Mankell does not provide many laughs but his writing is compelling. Inspector Wallander has more demons that the Lord of the Ring's trilogy but he is persistant and thorough if nothing else. Wallander's approach is slow and methodical but Mankell provides tension and leaves the reader with enough suspense to keep him on the the edge of the seat.
This novel is cloaked with atmosphere and character. Hoeg's writing, like many Scandanavian authors explores the darker side of human nature and he gives us a hero in Smilla that is hard to like but always engaging and not the typical heroine. Though the novel does spin off at a tangent into x-files territory it is still an amazing read.
Palahniuk is one of my favourite authors. He is never afraid of challenging the boundries of fiction and produces some of the sharpest funniest satire today. Fight Club shows Palahniuk at the height of his powers. If you haven't read the book do yourself a favour and pick up a copy. David Fincher's film adaptation is amazing but the book is superlative.