Sidetracked : Kurt Wallander

  • by Henning Mankell
  • Narrated by Dick Hill
  • Series: Kurt Wallander
  • 14 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Detective Kurt Wallander is called to a nearby rapeseed field where a teenage girl has been loitering all day long. He arrives just in time to watch her douse herself in gasoline and set herself aflame. The next day, he is called to a beach where Sweden's former minister of justice has been axed to death and scalped. The murder has the obvious markings of a demented serial killer, and Wallander is frantic to find him before he strikes again. But his investigation is beset with obstacles: a department distracted by the threat of cutbacks and the frivolity of World Cup soccer, a tenuous relationship with a widow, and an unshakably haunting preoccupation with the girl who set herself on fire.Fascinating and astute, Sidetracked is a compelling mystery enhanced by keen social awareness.

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What the Critics Say

"Connoisseurs of the police procedural will tear into this installment like the seven-course banquet it is." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Full of emotion yet cleanly written, apparently straightforward yet fraught with intriguing revelations, Mankell's latest mystery is strongly recommended." (Library Journal)
"Mankell's meticulously detailed descriptions of the inspector's investigation, and his often lyrical portrayal of Wallander's struggle to rearrange his thought processes in order to catch the criminal, are masterful." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wallender without Kenneth Brannach

I have watched some of the BBC series based on these books, but this was my first "reading" of one. The TV version is bleak indeed, and Sweden is portrayed as a really depressing place.

I found the listening experience to be more balanced. Because the book is not so entirely focused on Wallander and his demons, it presents a wider view entirely. The detective's frequent depression isn't so much the crux of the story as an intricate part of the puzzle.

"Sidetracked" is a great thriller. We know who the perpetrator is from nearly the beginning, so this is more a police procedural than a mystery. But it's also a really good study about the psychology and humanity of a seeming monster. It has really intense violence, but it also has great suspense, an interesting and varied cast of characters, and terrific writing.
Dick Hill narrates beautifully.

I'll seek out other listens in this series.
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- C. Telfair

I can see Mankell influence on Stieg Larsson

I can finally see why Stieg Larsson says he was influenced by Mankell. This one is dark, violent and sad. Det. Wallender is vaguely pursuing the suicide of a 17-year-old girl who set herself on fire when another case takes precedence involving a serial killer who scalps victims. An anger at social inequality permeates the book. Bechdel test: Barely passed. Grade: A-

Excellent narration by Dick Hill. I’m so glad he narrates the Wallender books. He captures well the angst of the characters.
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- Mark

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-29-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.