Faceless Killers: Kurt Wallander

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9780099546344: Faceless Killers: Kurt Wallander

One frozen January morning at 5am, Inspector Kurt 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 a tide of racism.

Wallander's life is a shambles. His wife has left him, his daughter refuses to speak to him, and even his ageing father barely tolerates him. He works tirelessly, eats badly, and drinks his nights away. But now, with winter tightening and his activities being monitored by a tough-minded district attorney, Wallander must forget his troubles and throw himself into a battle against time and against mounting racial hatred.

The first Wallander thriller from the Winner of teh CWA Gold Dagger.

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Review:

A new world had emerged, and he hadn't even noticed it. As a policeman, he still lived in another, older world. How was he going to learn to live with the new? . . We live as if we were in mourning for a lost paradise, he thought...

It could be said that as a policeman, Kurt Wallander, Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell's award winning creation, isn't much cop. He eschews the meticulous and the scientific in favour of his hunches, which all too often lead up blind alleys. He drinks too much, then drives. He doesn't get enough sleep. And to cap it all, his wife has left him and his daughter doesn't speak to him.

Faceless Killers is the first of the acclaimed Wallander novels. Set in January 1990, in a frozen landscape and against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Europe, this is a bleak novel that deals with the thorny issues of immigration and racial hatred. Wallander investigates a brutal double murder at a remote farmhouse in which the only possible clues are the whispered words of a dying woman and a freshly fed horse. When this limited evidence and its implications leak to the press it stirs right wing activists into action.

At times Wallander seems too much like the traditional hard-drinking, hard-living, hard-boiled detective of old, but he is more than that. He is a truth seeker, trying to make sense of his rapidly changing world, his method happens to be detective work, and it is this search that lies at the philosophical heart of the novel.

-- Iain Robinson

Review:

"An exquisite novel of mesmerizing depth and suspense" (Margo Kaufman Los Angeles Times)

"Mankell is one of the most ingenious crime writers around. Highly recommended" ( Observer)

"Mankell is in the first division of crime writing" ( The Times)

"Wallander is among the very best fictional crimebusters" ( Daily Telegraph)

"By far the best writer of police mysteries today" ( Michael Ondaatje)

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