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Publisher's Summary

On Midsummer's Eve, three role-playing teens dressed in 18th-century garb are shot in a secluded Swedish meadow. When one of Inspector Kurt Wallander's most trusted colleagues, someone whose help he hoped to rely on to solve the crime, also turns up dead, Wallander knows the murders are related. But with his only clue a picture of a woman no one in Sweden seems to know, he can't begin to imagine how. Reeling from his father's death and facing his own deteriorating health, Wallander tracks the lethal progress of the killer. Locked in a desperate effort to catch him before he strikes again, Wallander always seems to be just one step behind.
Translated from the Swedish by Ebba Segerberg.
More mayhem? Listen to all of our Kurt Wallander mysteries.
©1997 by Henning Mankell; 2002 by The New Press (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Satisfying in a way that has less to do with the wonders of forensic science than with the pure pleasure of rational thought." ( New York Times)
"Mankell remains central to the flowering of a new, distinctly darker strain of the European hard-boiled crime novel." ( Booklist)"Sure to please those who like weighty police procedurals....Mankell's writing is deadpan and stark, the plotting meticulous and exacting." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Joanna on 08-02-10

Definitely Recommend

This was my first listen to a Kurt Wallender mystery, and I enjoyed it so much that I will now be going back and getting them from the beginning. Mankell does a fantastic job with character development, and the reader is really brought into the personal side of all the characters, especially Wallender. The one thing that distinguishes his mystery writing about a police investigation is that he makes it real. There is no sugar coating on the talents of the investigators. They make mistakes, they struggle with dead ends, they break down with fatique and personal issues. They are human. It's great to read about the "cowboy" cops such as Harry Bosch or the super-human heroes such as Jack Reacher or Mitch Rapp. But is was refreshing to read a story that had such a strong ring of realism. Mankell created a police mystery story with a different kind of view of real crime solving.

I wondered if some of the questionable decisions were intentional, or if Mankell didn't do exhaustive research, or if the Swedish police just aren't as advanced as the US in terms of forensics (for instance, it this book it took a week just to get a ballistics report back!) But, regardless, I had the feeling that I was in an authentic story, with humans who were not only talented, but also not flawless. It had a refreshing air of realism that made me feel that I was truly getting an undistorted picture of how a murder investigation would progress in real life. Mankell makes Wallender humble, and a strong leader, but also shows his human frailties and I came to truly like the character. Also, I love Dick Hill, always have, and he did not disappoint. He is one of my favorite narrators, and did a fantastic job with all the characters. Listening to him is comfortable.

Don't be reluctant to read this book because it is from a foreign author, in a foreign country. With the exception of a few colloquialisms, there was nothing different than would take place in any city in the US.Loved it!

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Lehua of Pacifica on 05-14-09

Only slightly marred

Mankell did an excellent job, particularly with the characters. In fact I might have given this a 5 had there been less urination. There are times when it's as well to say it was a rainy spring rather than enumerate each raindrop. Still, well worth the time and money.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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