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I wanted to show how difficult it is to be a good police officer. But after, I think, the third novel, I spoke to this friend of mine and asked what sort of disease I could give [Wallender]. Without hesitating, she said: "Diabetes!". So I gave him diabetes and that made him more popular. I mean, you could never imagine James Bond giving himself a shot of insulin, but with Wallander it seemed ...
He left school at 16 to join the merchant navy, and became a stevedore on a Swedish ship carrying coal and iron ore. Two years later, he moved to Paris, barely scraping by, but thriving on the student activism and political debates. After a year and a half, he returned to Stockholm to work as a stagehand.