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Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

Faceless Killers (original 1991; edition 2011)

by Henning Mankell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4561311,553 (3.6)314
Title:Faceless Killers
Authors:Henning Mankell
Info:Vintage (2011), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Kindle, Read 2012

Work details

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell (1991)

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    Because of the Cats by Nicolas Freeling (ehines)
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    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.
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    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 314 mentions

English (111)  Spanish (7)  Dutch (4)  German (2)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Basque (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (131)
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
I love the detail and the characters. ( )
  Caryn.Rose | Mar 18, 2015 |
This was an enjoyable read. First the murder, an elderly farmer is bludgeoned to death and his wife left to die with a noose around her neck. The last word she utters before dying is “foreign”. Since Sweden is currently having problems with anti-immigrant sentiments, this could be a problem for the police. Also the crime appears to be motiveless, why would anyone want to kill a farmer and his wife?

I liked everything about this book, the way the author describes the victim’s neighbors realizing something is wrong and finding the crime. The way events are related very matter of fact appealed to me. Apparently Swedes are not squeamish about bodily functions, as I have noticed in other books.

In Ystad police Inspector Kurt Wallander we have a dedicated investigator who is always thinking about the victim, he wants to solve this crime. He is also drinks too much, eats the wrong food (too fast most of the time) and gets angry and irritated at almost everyone. He also appreciates the wisdom and experience of others. He has an ex-wife he is trying to get back with, a daughter he is trying to reconnect with and a father with health problems who resents Wallender not being there and also trying to run his life at the same time. He also starts to develop romantic feelings for the new beautiful prosecutor who happens to be married. We end up with a complex but very human character. All the characters in this story are well done.

Wallander has to deal with all these problems and more while trying to solve this seemingly senseless crime. How he does so is fascinating and made this book work for me. I recommend it. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 14, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (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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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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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