Book Serendipity

So the other day B and I dug through the book boxes trying to find if he owned Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton. We never found it but I saw he had Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell, which i have been waiting for from the library for a month or so! Of course I plucked it out of the box and asked if he'd read it, if it was good, if he minded if i read it. He had, he couldn't remember, and he didn't.

Faceless Killers is a Swedish murder mystery. I think I saw it on one of those "if you liked this, you might like these" lists of recommendations for books like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The setting is the only similarity though. The detective is a police officer and not as likable as either Blomqvist or Lisbeth Salander.

Kurt Wallander is a seasoned police detective. He has an estranged daughter and a wife who's recently divorced him. He is struggling with his personal life. When an elderly farmer and his wife are brutally murdered, Wallander is in charge of the investigation. When a police source leaks that the wife's last word was "foreign" Wallander and the police must also protect the refugee camps in the area.

It was a very fast read. The complaint I have about the book is that the first few weeks of the investigation take up 90% of the book, while the next few months are covered in the last few pages, including the discovery and capture of the killers. There was the slight feeling of being cheated by the book; this isn't a book where you can figure out the killer's identity before the detective. Overall, i give it a 5 and may pick up another in the series some time. This also counts for the 2010 Challenge in my "Books in Translation" category.


  1. I recently watched season two of the British adaptations of this character, played by Kenneth Branaugh, and loved it. Very atmospheric and moody and brooding. I'm going to track down Season One through Netflix sometime over the winter months as well.


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