The Man Who Smiled : Kurt Wallander

  • by Henning Mankell
  • Narrated by Dick Hill
  • Series: Kurt Wallander
  • 12 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this adventure from the pen of Sweden's master of crime and mystery, a disillusioned Inspector Kurt Wallander is thrown back into the fray when he becomes both hunter and hunted. Crestfallen, dejected, and spiraling into an alcohol-fuelled depression after killing a man in the line of duty, Inspector Wallander has made up his mind to quit the police force for good. When an old acquaintance, a solicitor, seeks Wallander's help and later turns up dead, Wallander realizes that he was wrong not to listen. Warily, he returns to work to head what may now have become a double murder case. A rookie female detective has joined the force in his absence, and he adopts the role of mentor to her as they fight to unravel the mystery.

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What the Critics Say

"Dark and moody, this is crime fiction of the highest order." (Publishers Weekly)
"Mankell is a master of the traditional arts of the crime novel, narrative pacing, and suspense." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"Few of this genre's writers, few of any genre's writers, have been able to balance the ordinary and the grotesque with such literary dash and page-turning brio." (Boston Herald)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wallander: a real, complicated man.

Henning Mankell has systematically constructed a series centering on Kurt Wallender, a police detective who retires after many years, and then is drawn back into the world of law and order by a case that he can't resist. Mankell has so many skills in this genre that he puts many American writers who plumb this genre to shame. His plots are so full of twists and turns that you find yourself spinning, following red herrings, trying to pronounce the names of Swedish towns (just kidding,sorta) and people, trying to solve the many-faceted case along with Wallender. Like many of his fellows in this genre, he is single and somewhat depressed. He has a double-edged relationship with an aged father who manages to cause trouble for his son despite his advancing age. We are tantalized by continuing possibilities of relationships with women. Mankell occasionally slips us into the world of non-fiction, referring to the case of Robert Maxwell, a Brit who constructed a gigantic Ponzi scheme decades ago, and who eventually jumped off his yacht rather than face justice. His empire collapsed the moment he died, and he was thoroughly defamed and disgraced, many years before Bernie Madoff did the exact same thing, depriving millions of simple investors of their hard-earned pensions and small investments, as well as cheating his own family and some very large and powerful individuals. This story contains a rich guy very similar to Maxwell, a very private, shady man who lurks behind numerous screens, shadow companies, and who manages to steal four million kroner from a small town's government.
Dick Hill does his usual masterful job of narrating. How he manages to pronounce all those Swedish names and places I do not know. He also gives the proper nuance and moods for each character, and in each situation. He makes it sound easy, the mark of a true master. Any true fan of this genre should enjoy any one of these books. I recommend them to you without reservation.
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- Richard Delman "I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get."

The Mankell Trilogy

I feel like I've just finished an Henning Mankell trilogy; Dogs of Riga, White Lioness, and now The Man Who Smiled. I must admit I enjoyed them all. I guess now I"ll have to go back to his first book and then hope that the later Wallander stories show up on Audible. In Man Who Smiled, the author again delves into the human side of Kurt Wallander and he has many of the same feelings we all do, at least I know I do. I always thought the weather in Sweden would suck and in reading these books that's affirmed unless you like living somewhere where it's foggy, rainy, cold a good portion of the time. The mystery flows pretty well, too, sometimes it seems the story moves slowly as the investigation plays out but Mankell does make the story interesting. Sometimes you think what is Kurt Wallander doing but it does make for an interesting tale.
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- Stevon "I love books!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-25-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.