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The White Lioness by Henning Mankell
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The White Lioness (1993)

by Henning Mankell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Kurt Wallander (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,617803,550 (3.73)139
Like his countrymen Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, Mankell writes mysteries that connect crimes in Sweden to the rest of the world. Faceless Killers (1997), the first of his books about provincial police inspector Kurt Wallender to appear here, involved Turkish immigrants and Eastern European villains. This novel, written in 1993, links the murder of a real estate agent in Wallender's town of Ystad to South Africa, where Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison, and to Russia, where the KGB is busy planning Mandela's fate. Wallender is a classically dour but dedicated policeman whose pro.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth (charlie68)
    charlie68: Both fictional works of assination of famous figures.
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» See also 139 mentions

English (60)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (4)  French (3)  Italian (3)  Catalan (2)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (80)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Great book. Love this series.
  kat51987 | Jul 13, 2019 |
The questions here: in the face of horrific evil, is it possible to believe in God? If not God, then goodness? If not goodness, then the value of living our small, quotidian, daily lives? Does love factor in here? (Familial love? Romantic love?) What about – doing our job? (In religious language, this is following our call.)
All this addressed and more.

The first couple of pages end with "Good God, help me" just as the innocent victim is killed. On p.73 “ ‘He has faith in God,’ Pastor Tureson said…Wallander thought, ‘we’ll see if that’s enough.’”
The question posed. We are finally led to p.328 “The world was helpless in the face of such evil…He had no idea what to do.” And yet: step by step (or, as Dorothy Day used to say, “by little and by little”) with missed connections and by the thinnest of margins, by the simple daily doing of the next step, inspired by whatever we shall call that amazing moment of disinterested love, multiplied, we are not helpless.

Tania, nameless most of the time, is crucified; the references are clear: 5 bullet holes in the same places as the 5 wounds of Christ Crucified, tortured on the head before she died. I went back over the scenes to see how she had come to her decision. At the very end she thinks “Tania was very tired, but what she had done was right….I’ll do the best I can for her…Every breath gives her a better chance. The game is up for me.” What was the beginning of this surprising decision? On p.335 she visits Wallander’ s daughter in the cave and can see her fear. “She knew now she would have to help the girl. It would cost her her life, but she had no choice. Konovalenko’s evil was too great to bear, even for her.”

I went to an International Day of Peace celebration this past week. The main speaker, Rosalinda Guillen, said, “ We are not radical enough.” And she’s right. Evil exists because we are not. What will bring us to make those radical choices?

p.s. I've been mulling this for a day. It is NOT the radical choices which comprise the good: it is the small choices as this story exquisitely demonstrates: the thrown rock, the probing question, the decision to send one last tedious report, the effort to report something odd, at risk to oneself. Most of this we might term wasted - a CD recovered by a thief, who doesn't deserve a thank you? It's the small details we miss unless we, as Wallander does, sit in a different chair and look at the scene from a different angle. Even the radical choices depend on the small. All of it waits on these muddled margins. The radical choice is the small one.
p.p.s. I keep mulling this book, and so just boosted the rating to 5 star. Another though occurred to me: the curious lack of professionalism when Wallander tries to send the South African home. On reflection the author may be trying to demonstrate that the struggle against evil is not a matter of following rules and "being good" but a struggle to personally confront systems and take risks, against, sometimes, all reason. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
Read in Slovene under the title Bela levinja.

A murder in Sweden leads to surprising revelation about an assassination on another continent ...

Not a classical whodunit as most things regarding who and why are revealed by the two-thirds mark, as usual with Mankell's books. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
What starts out as the routine investigation of the execution-style murder of a Swedish housewife turns into the discovery of a plot to assassinate Nelson Mandela in South Africa. It's very long, 14+ hours. Not much of a mystery, but it goes on and on...so much that I skipped several hours and got right to the end. I didn't miss much. The book could benefit from a good culling of words. ( )
  buffalogr | Oct 28, 2018 |
Mistakes in the South African part dropped the rating for this thoughtful, well plotted and exciting story. ( )
  BridgitDavis | Oct 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henning Mankellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gibson, AnnaTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jänisniemi, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puleo, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, LaurieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Epigraph
As long as we assign value to the people of our country on the basis of their skin colour, we will force them to endure what Socrates termed the lie at the depths of our souls. Jan Hofmeyr, 1946
Who dares to play while the lion roars? African Proverb
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Louise Åkerblom, an estate agent, left the Savings Bank in Skurup shortly after 3.00 in the afternoon on Friday, April 24.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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En man som bor i ett skjul i den sydafrikanska Transkei, får i uppdrag att mörda en icke namngiven man, som senare visar sig vara Nelson Mandela. Uppdraget kommer från en grupp extremkonservativa afrikaaner som försöker behålla makten hos de vita och starta ett inbördeskrig, när apartheid monteras ner.

Samtidigt försvinner fastighetsmäklaren Louise Åkerblom i Ystad. Kommissarie Wallander inser snart att det finns ett samband mellan händelserna.
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