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Tributes paid to crime writer Henning Mankell

Author Henning Mankell, who has died aged 67 
Cathal McGuigan

SWEDISH crime writer Henning Mankell has died at the age of 67.

He is best known for his novels featuring Inspector Kurt Wallander, which were turned into a TV drama starring Belfast-born actor Kenneth Branagh.

Derry author Brian McGilloway, author of the Inspector Devlin novels, was among those who paid tribute to Mankell, describing him as a “leading light in Nordic Noir.”

“He was one of the greats at using crime fiction to peer behind the facade that society presents and really examine the darkness that lay within,” he said.

“His work has had a huge impact, particularly on police procedurals with the character of Wallander a touchstone of the genre. It's very sad news.”

Many other crime writers and fans took to Twitter to pay their respects.

The author and theatre director died in the city of Gothenburg, south-western Sweden, during the night following his battle with cancer, his publisher Leopard said on its website.

Mankell revealed he was suffering from cancer last year.

Writing in the Guardian in February 2014, he described the period after his diagnosis as a "10-day-long descent into hell".

He leaves his wife of 17 years, Eva Bergman, the daughter of Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman.

His books sold more than 40 million copies worldwide in more than 40 languages.

In addition to crime novels, Mankell also wrote plays, screenplays and books for children.

He was on board the MS Sofia, an aid flotilla bound for Gaza, when ships forming the 'Gaza Freedom Flotilla' were boarded by Israeli troops in May 2010.

Mankell was arrested by Israeli forces and deported back to Sweden following the incident, in which nine human rights activists were killed.

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