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Publisher's Summary

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.
©1996 Henning Mankell (P)2007 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"The darkest of Swedish noir." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Intricate plotting, chilling psychological divination, and thrilling police procedural." ( Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rebecarol on 01-01-08

A new Henning Mankell fan is born

I often expect to be entertained with a good mystery, but my expectations save for a handful of writers usually end right there. This is my first Mankell novel, and I'm savoring the prospect of now reading more.

The book is atmospheric and touching, the plotting deft and this is no mean task since lesser writers would have held the reader captive with the gruesome and grisly torture and carnage that send the book's protagonist on his detecting mission.

The character development is superb, this book transcends the genre classification of "mystery" and is, rather, a novel and a fine one in the best sense of the word.

The narration was also strong, and in the end the book made me reflect, gave me pleasure in describing landscape, a father-son relationship, and police team relationships, and finally entertained, I could not stop listening. An excellent read, I look forward to making up for last Mankell time now!

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Sherri Morningstar on 10-27-09

Interesting plot

This was my first outing into European NOIR. I am very attached to Michael Connelly so the bar was rather high. I really liked the way the author set up the various aspects of the story to then bring them together. I like the ending and reflections of the villian. I also liked to picture the various towns and characters via the swedish accent. Good story telling.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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