Friday, 13 March 2009

Book Review: Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell (Kurt Wallander, Book 1)

This is Henning Mankell's 1st book (of 9) in the Inspector Wallander series.

My review is based on the abridged audio version recently serialised on BBC Radio 7.

One frozen January morning at 5 am, Inspector Wallander responds to what he believes is a routine call out. When he reaches the isolated farmhouse he discovers a bloodbath. An old man has been tortured and beaten to death, his wife lies barely alive beside his shattered body, both victims of a violence beyond reason. The woman supplies Wallander with his only clue: the perpetrators may have been foreign. When this is leaked to the press, it unleashes racial hatred. Kurt Wallander is a senior police officer. . But now, with winter tightening and his activities being monitored by a tough-minded district attorney, Wallander must throw himself into a battle against time and against mounting xenophobia.

This is the first Henning Mankell book I've read/listened to and I know that he is a very popular Swedish best selling author.

Kurt Wallander is your typical over-worked Detective, working long hours but has tremendous dedication for the job at hand. In this book, Wallander has very few clues and no obvious motive for the horrendous murders of a farmer and his wife in their isolated farmhouse. There are some red herrings along the way and also some lucky breaks. It was an easy book to listen to, the writing is fast and pacy, but not too fast that you get confused.

What I Liked About This Book ~ It was a good murder mystery book and I certainly didn't guess 'who dunnit' which is always a bonus!

What I Didn't Like ~ The Swedish names were hard to remember but I know that's just me being pedantic! It is based in Sweden after all!

Why Did I Read It ~ I love a good detective story and I'd heard good things about Henning Mankell's books so I thought it was time that I tried one.

Would I Recommend It ~ Yes, and I'll certainly be looking out for his other books in the series.

Here is a list of the other books in the Kurt Wallander series ~

The Dogs of Riga

The White Lioness

The Man Who Smiled


The Fifth Woman

One Step Behind


The Pyramid


  1. I've been wanting to read his books for a while - I wish I'd seen this was going to be on Radio 7!

  2. I'll certainly look out for more of his books from now on. I think Radio 7 is so underrated, they dramatise some great novels on it, as long as you don't mind that some of them are abridged. It just gives you a 'feel' of how the books are.



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