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Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

Faceless Killers (1991)

by Henning Mankell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Kurt Wallander (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4191291,579 (3.61)313
  1. 121
    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Ronoc)
  2. 40
    The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell (Ronoc)
  3. 00
    Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason (dreamydress48)
  4. 00
    Because of the Cats by Nicolas Freeling (ehines)
  5. 00
    The Locked Room by Maj Sjöwall (ehines)
    ehines: For an American like I am, Sweden is an almost mythical land--a sort of soft-porn socialist paradise. Both these books let you in on a very different side of Sweden. More real, but not offputting.
  6. 00
    The Black Angel by John Connolly (Gmonti)
    Gmonti: O cualquier otro libro de H. Mankell, aunque no tan negro no fantástico. También pueden disfrutar de Cell o la saga de La Torreo Oscura de Stephen King

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» See also 313 mentions

English (109)  Spanish (7)  Dutch (4)  German (2)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Basque (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (129)
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
Because I watched the Wallander PBS series prior to reading this book, I was stuck with the image of Kenneth Branagh as Wallander. That's not a bad thing but probably impacted my opinion of that character. Mankell does an excellent job developing Wallander as an immensely flawed police detective and his story really helped glue this mystery together for me. I was not, however, as intrigued by the mystery itself and I found myself a little disappointed as the book came to an end. The story had not stayed with me from the PBS series (possibly a forewarning that the book may not engage me). I do plan to continue the series as I'm curious about Wallander and his future. ( )
  kellifrobinson | Nov 25, 2014 |
Having just read the latest Wallander from the library and greatly enjoyed it,I now read the first of the series.
'Faceless Killers' I found slightly disappointing,but I suppose that as it was the first,I must not be too critical. It certainly sets the scene of Wallander's depressing life in his depressing country with his depressing family and colleagues. As for the crime it concerns the double murder of an old couple who lived in an remote farmhouse. They were brutally done to death after being tortured. A vital question is left unanswered at the end of the book,which left me rather unsatisfied.
Hope for an improvement in book two. ( )
  devenish | Sep 25, 2014 |
The first of the Kurt Wallanders and a very promising start. I like the characters, there is alot of depth, esp. to Wallander. The TV verision mostly has him as deeply wounded, here there is more complexity. Once again, the murder is not so much an "A-Ha" but a slow build up. The finish is more dramatic but it is all good. I only worry that Mankell is setting up a scenario of each book ending with some hope of better things in Wallander's life and then the next book is back to the same old.
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
First in the Wallander series. One of the best that got Mankell launched as a respected writer of crime mysteries. ( )
  mldavis2 | Jun 29, 2014 |
An avid fan of police procedural books and television shows, it was not shocking that I fell in love with BBC's Wallander series, starring Kenneth Branagh. Like the Inspector Lynley series, the hauntingly peaceful country settings play as key a role as do the main characters.

In a lonely Swedish farming community, an elderly couple are bludgeoned to death in their home early one January morning. Wallander, acting as temporary head of the department while his superior is on vacation, is thoroughly unprepared for the violent magnitude of the crime, or the implications that a foreigner could have committed the crime. Sweden's open door policy to immigrants and political asylum seekers already being a hot topic among its citizens, this situation throws Wallander's unit into the media limelight. The pressure to catch the culprit(s) is even greater when the department receives threats of remonstrance targeted at refugee camps in the area.

Kurt's personal life is a shambles. Recently separated from his wife, estranged from his only daughter, and coping with his father's declining health, it's no wonder he turns to drink. One thing I thoroughly love about the show is that you can so clearly see what a sensitive, artfully inclined soul Wallander is. This makes his approach to solving crime different, but his vocation is also clearly ebbing away at his insides. This particular passage stands out in my mind when I envision him struggling to stay afloat amidst the madness:

"Before he went to sleep, he lay in bed for a while in the darkness of his apartment with his eyes open. Again he thought about the violence. The new era, which demanded a different kind of policeman. We're living in an age of the noose, he thought. Fear will be on the rise."

This was a good read, but I was really disappointed with the translation and poor editing. I love the Vintage imprint. They publish great quality books, especially their international division, but this was a dud, in my opinion, which sucks because it takes away from the author's image. I'm hoping the next one will be better. ( )
  dreamydress48 | May 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
Mankell was developing not only the characters but his own style, here, which is not nearly as polished as some later works..Faceless Killers is a worthwhile read for those who've come to the Wallander series late, perhaps through the recent BBC series with Kenneth Branaugh, or as a re-read for long-time series fans. Since most of the tension in the book comes from the characters, not the mystery they're solving, even knowing the ending doesn't take much away from this very solid book.

» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mankell, Henningprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mannila, MarkkuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murray, Steven T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polet, CoraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puleo, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He has forgotten something, he knows that for sure when he wakes up.
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Book description
Sinopsis de la contratapa: En este histórico primer encuentro con sus lectores, el inspector Wallander debe resolver un caso casi tan complicado como su vida personal. Mientras procura desenmascarar a los despiadados asesinos de una anciana que ha muerto con la palabra "extranjero" en la boca antes de que los prejuicios raciales latentes en la comunidad desaten una ola de violencia vengadora, Wallander debe enfrentar el abandono de su esposa, la hostilidad de su hija, la demencia senil de su padre y hasta su propio deterioro físico a causa del exceso de alcohol y comida barata y la falta de sueño. Wallander terminarán por hallar la inesperada solución del caso, pero sus problemas familiares no acabarán con este libro. Por no hablar de los de su país, arrojado a una nueva era en la que, como cree el inspector, "la inquietud aumentará bajo el cielo".
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307742857, Mass Market Paperback)

If you remember with pleasure those dark and gloomy Martin Beck mysteries by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, you'll be glad to plunge into the first of Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallender mysteries to appear in English. Wallender's personal life can occasionally seem more depressing than even a provincial Swedish detective should be asked to bear, but his investigative skills are strictly first rate. And Mankell's story of the brutal murder of an elderly farm couple uncovers an unusual aspect of life in modern Sweden--a streak of fear and prejudice against the many newcomers from Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe who have sought asylum there.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:52 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The murder of a farming couple in Sweden unleashes a wave of xenophobia when it is learned that the woman's dying words were "foreigner." The case is given to Inspector Kurt Wallender, a lover of opera and booze. Part crime story, part look at the attitude of Swedes to immigrants.… (more)

» see all 11 descriptions

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