Sidetracked, Henning Mankell, 1995

The fifth book in the Kurt Wallender series, but my first after this specific book was on Wendy Lesser’s Top 100 list.  Wallender is a brilliant policeman in Ystad, Sweden on the south coast not far from Malmo and the ferry to Denmark.  Divorced, living alone, eating poorly, but focused like a laser on the evidence in a case involving an axe murderer who scalps his victims, takes out their eyes with HCl or puts their heads in an oven—obviously not a book for the faint-hearted.  A good read with lots of twists and turns, excellent action writing, and a happy ending without too much tachycardia for the reader.  I’m eager to continue to read Wallender books, either starting with the first, reading randomly as used book stores allow, or perhaps just the last one.  Mankell evidently stopped writing this series in 2009 with the tenth book in the series, so there are only nine more to go.