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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Atmospheric Journey
Of the two 'Kurt Wallander' novels I have read, 'The Dogs of Riga' is the weaker: 'Faceless Killers' has a more compelling plot, and a more interesting narrative. However, 'The Dogs of Riga' is still a very good book. The ending is slightly cluttered, with Mankell pushing credibility a little, but the novel as a whole is an excellent portrait of a determined Swedish...
Published on 9 Jan 2003 by scribeoflight

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In which a dogged Scandinavian detective goes 'Le Carre'
Rather different to the first Wallander novel, this one took me by surprise by venturing into Le Carre territory involving our dogged detective in an international conspiracy in Latvia - so less of a police procedural and more of a spy thriller.
It starts off with two bodies in a life-raft, who turn out to be Latvian. When the Latvian major who comes to Sweden to...
Published on 22 July 2008 by Annabel Gaskell


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 22 July 2011
By 
A. TURNER (Herefordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dogs of Riga: Kurt Wallander (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book, plus I had not seen it on tv - not sure if this one was dramatised.

Really good read, it had me gripped
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In which a dogged Scandinavian detective goes 'Le Carre', 22 July 2008
By 
Annabel Gaskell "gaskella2" (Nr Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dogs of Riga (Paperback)
Rather different to the first Wallander novel, this one took me by surprise by venturing into Le Carre territory involving our dogged detective in an international conspiracy in Latvia - so less of a police procedural and more of a spy thriller.
It starts off with two bodies in a life-raft, who turn out to be Latvian. When the Latvian major who comes to Sweden to help investigate is murdered on his return to Riga, Wallander is asked to help the Latvian police, but becomes embroiled in the nationalist struggle to free Latvia from Soviet shackles - it is 1991 and the Baltic states are not yet free.
Although this is only the second Wallander novel I have read, (and I like to stay with the order), I prefer the police procedural - I think it suits the dour Scandinavian inspector's character better. My one quibble with Wallander though is that he is meant to be in his mid-late 40s, but feels ten years older to me with his world-weariness - heavens I'm about the same age as him, but being an optimist mostly feel very much younger!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mankell Missteps, 26 April 2005
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dogs of Riga (Paperback)
After mostly enjoying the first in the Kurt Wallander series (Faceless Killers), I definitely found this one to be a significant step down in quality. Set in 1991, it starts off promisingly enough with a pair of smugglers discovering two dead men adrift in a life raft. The good samaritan criminals tow the raft closer to the Swedish shore, where it winds up washing up in Inspector Wallander's territory. For a while, the story proceeds as a straight crime procedural, as he attempts to find out who the men are and why they were killed. As usual, in the background is Wallander's shaky personal life and his coping with the death of his closest friend on the police force.
However, once it's determined that the men are from Eastern Europe, the story morphs into an international thriller. First, Major Liepa of the Latvian police arrives to try and assist on the case. Then, Wallander is himself dispatched to Latvia to help with a related murder there. Rather improbably, Wallander simply steps off the plane and is whisked away by his Latvian police liaisons. At the time, one would think the Swedish Embassy would have someone on hand make sure all went smoothly. However, this would make it harder to develop the plot, which revolves around Wallander's confusion over the forces at work and the Latvian police he's working with. Soon, the book is awash with amateur spycraft, as Wallander goes to clandestine meets with mysterious figures. Next thing you know, the dour detective has launched himself headfirst into a ridiculous scheme involving illegal border crossings, false papers, car theft, and wild shootouts. Even worse, these over the top Mission Impossible style theatrics are due to his infatuation with a woman he's only briefly met. If all of this smacks of a bad Hollywood film rather than a solid crime novel, that's unfortunately how it reads as well.
At the time of the book's writing, the Soviet Union was still in the midst of dissolution and reformers and hardliners in the USSR's various satellite republics were struggling to determine the future of their new states. Through Wallander, Mankell attempts to contrast orderly, progressive, first-world Sweden with chaotic, repressive, third-world Latvia. Alas, the city never really comes to life, and the atmosphere feels ersatz. Mankell attempts to make a connection between organized crime and the political power structure of the emerging post-Soviet states, but it kind of falls flat. It doesn't help that the characterization isn't particularly good, even for critical characters such as Wallander's platonic love interest. Like the first book, the writing is fairly straightforward and plain. One rather severe misstep involves the Latvian Major and Wallander, who are both described as having very shaky English, and yet their conversations are rendered in more or less grammatically sound, highly idiomatic English.
Note: The book was made into a film for Swedish television in 1995 which is apparently unavailable in English.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, 11 Mar 2013
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I am reading all of these in order and am loving every minute!!! Would recommend to Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrrgghhh!!!, 3 Sep 2012
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This review is from: The Dogs of Riga: Kurt Wallander (Paperback)
I have read a number of slightly worrying reviews on the Mankell Wallander novels on Amazon. We now seem to be in an era where watching the film (e.g. Romeo and Juliet in GCSE English classes) is seen as a viable substitute to reading and enjoying the full text. Mankell's work is intricate, stimulating and brings the mysteries to life in the best way of all - i.e. your own IMAGINATION!

I believe the books and TV series are both superb - so, if you are only watching Wallander on TV or DVD, you really are, in my opinion, missing out on something very special.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book, 24 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Dogs of Riga: Kurt Wallander (Paperback)
I LOVED THE FIST WALLANDER BOOK.....BUT THIS IS BETTER BY FAR ! you DO need to read FACELESS KILLERS first, it realy sets the characters up for this ,A MUCH BETTER BOOK.LOOKING FOWARD TO READING MORE.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable, 12 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Dogs of Riga: Kurt Wallander (Paperback)
Its always best to read a series in order, and Dogs of Riga comes early in the series but it stands head and shoulders above because the tension is that of a true thriller, and yet it also doesn't lessen the stories or impact of the books further into the series.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mankell is a modern master, 18 Nov 2001
By A Customer
The crime novels of Henning Mankell might be new to you (as they were to me before this year), but after you've read your first you might wonder: Where has he been all my life? These books by an internationally bestselling Swedish writer (who, unusually, lives in Mozambique, I think) are modern masterpieces of the genre.
The writing is addictive and throught-stirring, the main character, Inspector Wallander, is the flawed-heroic everyman that I think American Noir writers of the Thirties had well in mind. In this novel, THE DOGS OF RIGA, Wallander faces the increasingly growing problem of crime that crosses national boundaries. Some pretty horried corpses are washed up on his turf and the solution to the killings lies in the law-free-zone that is the post-communist East Europe. In this sense, Wallander is like a lone lawman in the old West, fighting for justice in a lawless society. This book is an epic, stunning achievement.
I would also recommend that readers new to Mankell and Insp. Wallander read SIDETRACKED, the author's novel which won the Best Crime Novel in his native country in 1997.
And while I'm on a roll(!), I'd also like to mention a couple of other fantastic reads - both by new authors to me - which I've enjoyed recently. The first is POWER OF ATTORNEY, by British barrister, Dexter Dias. This is quite simply the best legal thriller I've read in years. (His earlier novel FALSE WITNESS, which I've just finished, is also a must-read).
The other book I'd recommend (which combines both a legal and a snowy theme!) is THE ICE HARVEST by Scott Phillips. I think it's his first book, and is very impressive.
I hope you enjoy my suggestions as much as I did ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Badly written tedious nonsense, 20 Nov 2013
By 
G. Inglis "Geoff Inglis" (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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I had never read a Henning Mankel before although I had watched a few episodes of the Kenneth Branagh series of Wallander and enjoyed them so I came to it with reasonably expectations. These were instantly dashed. The book is very badly written, with everything spelt out in the greatest detail so that nothing is left to the imagination of the reader. The inner workings of Wallander's mind are rehearsed endlessly and repetitively.
The plot starts well enough but latterly descends into a ridiculous story of one man battling to expose the rotten core of the state machine (albeit a state whose language he does not speak) involving an unlikely trip across Eastern Europe and a string of happy coincidences. If this book is typical of the Wallander series I just cannot understand its popularity
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dogs of riga, 29 Mar 2013
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Good read from the Swedish detective and a good pace really enjoyed the storyline and looking forward to the next
one
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The Dogs of Riga: Kurt Wallander
The Dogs of Riga: Kurt Wallander by Henning Mankell (Paperback - 1 Jan 2009)
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