Four nuns and a fifth woman, a visitor to Africa, are killed in a savage night-time attack. Months later in Sweden, the news of the unexplained tragedy sets off a cruel vengeance for these killings. Inspector Kurt Wallander is home from an idyllic holiday in Rome, full of energy and plans for the future. Autumn settles in, and Wallander prays the ...
Four nuns and a fifth woman, a visitor to Africa, are killed in a savage night-time attack. Months later in Sweden, the news of the unexplained tragedy sets off a cruel vengeance for these killings. Inspector Kurt Wallander is home from an idyllic holiday in Rome, full of energy and plans for the future. Autumn settles in, and Wallander prays the winter will be peaceful. But when he investigates the disappearance of an elderly birdwatcher he discovers a gruesome and meticulously planned murder - a body impaled in a trap of sharpened bamboo poles. Then another man is reported missing. And once again Wallander's life is on hold as he and his team work tirelessly to find a link between the series of vicious murders. Making progress through dogged police work and forever battling to make sense of the violence of modern Sweden, Wallander leads a massive investigation to find a killer whose crimes are the product of new realities that make the Inspector despair.
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This was excellent, fascinating tale. Typical Mankell. It reads so fast I had to force myself to find a stopping place in order to get at least a couple hours of sleep.
Aug 20, 2009
Sweden Crime Wave
Had it not been for Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson I never would have guessed there were so many murders in Sweden. Thank God I've been alerted to it! After reading the first two books in Larsson's triology, I turned to Mankell and his personal, absorbing creation, Kurt Wallander. I've read seven Wallander novels, following his travels and personal angst up and down the Swedish peninsula. Kurt is a enjoyable if somewhat morose character but that seems to be in concert with the Swedish weather in Ystad. The Fifth Woman is a particularly good example of Henning and Wallander exhibiting their sleuthing skills amid a far spun plot that begins in Africa. As most mystery fans should know, Mankell and Wallander are a "must" for any serious reader, and, I should mention, as well as Stieg Larsson. Yes, Yes, and Yes.
Apr 16, 2009
excellent murder mystery featuring the unusual Wallendar. You will have to read every one written
May 5, 2007
A Satisfying Read
Hard-Boiled? Nah. Just introverted, and worn at the edges by life, and by what he's seen. This case is another in the list of those that let Wallender consider quiting his job and retiring to a house by the Swedish coast. With a dog, perhaps. What sets Mankell's mysteries a notch above the others is the voice he establishes in his characterization of Kurt Wallender and then carries forth from novel to novel, developing new and compelling aspects of his protagonist as he goes along.
Publishers Weekly, 2000-07-11 Dr. Gerald Ashenden, "Ireland's justly famous thoracic surgeon," is lucky to escape with only a broken shoulder after being trampled by his gray stallion, Thor, ridden by his pregnant granddaughter, Rowena Keegan, in this nominal cozy marred by clumsy, overheated dialogue ("That murderous attack on Gerald! Oh, no, Inspector! I did nothing of the kind!"), short, choppy chapters (81 in all) and improbable detail (a "glass-fronted" police station). Rowena's plucky American friend, language expert Torrey Tunet, is sure Rowena didn't run down her grandfather deliberately. But when someone shoots Thor with the tip of a knitting needle, causing the horse to throw Ashenden to his death, Torrey has her work cut out to prove Rowena's innocence. In her hunt for the real murderer, Torrey discovers that the doctor had a few skeletons in the closet: a blackmailing grandson, a jilted Danish girlfriend and a plot to induce abortion through an overdose of X-rays. Will Rowena get an abortion? Who's the father? Could it be a case of incest? Such questions as these generate some tension and suspense, but Deere, author of one previous mystery (The Irish Cottage Murder), has yet to learn how to convince?at the climax, the police gather a bunch of suspects together and question them as a group. The revelation that the killer used a child's popgun to shoot Thor with the knitting needle is the final absurdity, while the reason Thor attacked his master remains a mystery. (Aug.) THE FIFTH WOMAN: A Kurt Wallander Mystery Henning Mankell. New Press, $24.95 (432p) ISBN 1-56584-547-1 ~ At the start of this Swedish version of the station-house police procedural, set in the Skåne district in the south of Sweden, Det. Kurt Wallander, who has just returned from an idyllic vacation in Rome, joins the hunt for the missing Holger Eriksson, an elderly poet. Finding the man's corpse in a ditch, impaled on sharpened bamboo stakes, brings Wallander back abruptly to the realities of crime in modern Sweden. While Wallander and his colleagues investigate the murder, another man is found dead in the local woods, making it clear that they have a brutal serial killer on their hands. The killer plans each murder carefully to ensure that the victim suffers for several days before dying. Who could hate these innocent-seeming men so much as to want to torture them to death? The police detectives must delve deeply into the victims' lives to find out what links them together and what might have made them a deadly enemy. Mankell takes the reader slowly and meticulously through the long investigation's progress, including frequent reversals. The policemen are constantly overworked and exhausted, but they make acute deductions and chase down every lead relentlessly. Mankell is a talented writer, and the translation by Steven Murray is graceful and colloquial, but the narrative is so bleak and brooding that it certainly qualifies as the darkest of Swedish noir. (Aug.) UNDER PRESSURE Abigail Reed. Forge, $6.99 (416p) ISBN 0-812-53928-1 ~ Reed's newest is a story of sexual harassment that begins when Karyn Christophe takes a job in the fashion department of Cybelle, a glamorous retail chain. There, Karyn's early days fuel her hopes that she can rebuild her life after a disastrous marriage, but trouble arises in the form of Lou Hechter, the department head. Brash and slimy, Lou has a penchant for harassing his female employees with lewd suggestions and even lewder acts. Unbeknownst to Karyn, he has been blackmailing her new boss, Cilla Westheim, into a secret sexual liaison for years. Tangled in her own web of shame and fear, Cilla is helpless to save Karyn, even as she watches the cycle begin again; in the end, it's Karyn who blows the whistle on Lou, after a near-rape that she has been prescient enough to catch on tape. Harassment has been too well covered in both fiction and nonfiction for this plot to generate much surprise, and the.
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