Friday, October 8, 2010

Showing my age

I finished Henning Mankell's The Man Who Smiled just in time to watch it this Sunday on Masterpiece Mystery. It should make for a good screen adaptation: a few murders, a landmine and car explosion, a castle at the center of the mystery. The aging Wallander goes a little gung-ho at the end. Never thought of him as an action hero, but should be fun to watch Kenneth Branagh, who does a great job, struggle through. Rupert Graves plays the castle owner. Saw him most recently as an aging bad boy artist in an episode of Masterpiece Mystery's Inspector Lewis series so a little jarring to see him again so soon in another role. In the last one, though, he was a mess and in this one he should have commanding control of a vast and nefarious business empire.

Minor quibble with the book: Wallander has a lapse in ethical judgment, I think, employing a non-cop in a possibly dangerous subterfuge. Not that Wallander can't have his flaws, he has plenty. Just didn't seem true to character to have him put an innocent bystander in jeopardy.

Speaking of aging: I wrote that I like Blue Bloods, CBS' new Friday night cop show. Apparently, it has the oldest audience in TV-dom. Not sure how significant that is since the audience for all TV is getting older and older.


Anonymous said...

I agree that Wallender shouldn't have used a non cop.
I've noticed that some established writers screw up the logic of the plot line about 3/4 of the way through a book.
The plot is twisted so that all that the main character has done becomes moot. The endings are also odd.
Not a mystery, but the latest Lee Child Reacher novel does this.

Cops and Cozies said...

And the non-cop does nothing to further the plot. Oh, well, she does find a dead body. I suppose that moves the plot along. ;-)

But I think Wallander could have figured out something was afoot without this character telling him so it is doubly puzzling why Mankell introduces the girl into the story and misuses her.