Although there are plenty of character flaws with the main character Kurt Wallander you stick with it because you want to see how he solves the crime. As a person he is losing on almost every front on his personal life but as a policeman he retains a gift of insight that is capable of solving crimes others are scrambling in the dark over.
Although the double murder of the old couple in the farm remains unsolved attention switches to a racist attack that leaves a Somalian dead after he is shot in the face. A former policeman reports that it was his car that might have been used for the crime because it is missing but Wallander tumbles that he is in fact the murderer. He risks his life to prove it and they do manage to wrap up the case before any of the other refugees are killed.
Meanwhile Wallander has a terrible meeting with his wife, his father is going senile and he gets too carried away and tries to get physical with the chief prosecutor in a way that borders not far off assault. He is also caught drink driving by some colleagues who allow it to go unreported.
Morale in the police is low with the double farm murder remaining unsolved and Wallander is constantly looking for a breakthrough and starts to focus on tracking down the mistress of the murdered farmer without any luck.
The weather starts to play an increasing role with Wallander trying to fight off a cold and wishing the snow would stay away. You sense the cold, the loneliness of being newly separated and the desperation of wanting to close the case. In the meantime those who depend on him outside of the police station get forgotten and suffer from a lack of attention.
You might not be a total fan of Wallander but you want him to succeed and it hard to put down the book when the remaining pages hold the key to the story.
Final chunk tomorrow…