One of the leading writers in the ‘Scandi Crime’ genre, Henning Mankell, has died. Aside from being a crime writer, Mankell was also a playwright, scriptwriter and children’s author. Mankell was also active in a number of political and social causes.
Mankell was best known for creating the police inspector, Kurt Wallander, who featured in twelve novels. The books have been adapted a number of times into television series, the most well-known being the 2008/2009 BBC series starring Sir Kenneth Branagh. Wallander first appeared in 1989’s The Faceless Killers. At first Mankell was unaware he had created a recurring character, but after the first couple of novels realised he had this creation that could be useful. In an interview in 2011 he said “I wanted to show how difficult it is to be a good police officer. But after, I think, the third novel, I spoke to this friend of mine and asked what sort of disease I could give him. Without hesitating, she said: ‘Diabetes!’ So I gave him diabetes and that made him more popular. I mean, you could never imagine James Bond giving himself a shot of insulin, but with Wallander it seemed perfectly natural.”