The Troubled Man, p.1Henning Mankell
About the Book
Every morning Håkan von Enke takes a walk in the forest near his apartment in Stockholm. However, one winter’s day he fails to come home. It seems that the retired naval officer has vanished without trace.
Detective Kurt Wallander is not officially involved in the investigation but he has personal reasons for his interest in the case as Håkan’s son is engaged to his daughter Linda. A few months earlier, at Håkan’s 75th birthday party, Kurt noticed that the old man appeared uneasy and seemed eager to talk about a controversial incident from his past career that remained shrouded in mystery. Could this be connected to his disappearance? When Håkan’s wife Louise also goes missing, Wallander is determined to uncover the truth.
His search leads him down dark and unexpected avenues involving espionage, betrayal and new information about events during the Cold War that threatens to cause a political scandal on a scale unprecedented in Swedish history. The investigation also forces Kurt to look back over his own past and consider his hopes and regrets, as he comes to the unsettling realisation that even those we love the most can remain strangers to us.
And then an even darker cloud appears on the horizon...
The return of Kurt Wallander, for his final case, has already caused a sensation around the globe. The Troubled Man confirms Henning Mankell’s position as the king of crime writing.
ALSO BY HENNING MANKELL
Kurt Wallander Series
The Dogs of Riga
The White Lioness
The Man Who Smiled
The Fifth Woman
One Step Behind
Before the Frost
The Return of the Dancing Master
Chronicler of the Winds
The Eye of the Leopard
The Man from Beijing
I Die, but the Memory Lives On
Young Adult Fiction
A Bridge to the Stars
Shadows in the Twilight
When the Snow Fell
The Journey to the End of the World
The Cat Who Liked Rain
Translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson
This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author’s and publisher’s rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.
Epub ISBN 9781409019459
Published by Harvill Secker 2011
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Copyright © Henning Mankell 2009
English translation copyright © Laurie Thompson 2011
Henning Mankell has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser
First published with the title Den orolige mannen in 2009 by Leopard Förlag, Stockholm in arrangement with Leonhardt & Høier Literary Agency, Copenhagen
First published in Great Britain in 2011 by
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A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 9781846553714 (hardback)
ISBN 9781846553721 (trade paperback)
About the Book
Also By Henning Mankell
Invasion of the Swamps
Incidents Under the Surface
The Sleeping Beauty’s Slumber
People always leave traces.
No person is without a shadow.
You forget what you want to remember
and remember what you would prefer to forget.
– Graffiti on buildings in New York City
The story begins with a sudden fit of rage.
The cause of it was a report that had been submitted the previous evening, which the prime minister was now reading at his poorly lit desk. But shortly before that, the stillness of morning held sway in the Swedish government offices.
It was 1983, an early-spring day in Stockholm, with a damp fog hovering over the city and trees that had not yet come into leaf.
When Prime Minister Olof Palme finished reading the last page, he stood up and walked over to a window. Seagulls were wheeling around outside.
The report was about the submarines. The accursed submarines that in the autumn of 1982 were presumed to have violated Swedish territorial waters. In the middle of it all there was a general election in Sweden, and Olof Palme had been asked by the Speaker to form a new government since the non-socialist parties had lost several seats and no longer had a parliamentary majority. The first thing the new government did was to set up a commission to investigate the incident with the submarines, which had never been forced to surface. Former defence minister Sven Andersson was chairman of the commission. Olof Palme had now read his report and was none the wiser. The conclusions were incomprehensible. He was furious.
But it should be noted that this was not the first time Palme had got worked up about Sven Andersson. His aversion really dated back to the day in June 1963, just before midsummer, when an elegantly dressed grey-haired fifty-seven-year-old man was arrested
When he was arrested, the prime minister at the time, Tage Erlander, was on his way home from a trip abroad, one of his few holidays, to one of Reso’s resorts in Riva del Sole. When Erlander stepped off the plane and was mobbed by a large crowd of journalists, not only was he totally unprepared, he also knew next to nothing about the incident. Nobody had told him about the arrest, and he had heard nothing about a suspicious Colonel Wennerström. It is possible that the name and the suspicions had been mentioned in passing when the minister of defence held one of his infrequent information sessions with the prime minister, but not in connection with anything serious, anything specific. There were always rumours circulating about suspected Russian spies in the murky waters that constituted the so-called Cold War. And so Erlander’s response was less than illuminating. The man who had been prime minister without a break for what seemed like an eternity – twenty-three years, to be exact – stood there open-mouthed and had no idea what to say since neither Defence Minister Andersson nor anybody else involved had informed him of what was going on. During the last part of his journey home, from Copenhagen to Stockholm, which barely took an hour, he could have been filled in and thus been prepared to say something to the excited journalists; but nobody had met him at Kastrup Airport and accompanied him on the last leg of the flight.
During the days that followed, Erlander came very close to resigning as prime minister and leader of the Social Democrats. Never before had he been so disappointed in his colleagues in government. And Olof Palme, who had already emerged as Erlander’s chosen successor, naturally shared his mentor’s anger at the nonchalance that had resulted in Erlander’s humiliation. Palme watched over his master like a savage bloodhound, as they used to say in circles close to the government.
He could never forgive Sven Andersson for what he had done to Tage Erlander.
Subsequently, a lot of people wondered why Palme included Andersson in his governments. However, it was not particularly difficult to understand why. Of course Palme could have refused; but in practice it simply wasn’t possible. Andersson had a lot of power and a lot of influence among the grass roots of the party. He was the son of a labourer, unlike Palme, who had direct links to Baltic nobility, had officers in his family – indeed, he was a reserve officer himself – and had come from the well-to-do Swedish upper class. He had no grass-roots support in the party. Olof Palme was a defector who was no doubt serious about his political allegiance to the Social Democrats, but, nevertheless, he was an outsider, a political pilgrim who had wandered into the party.
Now Palme could no longer contain his fury. He turned to face Sven Andersson, who was sitting hunched up on the grey sofa in the prime minister’s office. Palme was bright red in the face, and his arms were twitching in the strange way they did when he lost his temper.
‘There is no proof,’ he roared. ‘Only claims, insinuations, nods and winks from disloyal navy officers. This investigation has shed light on nothing at all. On the contrary, it has left us wallowing in political swamps.’
A couple of years before, in the early hours of 28 October 1981, a Soviet submarine had run aground in Gåsefjärden Bay off Karlskrona. The bay was not only Swedish territorial water, but also a military restricted area. The submarine was labelled U-137, and the captain on board, Anatoli Michailovitch Gushchin, maintained that his craft had gone off course because of an unknown defect in its gyrocompass. Swedish naval officers and local fishermen were convinced that only an extremely drunk captain could have managed to penetrate that far into the archipelago without running aground earlier.
On 6 November, U-137 was towed out into international waters and disappeared. But on that occasion there had been no doubt at all that it was a Russian submarine in Swedish territorial waters. However, it was never established if it had been an intentional violation of Swedish sovereignty or a case of drunkenness at sea. No respectable navy would admit, of course, that their commanding officer had been drunk while on duty.
So their denial was regarded as proof that he had been. But where was the proof now?
No one knows what former minister of defence Andersson had to say in his own defence and that of his investigation. He made no notes, and Olof Palme was assassinated a year or so afterwards; he left no witness accounts either.
So it all began with a fit of rage. This story about the realities of politics, this journey into the swamps where truth and lies are indistinguishable and nothing is clear.
Invasion of the Swamps
The year Kurt Wallander celebrated his fifty-fifth birthday, he fulfilled a long-held dream. Ever since his divorce from Mona fifteen years earlier, he had intended to leave his apartment in Mariagatan, where so many unpleasant memories were etched into the walls, and move out to the country. Every time he came home in the evening after a stressful and depressing workday, he was reminded that once upon a time he had lived there with a family. Now the furniture stared at him as if accusing him of desertion.
He could never reconcile himself to living there until he became so old that he might not be able to look after himself any more. Although he had not yet reached the age of sixty, he reminded himself over and over again of his father’s lonely old age, and he knew he had no desire to follow in his footsteps. He needed only to look into the bathroom mirror in the morning when he was shaving to see that he was growing more and more like his father. When he was young, his face had resembled his mother’s. But now it seemed as if his father was taking him over – like a runner who has been lagging a long way behind but is slowly catching up the closer he gets to the invisible finishing line.
Wallander’s world view was fairly simple. He did not want to become a bitter hermit growing old in isolation, being visited only by his daughter and perhaps now and then by a former colleague who had suddenly remembered that Wallander was still alive. He had no religious hopes of there being something in store for him on the other side of the black River Styx. There would be nothing but the same darkness that he had once emerged from. Until his fiftieth birthday, he had harboured a vague fear of death, something that had become his own personal mantra – that he would be dead for such a long time. He had seen far too many dead bodies in his life. There was nothing in their expressionless faces to suggest that their souls had been absorbed into some kind of heaven. Like so many other police officers, he had experienced every possible variation of death. Just after his fiftieth birthday had been celebrated with a party and cake at the police station, marked by a speech full of empty phrases by the former chief of police, Liza Holgersson, he had bought a new notebook and tried to record his memories of all the dead people he had come across. It had been a macabre exercise and he had no idea why he had been tempted to pursue it. When he got as far as the tenth suicide, a man in his forties, a drug addict with more or less every problem it was possible to imagine, he gave up. The man had hanged himself in the attic of the condemned apartment building where he lived, hanging in such a way that he was guaranteed to break his neck and hence avoid being slowly choked to death. His name was Welin. The pathologist had told Wallander that the man had been successful – he had proved to be a skilful executioner. At that point Wallander had abandoned his suicide cases and instead stupidly devoted several hours in an attempt to recall the young people or children he had found dead. But he soon gave that up as well. It was too repugnant. Then he felt ashamed of what he had been trying to do and burned the notebook, as if his efforts were both perverted and illegal. In fact, he was basically a cheerful person – it was just that he had allowed another side of his personality to take over.
Death had been his constant companion. He had killed people in the line of duty – but after the obligatory investigation
Having killed two people was the cross he had to bear. If he rarely laughed, it was because of what he had been forced to endure.
But one day he made a critical decision. He had been out near Löderup, not far from the house where his father used to live, to talk to a farmer who had been the target of a very nasty robbery. On the way back to Ystad he noticed an estate agent’s sign picturing a little dirt road where there was a house for sale. He reacted automatically, stopped the car, turned round and found his way to the address. Even before he got out of the car it was obvious to him that the property was in need of repair. It had originally been a U-shaped building, the bottom half clad in wood. But now one of the wings was missing – perhaps it had burned down. He walked round the house. It was a day in early autumn. He could still remember seeing a skein of geese migrating south, flying directly above his head. He peered in through the windows and soon established that only the roof badly needed to be fixed. The view was enchanting; he could just make out the sea in the far distance, and possibly even one of the ferries on the way to Ystad from Poland. That afternoon in September 2003 marked the beginning of a love story with this remote house.
He drove straight to the estate agent’s office in the centre of Ystad. The asking price was low enough that he would be able to manage the mortgage payments. The very next day he returned to negotiate with the agent, a young man who spoke at breakneck speed and gave the impression of living in a parallel universe. The previous owners were a young couple who had moved to Skåne from Stockholm but almost immediately, before they even had time to buy furniture, decided to split up. Yet there was nothing hidden in the walls of the empty house that scared him. And the most important thing was crystal clear: he would be able to move in without delay. The roof would last for another year or two; all he needed to do was to redecorate some of the rooms, perhaps install a new bath and maybe acquire a new stove. But the boiler was less than fifteen years old, and all the plumbing and electrical fittings no older.
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