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Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell
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Faceless Killers (original 1991; edition 2011)

by Henning Mankell

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3,261None1,686 (3.61)303
Member:NanaCC
Title:Faceless Killers
Authors:Henning Mankell
Info:Vintage (2011), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Kindle, Read 2012

Work details

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell (1991)

Recently added bytmshow, Y2Ash, olgaroederer
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» See also 303 mentions

English (104)  Spanish (7)  Dutch (4)  German (2)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Basque (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (124)
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
Well written, prose flows very nicely. Good story with a brisk pace. Not much tension, but enough for a reader to stay interested. It's about the violent murders of an elderly farm couple. No apparent motive, few clues. It appears to be the deed of a foreign born resident or visitor, and when word gets out in the papers of that speculation by the police, there is a backlash against immigrants and Sweden's immigration policies. That theme is woven very well into the story and the underlying issues are presented well and fairly. I have two criticisms of the book, the first in the Kurt Wallander series, published in 1991. I didn't care for any of the characters. Wallander is another flawed cop with a lot of baggage, and I didn't feel any sympathy toward him at all. There is a station house full of supporting cops, but by book's end I couldn't tell one from the other. My other problem with the book is that it is vey gloomy. It seems to be an ideal script for a 1950's Ingmar Bergman black and white movie. No thanks. Works fine as a stand-alone book, but I have no interest in committing to reading this series. ( )
1 vote maneekuhi | Mar 14, 2014 |
An Inspector Wallander book, the first of the series. An elderly couple are brutally murdered in their rural home at night. Early on, the police find out that the husband had a secret bank account with a large balance, and he was regularly paying a woman with whom he had a child for her silence. Word leaks out to the press that there is evidence that the crime was committed by an immigrant, which leads to random violent actions against the immigrant community.
High quality crime fiction. ( )
  BillPilgrim | Feb 25, 2014 |
I can identify with Wallender, the cop hero in this book. He's middle aged, divorced, eating and drinking too much and his boss drives him relentlessly. I kept waiting for him to collapse, but he never did and I was glad to see that it ended well for him. I was also struck with the similarities between Sweden and the USA in culture, immigration concerns and just cop similarities. This is my second, but won't be my last Mankell book. ( )
  buffalogr | Feb 17, 2014 |
In this book, the gruesome crime, its unraveling, and its resolution seem secondary to the hero's moments of exhaustion, loneliness, excess drinking, and getting up out of bed even when he would rather disappear from his life. Mankell's talent is in picking out and nailing psychological moments. In this case moments of a medium middle-age white guy detective in rural Sweden; a forty something who is getting older physically, psychologically, emotionally. He's anchored to his job thank goodness, but not much else since the wife left, and the daughter is distant, and the country he knew is changing around him. This changing society, which now includes dark skinned people who are easy prey for Swedish yahoos, are part of the citizenry that he's duty-bound to protect. The parallel stories of double lives, hidden lovers, makes for a strange, pastoral, uniquely Swedish landscape where Wallander does his job, persistently and doggedly, with highs and lows, ups and downs, to the point of exhaustion and poor health. The moments when he reaches desperately for love and warmth and human kindness are very memorable. The crime seems beside the point as it is solved, as it is in the last three pages. Well done. ( )
  grheault | Jan 30, 2014 |
I am noticing some definite commonalities amongst the European crime novels I have read so far. The protagonist is invariably a talented detective who sometimes cuts corners, has fraught relations with women and a deep and abiding fondness for the bottle. Throw in some grim weather conditions and a murder or two and you have the recipe for a gripping bestseller. It's a formula to which I confess a growing addiction.

Casting about for a new hero recently, I came upon the first installment in the famed Wallander series, Faceless Killers. It's a page turner set in rural Sweden, bringing in elements of racism, corruption and, of course, murder. Faceless Killers is a solid detective story, if a little slower paced than is typical of the genre. I hope to see some development of the Wallander character though; at first blush he struck me as an old, sexist curmudgeon. Bah humbug! ( )
  whirled | Jan 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 104 (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 9 descriptions

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