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Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

Faceless Killers (original 1991; edition 2011)

by Henning Mankell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8311521,347 (3.59)352
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)

  1. 121
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    The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell (Ronoc)
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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 352 mentions

English (128)  Spanish (7)  Dutch (4)  French (3)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Basque (1)  Finnish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (152)
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
The first in the series, this is a good introduction to Kurt Wallender, a middle-aged Swedish detective whose life is beginning to fall apart: his wife has left him, he is turning to alcohol for comfort, he appears to have a dysfunctional relationship with his daughter, and his father is beginning to suffer from senility. Although there is much going wrong in his life, he's not broken but quite capable of handling the job, even a tough one such as this. In this story Swedish policy on immigrants and refugees plays a part when a brutal double murder is thought to have been committed by "foreigners", indicating a group in transition that makes them practically untraceable. Although the book was published in 1991, similar immigration issues still exist in many European countries to the present day. A well-written mystery that portrayed a complicated, engaging character as well as the country.

I enjoyed this better than any other Scandi crime novel I've tried so far. Apart from one or two minor anomalies that indicated this was not the original language, the translation was good. Recommended. ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Sep 19, 2016 |
Not as dense as Dragon Tatoo or as vivid as Burkes Robicheaux novels but still a good read and a sympathetic detective. I will try another one. ( )
  JBreedlove | Jun 9, 2016 |
Great mystery/thriller. Why do Scandinavians write such great novels about murder? ( )
  richardross79 | Jun 1, 2016 |
This is the first Wallander book that I've read and although he is the stereotypical detective I found the story itself really gripping and I couldn't put it down.Looing forward to reading more in this series. ( )
  KarenDuff | Jun 1, 2016 |
Review: Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell.

Mankell uses the crime novel as a way of addressing the dilemmas of modern Sweden. The story captures the reserved nature of Scandinavia and the immigration issue the author handled fairly well but at the same time it raises difficult questions. At this time it was the trouble of refugees pouring across Sweden’s borders. The setting was in Skane, the southern region of Sweden where the author created the atmosphere of heavy sadness, setting the plot in the rainy winter without snow. I thought the author’s writing was somewhat sober and the dialogue had no frills but there was some dry-humor throughout the story. I did notice how the story stayed in a span of a few days for three-quarters of the book and then jumps a span of months with the crime unsolved. I questioned. “well, what happened within those months?”….

The story unfolds in southern coastal town of Ytads where an elderly couple is brutally tortured and murdered and the only clue comes from the elderly woman who murmured, “foreigners” before she died. Because that word was uttered and the fact of many refugee camps in the nearby countryside, the issue of immigration and asylum becomes central to the story. The story goes on with the neighbor awakened by a bad dream, who was a friend of the elderly couple next doors, standing at the window trembling from fear of something gone wrong. His wife has awakened too and they check their house and everything seems to be normal but notices something strange about the neighbor’s house. As they go to investigate, they entered the house and wished they never did…..Their friends… Johnnes Lovgren’s was dead and Maria Lovgren was left to die, the place looked like a slaughterhouse. The crime was too personal and gruesome to be a random robbery.

The detective called to the scene is Kurt Wallander, a man with just as many personal problems to solve. Wallander is a miserable man with horrible relationships with his father, ex-wife and daughter. This is where I feel and noticed Kurt Wallander becomes the story and the crimes are second. Mankell establishes the crime than he turns all attention on Wallander, the main character. I thought the author put too much emphasis on the main character’s life. Mankell writes that Wallander has come to life even as he undergoes not only relationships problems but also the struggles of an every day man. The author goes on with Wallander’s journey through aging and weight-gain is as equally a roller-coaster as solving the murders….Than next the reader is brought into the mind of a police officer’s thoughts of misfortune and tribulations. Through the narrative the main character tells the reader what he is thinking. His mind is more on his troubled middle age life than the slow puzzling murders to be solved….It was not a satisfying read for me…. ( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 128 (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".
Haiku summary

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:09 -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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