Can't get enough of AMC's 'The Killing'? You'll love these books

The-Troubled-Man

Image Credit: Carole Segal/AMC

AMC’s excellent new mystery series The Killing is set in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s based on a Danish show and the scenery, atmosphere, and quiet vibe are all pure Nordic noir. So if you’ve found yourself sucked in and are eager for more chilly Scandinavian-style suspense, here’s a recommendation: Swedish crime novelist Henning Mankell, whose new (and final) Kurt Wallander mystery, The Troubled Man, recently hit bookstores.

Mankell has been beaten by French police and arrested by Israeli commandos. He’s worked on a Swedish merchant ship, at a Paris musical-instrument shop, and as the artistic director of an African theater company. He spent years living in the middle of a long, bloody civil war in Mozambique. And he’s managed to find time to write some 40 books, which are available in 41 languages and have sold almost 40 million copies around the world. “I have been accused of many things in my life,” he says in a feature in this week’s Entertainment Weekly. “But never of being lazy.”

Mankell is best known for his 11 books featuring Wallander, an overweight, middle-aged, diabetic police inspector who fights bad guys and personal demons in a small town at the desolate southern tip of Sweden. Fans of The Killing will love the Wallander books’ precise procedural detail, thoughtful pace, and well-drawn characters. So if you find yourself getting antsy while waiting a whole week to find out what happens next on the show, pick up one of Mankell’s books (they’re all good, but start with the first one, Faceless Killers). And be sure to check out our story on Mankell in the latest issue, on newsstands now.

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  • EW pay attention

    Wallander is huge worldwide. Even made it on PBS and that was the eng. lang. ver. U really need 2 source your material better.

    • Agreed

      I agree with your note wholeheartedly. Discovered Wallander through the PBS shows. Only trouble is I found that the cases must not translate well to tv at times, because you could see the pattern in a few of those on PBS after you had watched a while. I much prefer Val McDermid and her Tony Hale stuff in Wire In The Blood (BBC), or even the BBC’s Ashes to Ashes. Now those were appointment TV (just like The Killing has become)!

  • Zo

    I have been jonesing all week for more of “The Killing”! I think I might have startled some people last night at the movies when (just during the commercials) I squealed to my husband, “I just can’t WAIT for THE KILLING tomorrow night!”
    Good idea, EW, to recommend books for the show’s fans. Was hoping for more titles/authors though, actually. Maybe the fans can chime in with their rec’s now?

    • Quinn Scully

      A few years ago I read a book called “Skin and Bones” by D.C. Corso — set in the Pacific Northwest, same dark atmosphere and creepy vibe, kidnappings and did I mention it’s dark? I was surprised that this book is barely known; someone gave it to me as a gift and I can barely find anything about it or the author! Anyone else got some recs? – Quinn

  • Mincha

    I’d recommend Karin Fossum, Arnaldur Indridason, Johan Theorin, Jo Nesbo and the classics from Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.

  • larry k

    AMC does it again,with another excellant show!

  • Toni

    Rosie’s father’s co-worker(in the beginning of the pilot) is the murderer of Rosie.

  • jmcg

    I hope AMC doesn’t drag this one out like they did Rubicon–as soon as I started really liking it, it was cancelled. I liked the premiere, but 2 things are bugging me: 1. I didn’t like the way that detective told Mr. Larsen “you shouldn’t be here” after they just pulled his daughter out of the lake, there was no emotion whatsoever and 2. I don’t like all those long silent close-ups on the detective–I just don’t see her acting without saying anything. Maybe she’ll get better as the show progresses, but I don’t see it yet.

    • Carol

      I totally agree with you on the detective close-ups. I hope she doesn’t turn into another David Caruso; all she needs is the sunglasses.

      • Photog Bill

        I see your point with the detective’s close-ups being overdone and annoying but what is profoundly more annoying to me is that the entire show is filled with background ‘noise’ to the point that it is sometimes extremely hard to ‘hear’ what the actors are saying. It almost produces the same effect as ‘white noise’. I haven’t heard this same technique used in other productions before …at least to the volume levels as in ‘The Killing’. THe volume levels of the ‘background noise’ is way higher than any other film production in my recent memory. They even use this annoying sound engineering technique in scenes where there would not normally be any ‘background’ noise whatsoever like in office scenes or scenes where there is dialog being spoken in the dead girls home between family members. I don’t know if this is an attempt to ‘copy’ the Danish series sound engineer’s technique or just their own ‘artistic’ style but if that is the case …I hope this doesn’t become ‘the norm’ in movie making. This …above all else …besides the transparency of the script will keep me from becoming a fan! (I mean who didn’t figure out by the early scenes of the 2-hour debut that the lead female detective wasn’t going to quit her job and marry her fiance …but instead going to stay on the case and …news flash …will have an affair with her ‘new’ vise cop partner!?)

    • Ernie

      These are some of the things that I like about the show. I think that the cool way that she bottled up her feelings and remained detached in this scene was excellent. Having watched the original, the female cop turned out to be one of the greatest fictional detectives ever to hit the screen. Also, I think that your predictions are wrong. The original show flew in the face of convention and confonded expectations many times. I suspect that this version will do the same.

      • Quinn Scully

        I agree with Ernie — I also think her reaction at the scene of the body was 100 percent on-target; at that point they didn’t have an ID for sure and couldn’t have anything from the father introduced to the crime scene in because it could contaminate evidence. A detective’s job is to remain detached in the most difficult times. I haven’t noticed any weird noise issues, but I do think that background noise is ALWAYS present in real life and adds reality and an ominous feel to it. Just my two cents tho!

    • Matthew

      Hm, den de4r e4r den enda roman jag faktiskt HAR le4st av just Mankell ananrs he5ller jag mig till deckarna, tihi Dock KOM jag igenom den. Budskapet c4R egentligen HELT re4tt men den blev fel? Le4sve4rd om man inte har ne5got annat att le4sa men inget jag heller egentligen skriker ut ni me5ste le4sa Hm, fick ihop ett underligt inle4gg ang FK/AF ige5r, dock Me5 se5 grankott hm, har han skrivit om Sveriges historia???

  • JAMES

    i think it looks fine an a dam good show!!

  • Nancy Kelly

    I feel Detective Sarah’s partner might have killed Rosie

    • Photog Bill

      I’m thinking more that it’s the politician’s top male staff member with the cocky attitude and bad advise …who it turns out was subverting the campaign. Remember, it was a campaign car trunk that the dead girl was found in.

  • David

    Try THE TREATMENT by Mo Hayder.

  • angie pangie

    I DEFINITELY recommend Tana French’s novels.

    • Lea

      Ditto on Tana French.

  • blue

    Mankell is way overrated. Pick up just about any of the hot Scandinavian mystery writers, and you’ll get a better read.

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