Friday, August 28, 2009


Update: Please join me at my new blog Crime Scraps Review where you can read all the old stuff and a lot of new material.

The Container Lorry was a harrowing episode of Wallander in which we returned to the theme of immigration and the moral dilemma faced by those who want to make this a better world.

A socially concerned organization LLU [Life Line Unlimited] in conjunction with a convent of nuns have been bringing illegal immigrants into Sweden from Iraq.
They sincerely believe that they are bringing the families to a better and safer life in Sweden, and do not consider that the immigrants will be illegals living in a strange country and as such extremely vulnerable to exploitation relevant.

Two Iraqi children are already safely in the convent, when something goes "amiss" and an abandoned container lorry is found in a beautiful wooded area. The beauty of the area is contrasted with the rubbish round the lorry and then Linda and Svartman find nine dead bodies in the back; theses people have suffocated leaving as the solitary survivor a six month old baby.
As the investigation proceeds Kurt and his team discover that the nuns and LLU are simply being used by vicious criminals for their own purposes.

Kurt, Stefan and Linda face the horror of this investigation in different ways.
Kurt, becoming a bit of a babe magnet, sleeps with the attractive blonde Europol expert on people trafficking, before devising a clever plan.
Stefan rages at the Abbess of the convent and follows his own personal code of justice.
While Linda despite still functioning and finding important links in the case has a reaction to the constant stress and the psychological trauma of police work.

This was a very thought provoking episode that raised a lot of questions without attempting to find any real solutions, although Kurt Wallander did mention that the lack of real border controls under the EU made policing more difficult.

The wagon photographed on the left [taken at Mendenhall Plantation, Jamestown near High Point, North Carolina] is the "container lorry" of the period 1830-1860 and with its secret compartment was used to smuggle escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad to the Free States of the USA.
The Mendenhalls were Quakers who acted only with the best of motives, but I wonder how many of those freed slaves were then shipped out to Haiti, Liberia, or Freetown in Sierra Leone.


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