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Faceless Killers Mass Market Paperback – January 25, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
As the story opens, an elderly farmer discovers that his neighbors, also elderly, have been attacked. The husband has been gruesomely tortured and killed and his wife left for dead. Before she dies in the hospital, her last word is "foreign." With anti-immigrant sentiment running high already, the last thing the police need is for this to slip out to the media, but someone in the department leaks the information and suddenly refugee camps in the area are being firebombed. When a Somali refugee is killed, seemingly at random, Wallander and his men have two difficult cases to untangle.
This was a very strong mystery, with a great central character and careful attention to settings. Wallander is cut from the same cloth as John Rebus and Alan Banks. He's struggling with loneliness after his wife has unexpectedly left him and his close ties with his daughter have been severed. He has to deal with an aging, possibly senile, father and his attraction to the new female district attorney who is filling in on an interim basis, and who happens to be married.Read more ›
With the chief out of town, Wallender spearheads the investigation into the apparently motiveless crime, while at the same time struggling to cope with his disintegrating personal life. His wife has just left him, his teenage daughter is estranged from him, and his aging father gives new meaning to the word cantankerous. It doesn't help that Wallender eats junk food for meals and drinks himself to sleep. Soon a firebombing of a refugee camp increases the pressure for a quick solution, and then a Somali is shotgunned to death, making for even more problems. Despite the best efforts of Wallender's team, they just can't seem to get anywhere as the months drag on. The breakthrough that leads to the solution seems to come out of nowhere, but it works nonetheless.
The story is written in prose that can perhaps best be described as methodical, and when combined with the bleak weather, it ably captures the reserved nature of Scandinavia. The immigration issue is handled fairly well and raises difficult questions.Read more ›
This is the first in Mankell's Inspector Wallander series. Set in rural Sweden it is a police procedural. The opening chapters of the novel are gripping. It begins with a vicious murder to which Wallander is called. There are few clues, other than the last word of the second murder victim, "Foreigners". When news of this leaks out Wallander is drawn into a series of racially motivated incidents, and investigations around camps holding asylum seekers.
The tension is built up well in the first half of the novel, and the investigation of the murder, and the racial incidents, maintains high interest. The second half of the novel is more slackly paced, the denouement slightly disappointing.
Wallander is a fascinating character, and while the novel is third person narrative, so much is written from Wallander's perspective that the novel might as well be in the first person. Wallander is not the most likeable of characters. He has a strained relationship with his father and daughter, has recently separated, and falls into a number of stereotypes as the "loner" cop. Wallander's flaws, his racism (his observations on asylum seekers, for example), and his misogyny, for example, create a rounded well-drawn character. You may not like Wallander but so crafted is the character that his motivation is comprehensible.
However, the depth given to Wallander means that supporting characters suffer. Wallander's father - never satisfied, slightly ill-tempered, and suffering from a serious illness - has potential to be an interesting character, but seems instead to act as a checkbox to note Wallander's famly troubles.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was my first book by Henning Mankell. The book is also the first of a series featuring detective Kurt Wallender as the primary
protagonist. Read more
Mankell is a great writer. I'm not familiar enough with Sweden or its culture to appreciate the workPublished 1 month ago by Anita Johnson
This Swedish author writes a good mystery story w/o an abundance of sex. The main character, Kurt Wallander, is an ordinary police officer who isn’t handsome, isn’t physically... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dolphin Totem
After all the hype about Kenneth Branagh's "Wallender", I was expecting to be blown away. Not even close. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Demongrrrrl
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. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lynn Pena