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Faceless Killers    by Henning Mankell order for
Faceless Killers
by Henning Mankell
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2011 (1997)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

This is an English translation of the first of Henning Mankell's popular series about Detective Kurt Wallander, a Swedish police investigator. Called to the country to investigate the senseless and savage attack on an elderly farm couple, Wallander faces a puzzle that might never be solved.

The couple lived frugally and had no money hidden away, but were tortured and murdered in the most extreme way. The man is already dead when they arrive but the wife is hanging on. They have little evidence and can only hope the woman will be able to tell them something if she gains consciousness. She does, but her last utterance only makes the case more difficult.

The violence in this dark mystery is implied without the graphic descriptions that are often offered in today's novels. The mystery is mixed with the Swedish public's general unease about migrants from Africa and the Middle East.

Wallander's character is well written and sympathetic. Depressed and reeling from his recent divorce, Wallander is an outstanding investigator. He notes that police often divorce. Even in crime novels. He loves opera and often listens to it at home and while he drives. He worries about his young adult daughter and is stressed that his dad may not be able to live alone much longer. It's easy to become a Wallander fan.

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