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Showing 1-10 of 362 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 556 reviews
on July 19, 2016
I've watched the Wallander series on PBS and wanted to try the books. This is the first I read and I was immediately drawn into Wallander's world. Plan to continue to read his mysteries. I find them well worth my time. The character of Wallander is interesting, believable and definitely flawed, which only makes him more appealing. Other characters are also interesting. Occasionally I found the story confusing but that may have been because everything takes place in Sweden and the Swedish place names can be difficult. But I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience with Wallander.
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on June 20, 2016
This was the first Wallender mystery I'd ever read, a gift from a friend of Swedish descent. I love police procedurals, and this one begins with violence and death, and ends with a breathless chase, as they all do. In the middle, of course, is the tortured character of Kurt Wallender, a lonely man estranged from his wife and worried about his daughter.
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on January 23, 2017
This is not a typical American mystery novel. It has a decidedly Swedish flavor to the writing. Some time has passed since the book was written so there is some adjustments the reader makes in processing the story to deal with a setting that is a quarter of a century ago. But what is true is that the main character thaws out to become an engaging man with a very identifiable set of personality issues. I am going to try another Mankell book to see if the first book is unique...or if the Swedish novel is a unique form of mystery writing.
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on November 15, 2015
Ok, I can't find the original review I wrote for this book, I wrote it on the iPhone app and submitted it. It was a very good review, can't duplicate it so let me just say that this author and this book have rekindled (pun?) my interest in Police Procedurals again. This book is dated, old in some ways, before cell phones and computer access to the world, but, the story is good. I am refreshed with Mankell's style because the pop cop crap that is all over the place has turned me off, this, I hope will be a new road of entertainment. I like it..
The cast of characters is a bit overwhelming and I make up my own way of pronouncing there names and places but once I started reading I was a hook'd into the mystery as much as Kurt.
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on November 23, 2015
It is easy to walk midway into the Inspector Wallander series and get swept away by the relentless pace, dogged investigation and numerous side plots. But you'd be missing something. Kurt Wallander is no Sherlock. He is a compulsive whose personal life is a shambles and unraveling even as he stitches together the most arcane clues to catch the killers. Along the way he encounters broken people beneath a sheen of Swedish normality: the pharmacist with a secret past, the farmer with a double life, and the occasional bitter government functionary. Even his most self-righteous moments are drenched in a coating of self-deprecation as he suffers through attacks by the press, fistfights with suspects and the banal rejection of his family. He is a detective superstar with a chipped tooth. I, for one, love this series. My only regret is that I didn't start at the beginning, so - like Wallander - I have to work my backward.
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on April 29, 2015
Henning Mankell's "Faceless Killers" is the first book in the Kurt Wallander Mystery series. Scandinavian literature I find is usually excellent, and this book doesn't fall short of that. This is the second of Mankell's books I've read, the first being the premiere novel in the Kurt and Linda Wallander series,"Before the Frost." I have gone back and started with the first in the Kurt Wallander series. I'm sure that something gets lost in the translation, but not enough to make this book less than enjoying and atmospherically excellent.

Ystad is a small town in the southern part of Sweden, and police inspector Kurt Wallander works there. In this case, an elderly couple, the Lovgrens, who live on a farm in a remote area of the countryside called Lunnarp, are found dead by their neighbor late on a cold winter night. Their neighbors, the Nystroms, had coffee with the Lovgrens every day for over 40 years, and they see no reason why anyone would want to bludgeon the husband to death and leave Mrs.Lovgren with a noose around her neck, barely alive. Mrs. Lovgren makes it to the hospital and before she dies she says the word, "foreign." There is no money in the home or anything else of value in either couple's farmhouse. Police are suspicious that a foreigner is the one who has committed these crimes but they cannot be sure.

At this time in Sweden, citizens were not that happy that foreign immigrants were coming into the country and had some measures in place to limit the number. Laws have loosened up in recent times. Since Mrs. Lovgren said, "foreign" right before she died, this was a clue to Wallander and other police that the killer might not be from Sweden. But who, and why? And did they hear her correctly in her last breaths as she spoke one word?

Kurt Wallander will do what is needed to solve a case, including going without meals, sleep and living on coffee. His daughter, Linda, in this first novel, is a bit estranged from her father and Kurt's wife has left him.

It is a difficult crime to solve in the dead of winter with not much to go on and so many people in the immigrant refugee camps to interview to see if they know anything, and it's impossible to ask everyone.

The starkness of the lonely countryside matches the loneliness that is within Kurt Wallander himself, but Wallander uses music and his dreams and the cameraderie of his co-workers to soothe that within him that takes over when he is alone at times. Henning Mankell understands his characters and builds them into people the reader also gets to know very well.

Highly recommended.
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on November 10, 2014
This is the first novel in Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander series. I enjoyed this book, the case of a murdered farmer and his wife in the dead of the night in a small Swedish village. Kurt Wallander is a detective dealing with a lot of personal issues involving his family, but he never lets that keep him from doggedly pursuing the killer or killers responsible for the violent deaths of the farmer and his wife. Wallander reflects the image that Sweden brings to my mind: a bit cold and distant, kind of a bleak outlook. Much of the investigation revolves around the possible involvement of refugees that have come to Sweden, and the debate about what the government should be doing about them. These foreigners are shown as both potential perpetrators as well as victims. Wallander attempts to both solve the crime as well as repair the cracks in his relationships with his daughter, father, sister and the wife who divorced him. This was a good read, even if the setting had me reaching for a blanket to ward off the chill my mind was sure I was feeling. I'll gladly read more in this series.
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on April 2, 2017
I stumbled across this thriller and had to doublecheck that it was written in 1991. This plot could have been pulled from today's headlines with the intrigue surrounding the investigation. There's the political correctness, the leaked police info, the plight of the asylum seeker and the stress on the local population.....I initially selected it because I enjoy Europe and the European culture as a back drop. I thought this was an exceptionally enjoyable read.
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on March 8, 2017
I have read all of this series by Henning Mankel. The translations from Swedish are excellent. This is the first novel in the series and I bought it as a gift for a friend. The books should really be read in sequence, as they refer back to previous books.
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on May 7, 2017
Love the way he shows us who Wallander really is and his thought-processes. I love having a complex detective, like Jury, and all the other English authors of mysteries. Elizabeth George is the only American author, so far, that I enjoy.
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