Sunday, December 15, 2019

Faceless Killers (1991)

[False start here.]

Full disclosure, my blog is littered with abandoned projects. One I've been gnawing at for some time is the police procedural, mainly in fiction but some on TV and at the movies too. Early on, because 10 years ago they were everywhere you looked, I flailed at Nordic noir in the form of Stieg Larsson's so-called (so-translated) Girl With the Dragon Tattoo novels (the first two, never made it to the third), and then the false start at Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander novels. Wallander is a police detective in a small city in southern Sweden, his stories set mostly in the '90s. Then an Amazon deal opened up most of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series to me in a convenient way. When I remembered the influence McBain had on Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, the path to Nordic noir became more clear. As a curious aside, I saw an interview with Maj Sjöwall from about 2014 (as I recall), in which she stated flatly that she found Henning Mankell boring. I worried about that, circling back to Faceless Killers again to consider going through Mankell's 11 or so Kurt Wallander tomes. But I did not find it boring at all—in fact, it was even more interesting with its themes of immigrant tensions and hostilities. It features vigilante white nationalist groups killing immigrants, especially immigrants of color, for the sake of terror. It seemed far away and imaginary when I wrote my 2012 review and so much more starkly real now. Faceless Killers might be the one to read if you only read one. So my plan now is on to the rest of them. As a meandering point of interest, other police procedural-related items I would like to get to from there include finishing the Dragon Tattoo trilogy and its TV and movie productions, continuing with the Law & Order seasons, maybe Hill Street Blues, and eventually the Jack Webb empire, including especially Adam-12. We'll see how far I get.

In case it's not at the library.

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