TV Review: ‘Mankells Wallander’

John Thomas

Being a parent and a policeman can be difficult for a family. Kurt Wallander (Krister Henriksson) is a highly respected police chief in Ystad, Sweden, and a miserable husband to his wife and father to his only daughter, Linda (Johanna Sällström).

The two women leave Ystad to begin new lives – the wife consoles herself with alcohol, the daughter with education. Communication between the three has ceased until Linda returns to Ystad as a recent graduate of the police academy.

Old tensions between father and daughter continue until interrupted by the discovery of an elderly woman found dead in a remote forested area. At the site the two determine that her death was caused by a wound to her head either from a fall or a blunt instrument. Father and daughter begin investigating – both united in purpose but with differing points of view.

Not interested in moving back into her old room at home, Linda asks a quirky former classmate, Anna (Ellen Jelinek), if she can stay with her for a few days. Anna reluctantly agrees. The two discuss their horrible fathers – Linda’s was present but never around, Anna’s was never present. With Anna absent for a few days, Linda begins to explore the apartment. One of her discoveries is a 1978 photo of Jim Jones with Anna’s father standing behind him.

The photo becomes a lead in Linda’s current investigations. It’s time for Linda to find other living arrangements.

While being trained to use a speed detecting device, Linda pulls over the driver of a car traveling way too fast on a country road. The wickedly attractive driver, Stefan Lindman (Ola Rapace), later appears at the police station with ticket in hand and a letter assigning him to the station – he’s their newest recruit.

A call comes in requiring someone to investigate a theft in the home of one of the town’s most prominent residents. Kurt assigns Linda and Stefan the task.

While on a call to a later crime scene, the couple look for a rental for Stefan who can’t afford to continue living in a hotel. Stefan finds a summer cottage at an off-season price. Even without heat against the cold winter temperatures, he decides to rent the small home.

He suggests that Linda move in with him and offers her the main bedroom. She accepts with both agreeing to a no sex living arrangement. The two are called to investigate a missing person, the death of a Liberian man on a train traveling from Ystad, and an abandoned semi-trailer filled with refugees.

Stefan and Linda work well together, until his affair with a female resident in town is discovered. It’s time for Linda to move again. The investigation of an American tourist found murdered after visiting a prominent photographer brings Linda and Kurt closer together. They respect each other’s investigating and evaluating skills used to solve crimes.

They also begin to respect each other as persons, leading to Linda’s accepting Kurt’s offer to move back home. Linda is finally able to confess to her father her true feelings for Stefan.

A multi-season, Swedish TV series based on the novels by Henning Mankell and is a “see” for the captivating stories unfolding just as accurately as Mankell has penned them.


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