Faceless Killers marks the "brilliant US debut" ( Library Journal) of Henning Mankell's highly successful Kurt Wallander detective series. Taut and atmospheric, this winner of Sweden's Best Mystery Award is a gripping mystery in the classic detective tradition, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "an exquisite novel of mesmerizing depth and suspense." Early one morning, a small-town farmer discovers that his neighbors have been victims of a brutal attack during the night: An old man has been bludgeoned to death, and his tortured wife lies dying before the farmer's eyes. The only clue is the single word she utters before she dies: "foreign." In charge of the investigation is Inspector Kurt Wallander, a local detective whose personal life is in a shambles. His family is falling apart, he's gaining weight, he drinks too much and sleeps too little. Tenacious and levelheaded in his sleuthing, he and his colleagues must contend with a wave of violent xenophobia as they search for the killers. Faceless Killers is a razor-sharp, stylishly dark combination of police procedural and searing social commentary that reaches beyond its genre to produce "a superior novel--and a harbinger of great things to come" ( Booklist).
If you remember with pleasure those dark and gloomy Martin Beck mysteries by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, you'll be glad to plunge into the first of Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallender mysteries to appear in English. Wallender's personal life can occasionally seem more depressing than even a provincial Swedish detective should be asked to bear, but his investigative skills are strictly first rate. And Mankell's story of the brutal murder of an elderly farm couple uncovers an unusual aspect of life in modern Sweden--a streak of fear and prejudice against the many newcomers from Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe who have sought asylum there.
First in the Kurt Wallander series.
It was a senselessly violent crime: on a cold night in a remote Swedish farmhouse an elderly farmer is bludgeoned to death, and his wife is left to die with a noose around her neck. And as if this didn?t present enough problems for the Ystad police Inspector Kurt Wallander, the dying woman?s last word is foreign, leaving the police the one tangible clue they have?and in the process, the match that could inflame Sweden?s already smoldering anti-immigrant sentiments.
Unlike the situation with his ex-wife, his estranged daughter, or the beautiful but married young prosecuter who has peaked his interest, in this case, Wallander finds a problem he can handle. He quickly becomes obsessed with solving the crime before the already tense situation explodes, but soon comes to realize that it will require all his reserves of energy and dedication to solve.
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