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The Fifth Woman (1996)

by Henning Mankell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Kurt Wallander (6)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,996663,402 (3.87)81
In an African convent, four nuns and an unidentified fifth woman are brutally murdered, and the death of the unknown woman is covered up by the local police. A year later in Sweden, Inspector Kurt Wallander is baffled and appalled by two strange murders. Holger Eriksson, a retired car dealer and bird watcher, is impaled on sharpened bamboo poles in a ditch behind his secluded home, while the body of a missing florist is discovered strangled and tied to a tree. The only clues Wallander has to go on are a skull, a diary, and a photo of three men. What ensues is a case that will test Wallander's strength and patience, for in order to solve these murders he will need to uncover their elusive connection to the earlier unsolved murder in Africa of the fifth woman.… (more)
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» See also 81 mentions

English (49)  Spanish (6)  Catalan (3)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
Another serial killer, right after the hard case of the summer. What does it take to connect all the killings? ( )
  Angel.Tatum.Craddock | Dec 17, 2020 |
I registered this book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12549024

Another long one with ties to Africa.

We learn at the very beginning that a young woman has gotten a letter telling her that her mother, who was traveling in Africa, was murdered and the police have covered up the crime. Some time later, in Sweden, Wallander is facing some strange murders. He can't find the connection, other than that these victims were described as brutal by some who knew them. Each one is more puzzling than the last.

The small police force in Ystad is working on the case, with Wallander in the lead. Their work is complicated by the emergence of a vigilante group, willing to "do what the police can't or won't". Incensed, Wallander takes bold measures to quell the uprising, yet can't be sure they are effective.

And, as usual, he is struggling with his feelings about Baiba from Riga, whom he had met on another case a few years back (see The Dogs of Riga). He loves her but is not sure of her feelings for him. At the same time he is impatient, wants her to move to Ystad to be with him. Their conversations on the phone don't always go well. And he works on his relationship with his daughter Linda, who has not always accepted his help.

The case is, of course, complex. We get into the mind of the killer again, from time to time, but don't fully understand what is going on for quite some time.

While I enjoy this series there are things that crop up from time to time that I wonder about. Wallander, in addition to being a moody soul, tends to lash out at people, and when questioning people often comes across as overbearing. It seems so unnecessary and I wonder where that chip on his shoulder came from. Either that, or I just don't see what is irritating him all the time. I'd like to get a little more into the depths of his soul, somehow.

( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Wallander, Kriminalkommissar bei der Mordkommission im südschwedischen Ystad, ist ein wohltuend normaler Mann. Er schläft zuwenig und ißt zuviel Fastfood, er ist geschieden, hat Probleme mit seinem Vater, eine erwachsene Tochter und eine Freundin in Riga, er denkt mit Wehmut an die Zeit, in der man die Strümpfe noch stopfte, anstatt sie wegzuwerfen, und er ist zutiefst beunruhigt über die zunehmende Gewalt in seinem Distrikt. Gerade hat er eine Reihe besonders grausamer Morde aufzuklären, bei denen es selbst erfahrenen Polizisten kalt den Rücken hinunterläuft. Einen alten Mann findet man in einer Pfahlgrube aufgespießt, einen anderen halbverhungert, beinahe nackt an einen Baum gebunden und erwürgt. Ein dritter wurde in einem mit Steinen beschwerten Sack in einem See ertränkt. Der eine schrieb Gedichte und war Vogelliebhaber, der andere besaß einen Blumenladen und hatte sich auf Orchideen spezialisiert, der dritte war Forscher an der Universität. Warum verfolgt der Mörder harmlose Bürger mit so brutaler Gewalt? Und warum legt er Wert darauf, dass man die sadistische Grausamkeit seiner Verbrechen sofort bemerkt? Wallanders kluge Devise heißt: "Die Menschen sind selten das, was man von ihnen denkt." Und er macht eine verstörende Entdeckung: Alle Opfer waren selbst rücksichtslose, brutale Männer, die Frauen körperlich und seelisch misshandelten. Wenn aber der Mord die Rache des Opfers an den Mördern und Vergewaltigern ist, muss Wallander sich beeilen, bevor das nächste, noch grausamere Verbrechen geschieht.
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
My favourite in the series so far! Very good character development and a real gem of detective fiction. ( )
  bunnykaiju | Dec 7, 2019 |
The seventh of Mankell’s Kurt Wallander series, The Fifth Woman was my first foray into Swedish noir. The novel is a moody police procedural that includes interesting bits about life and attitudes in Sweden with mention of mercenary soldiers in Africa. The lead detective is not your average Joe Friday, but is fraught with doubt and borders on depression. The murders are brutal, the landscape is bleak and it is nearly always raining. It examines issues of changes in society and domestic abuse. A good read if you want to learn something about Scandinavia and read a great mystery. Highly recommend checking out his other books. ( )
  Seafox | Jul 24, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
«Den femte kvinnen» er den sjette romanen med Kurt Wallander i hovedrollen og Mankell er solid som vanlig. 200 sider for solid.
added by annek49 | editDagbladet, Terje Thorsen (Apr 7, 1998)
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henning Mankellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gibson, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murray, Steven T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Jag såg Gud i drömmen och han hade två ansikten. Ett som var lent och milt som en mors ansikte och det andra som liknade Satans ansikte." Ur Imamens fall / av Nawal el Saadwi
"Spindelnätet väver med kärlek och omsorg sin spindel." Okänt afrikanskt ursprung
" I saw God in a dream and He had two faces. One was soft and kind like a mother's face, and the other looked like the face of Satan. From The Fall of the Imam, by Nawal El Saadawi
" With love and care the spiderweb weaves its spider." African Proverb
Dedication
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Den natt de hade kommit för att utföra sitt heliga uppdrag hade allting varit mycket stilla.
The letter arrived in Ystad on 19 August 1993.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

In an African convent, four nuns and an unidentified fifth woman are brutally murdered, and the death of the unknown woman is covered up by the local police. A year later in Sweden, Inspector Kurt Wallander is baffled and appalled by two strange murders. Holger Eriksson, a retired car dealer and bird watcher, is impaled on sharpened bamboo poles in a ditch behind his secluded home, while the body of a missing florist is discovered strangled and tied to a tree. The only clues Wallander has to go on are a skull, a diary, and a photo of three men. What ensues is a case that will test Wallander's strength and patience, for in order to solve these murders he will need to uncover their elusive connection to the earlier unsolved murder in Africa of the fifth woman.

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Sinopsis de la contratapa: La placidez habitual de la ciudad sueca de Ystad se ve rota cuando, con cierto intervalo de tiempo, tres hombres aparecen salvajemente asesinados. Las víctimas llevaban una vida apacible y tranquila, dedicadas a la ornitología, el cultivo de orquídeas y la poesía, lo cual hace aún más incomprensible el casi insoportable sadismo de que han sido objeto. Durante la investigación del caso, Wallander -un detective vulnerable y con aires de antihéroe- descubre que no sólo debe enfrentarse a un asesino de temible inteligencia, sino que éste parece guiarse por un sanguinario y turbio deseo de venganza. Cuando por fin la policía cree estar tras la buena pista, un nuevo asesinato da un vuelco a la investigación y provoca un motín entre la asustada población local.
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