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The Dogs of Riga, Henning Mankell - The Policeman who came in from the cold,
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This review is from: The Dogs of Riga: Kurt Wallander (Paperback)
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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Initial post: 8 Apr 2014 19:04:41 BDT
G. A. Mulhall says:
I appreciate your review is now four years old and you may not read this comment, but I just wanted to say that I am half way through this book and last night I turned to my wife and said "I'm really enjoying this story - it's like Le Carre Lite for want of a better expression."
Glad to know it's not just me!
Dave in Bolton.
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