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on 25 May 2015
Poor old Wallander - his cases are never quite solved satisfactorily for him. And this is no exception. I mainly read it because I am going to Riga soon, twenty years after this novel was set (and written). I wonder if I will recognize anything is that Riga, but I shall certainly visit some of the haunts.
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on 5 September 2013
I think I like the wallander character but aside from a few insightful moments he does seem to bumble along thru the story racked with self doubt and somehow becomes an international sleuth. Even when he falls in love theres a depressing desperation to it. The story line is okay and I find myself just about recommending this book,
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on 23 January 2015
It highlights the dark twilight years of the end of state communism in eastern europe and the beginning of the
end of the dark corrupt forces which compelled people to feel afraid. Wallender is an honest witness to the
changes in the baltic countries, which he was hitherto ignorant of and finds unrequited love aswell.
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on 20 February 2016
The plot of this one gets increasingly far-fetched as we go along. Eventually, we are made to feel that the fate of free Latvia hangs on the events unfolding on a rooftop in Riga. It's all got a bit Keystone Cops by that time I'm afraid and that's bad.

It's highly unlikely that a policeman would get away with behaving like this on his own in a foreign country - even one who's in love!

The beauty of the Wallander books is their plausibility (just about), but this type of caper makes a mockery of that. Wallander is best when confined to barracks i.e.Ystad and his personal problems. I know Mankell likes to roam around the world but, in Kurt's case, stay home please!
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on 27 September 2014
This book made me feel quite depressed. Perhaps because Mankell created the atmosphere of an eastern European country very well. I am not sure that I enjoyed reading it. I was curious about the conclusion but glad it was over and Wallander was back home.
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This is the second of Henning Mankell's novels featuring Swedish Detective Kurt Wallander. Two mysterious bodies are washed up on a deserted Swedish beach. The trail leads to pre Soviet collapse Latvia, and a deep conspiracy in the paranoid world of a police state of which Wallander has no comprehension. Taking his investigation to Riga, he is like a fish out of water, trying to find the truth in a world of lies. On his own in a strange world, I was reminded of the atmosphere of a Le Carre novel, such as `The Spy Who Came In From The Cold'. There is a sense of paranoia running through the book, with Wallander unable to trust anyone while completely in the dark about what it is that he is actually involved in.

Mankell is a fine writer on many counts. He manages to construct clever plots and believable mysteries, showing the police procedural side with fascinating detail. Kurt Wallander is a well written protagonist, with many personal flaws and a difficult private life. In the hands of other writers these might seem like annoying characteristics brought in solely to make the character interesting, but as written by Mankell they seem just right. Finally, Mankell writes with a great feeling for atmosphere. He contrasts the free and open Sweden with the dark and paranoid Riga with consummate ease. There is a sense of moodiness in the books, a dark, heavy feeling which pervades every page, you feel as though you are suffocating under it, then every now and then there is a breath of fresh air, you take a gulp then dive back into the dark and murky world.

I loved this book, a great read that really made me think, educated me and, most of all, entertained me with a gripping tale. Highly recommended!
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on 2 December 2012
I chose this book because I am gradually reading all the Wallander mysteries.

I really enjoy reading the Wallander stories because they are far more detailed than the television series, and so believable. They are obviously well researched and surpisingly informative.

Recomended to anyone who likes a good detective story
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on 13 November 2015
Although the story may "stutter" a little I shall never forget the chilling "Cold War" atmosphere Henning Mankell creates and the way our often fallible hero, Kurt Wallender, tries to come to terms with "post soviet" Latvia. A genuine thriller set in modern history with it's socio economic background and sinister overtones. I found this a most rewarding read....
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on 9 January 2003
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 Police detective who happens to be a little unlucky and a little unhealthy.
'The Dogs of Riga' is basically a Police Procedural detective novel and a no-details-ignored, everything-included study of a middle-aged man going through a variety of problems, whether they be medical, personal, or career-related. We may not aspire to be like Wallander in all respects, but the character earns the respect, admiration, and - at times - symphathy of the reader. Mankell weaves the most mundane details of Wallander's life and police investigations into a narrative which is always compelling. And he is astute not only with regard to character: there is a superb sense of geographical place, time, and politics in these novels. And this sense is nuanced, and not in any way simplistic. If anything, Mankell paints the world in too realistic a way: it is so plausible and real that reading about certain aspects of it can be depressing.
Recommended, although 'Faceless Killers' is the first novel, in terms of Wallander's chronology. After reading 'Faceless Killers' and 'The Dogs of Riga', read 'Sidetracked' and 'The Fifth Woman', in that order.
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on 5 August 2013
I enjoyed the millennium trilogy then read everything by Jo Nesbo before moving onto the Wallanders. I haven't been disappointed. They are well written, good stories. They are perhaps less graphic/grisly but still believable.
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