda Wallander, and her relationship with her father, our beloved Kurt. But even here, the writing is untypically stilted, and there are some downright unbelievable scenes. For instance, Linda has an argument with Kurt at the Police Station and throws a glass ashtray at him, making him bleed profusely. I didn't believe this scene at all. Much of the dialogue in the book, especially between Linda and her father, or Linda and her friends, is highly unrealistic and difficult to voice.
When Mankell gets back to the things he's good at, the novel is fine though. He's good at describing the Skåne landscape. He's phenomenally good at creating tension, suspense and atmosphere. He's good at describing the way the police station works.
'Before the Frost', more than any other Wallander novel, makes you think about what he's not so good at: dialogue is the chief culprit. He's okay when it's police matters, but he just doesn't have an ear for ordinary dialogue like, say, the Norwegian crime writer Karin Fossum, which makes me think it's not just a translation problem.
I'm not sure he's so great at writing from a woman's perspective either. Linda's character is not nearly as compelling nor empathetic as Kurt's. She's at times gloomy, like Kurt, at times childlike, and girly, but rarely realistic. Her previous life events are what define her, and they're like something from a 'build a character' kit. I'm not sure I look forward to the next Linda Wallander mystery.
All these criticisms aside, I still largely enjoyed the book, though I found much of the melodramatic religious stuff tedious. There are moments of great tension and horror, just like in any Mankell crime novel, but it seems to be spread more thinly than usual.
It makes me glad there's a Kurt Wallander novel ('The Man Who Smiled') still untranslated. Somehow I know it'll be better than this.
58 internautes sur 63 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8c0b9984) étoiles sur 5 leaves you holding your breath 3 juin 2006
Par lisatheratgirl - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is a terrifying thriller, written by Henning Mankell, a Swedish mystery writer. The book is the first featuring Linda Wallander, his main character's daughter, as a police officer, and I hope he plans on writing more. The author asks at the beginning, what if one man had survived the Jonestown massacre in Guyana in 1978, and proceeds to follow that man. The plot is exciting and escalates fast into frightening, with ritual murder and sacrifice, disappearances of Linda's two best friends. Underneath, and effectively communicated, is the theme that religion can be a force for either good or evil, and it is a most powerful tool for manipulating people. This is evident all the time in the news, when countries go to war or terrorists commit mass murder, it's always "God is on our side," and who can argue with that? Religious fervor in the wrong hands can result in the worst atrocities. The book finishes on Linda's first official day of work, Sept. 11, 2001. I highly recommend this book, it's one of the best I've read this year.
32 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8c0b9dbc) étoiles sur 5 mankell passes wallander's torch 5 janvier 2005
Par miller stevens - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
If you're a Mankell fan, you're a Wallander fan. If you think the parts of the Wallander books that don't feature Wallander were ho-hum and Return of the Dancing Master was good but Stefan is something of a Wallander rip-off, then you are about to meet heaven.
Linda Wallander is a chip off the old block. If Mankell is passing the torch down to Wallander's daughter and start a series there, he is on sure ground. She is every bit as fascinating a character as her father and since her father still features in the book, it works great.
What I especially love about this book is the way Mankell deals with their relationship. It shows Linda learning how to be a good cop, shows Wallander being his typical grumpy but brilliant self, and (as always) brings so damned much real humanity to the story that it's impossible not to feel you're participating.
Crime writers branching out with new characters is always iffy. Parker's Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone are good examples. But Mankell is giving real-time progress to his books by bringing Linda in.
It's absolutely fabulous and I can't wait to read more and more...
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8c0bc1a4) étoiles sur 5 A family affair-- the introduction of Linda Wallander 2 décembre 2006
Par frumiousb - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
It is becoming nearly standard to add some life to a detective series by introducing a child of the main character (usually a daughter) as someone to follow in the footsteps of the parent. Most writers are not able to make it work (the failure of Cindy Decker in the Kellerman novels springs to mind) but Mankell makes it looks like an easy thing to do. Before the Frost succeeds remarkably well, and is one of my favorites in the Wallander series.

Mankell has a unique knack of dealing with criminals and subjects that would be too far-fetched in the hands of a lesser writer. In Before the Frost, he explores the subject of religious extremism and cults carried to criminal length. It is an interesting plot, and fits well with the general project that his books seem to have of exploring the changing state of Sweden.

Very highly recommended, either for established series readers or for people new to Kurt Wallander.
17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8c0bc288) étoiles sur 5 Missed the Mark Totally 8 juin 2005
Par Dana M. Lewis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I was very disappointed in Before the Frost. I found Mankell's writing to be stilted, forced even. Linda's character was so annoying and bratty that she was not fun to follow through her rookie days. I also was disappointed with how easily Mankell sold the descriptions of his other well established characters up the river through Linda's immature eyes. All of a sudden Ann-Britt wears too much make up and tight clothes? I don't know if Mankell was trying to do some kind of character study, but he lost me. Unless he allows Linda to mature and not have stupid friends and throw ashtrays, then I will consider pickin up the next novel. But my advice to those who have not read this: don't read it because you will miss Kurt Wallander as if he were dead.
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