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Sidetracked: Kurt Wallander Paperback – 9 Oct 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (9 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099535033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099535034
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 324,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

"The Swedish summer-time is too beautiful and too brief for something like this to happen." A young girl commits self-immolation, a former government minister is killed with an axe and scalped; these are the two brutal facts that confront Inspector Kurt Wallander as he prepares for his holiday. As the Swedish midsummer approaches there is no escaping from the darkness of society.

Sidetracked, the fifth of Henning Mankell's acclaimed Kurt Wallander mysteries, and the second to be translated into English, is an engrossing police procedural. The hard-boiled Kurt Wallander has softened slightly since he was first introduced in Faceless Killers, the first title in the series. He drinks less, has more functional relationships and has developed a faith in his investigative team. Despite this, it is his other qualities as a character, his philosophical angst and his intuitive pursuit of hunches, which drive this novel as Wallander struggles to discover the leads that will trap the killer.

Mankell manages to squeeze in serious comments on the state of Swedish society. The over-stretched police force, child prostitution and the corruption of high politics, all come under the scrutiny of Wallander's wearied gaze as he struggles to come to terms with the new violence of his society. This is a dark novel peppered with genuinely nasty violence, but it is Wallander's struggle to uncover the truth and face his own demons that provide the real thrills. --Iain Robinson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Mankell is one of the most ingenious crime writers around. Highly recommended" (Observer)

"Inspector Wallander has touches of Dexter's Inspector Morse about him, while remaining an original and highly likeable creation" (The Times)

"Wallander is among the very best of fictional crimebusters" (Daily Telegraph)

"Mankell is in the first division of crime writing" (The Times)

"Mankell could turn you to crime" (Daily Telegraph)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the 5th book in the Kurt Wallender series and in my view it is the best so far.

What makes a Mankell book so special is the mix of plot, suspense and characterisation of the main characters but in particular Wallender.

In this story Wallender's private life is on the up. His daughter comes to visit him and their relationship so bad in previous novels is now strong. He plans a trip to Italy with his father and he looks forward to the holiday with his new love Baiba.

This is all in complete contrast to the investigation that he heads up, that of multiple violent murders and a suicide of a young girl.

What makes these books special is that you follow Wallenders thought process as he churns the facts, his suspicions and theories. Can he link the murderers, is his investigation heading in the right direction or is it sidetracked by normal police process.

I never rush a Mankell novell. I read every word as there is something to be revealed in nearly every line.

The best police and crime series you can read. It puts the others in the shade.
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By Androo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Until I went to Ystad recently, I had no idea what an idyllic and perect small town it is - all cobbled streets and half-timbered cottages. If there's one thing Mankell misdescribes in the Wallander novels, it is the sleepy atmosphere of Ystad. But I guess the idea is that the shocking murders that Inspector Wallander investigates are all the more shocking against this backdrop where in reality there must be next to no crime.
That aside, this is cracking stuff: gruesome murders, fascinating characters, blind alleys, and that typical rush at the end when everything finally falls into place. All the Wallander novels are excellent - this one is probably one of the better ones.
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Format: Paperback
I hope I can help readers read Wallander's books in the right order:
1. Faceless killers
2. The dogs of Riga
3. The white lioness
4. The man who smiled
5. Sidetracked
6. The fifth woman
7. One step behind
8. Firewall
9. The pyramid
10. Before the frost (first Linda Wallander book)
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I first hear of the Wallander series of novels through watching the BBC adaptations. I began at the start and quickly arrived at Sidetracked, the fifth Wallander novel. Sidetracked happened to be one of the three books adapted for TV so when I began reading I was already familiar with what happens in the book. However, this did not spoil my enjoyment of the book.

Sidetracked goes back to the bread and butter of police procedurals, which is by no means a bad thing. Gone are the days of international mischief that have peppered previous novels. Wallander and his team of well-established characters are involved in two cases, which at first do not appear to be related and are committed in the vicinity of Skane - a series of murders involving scalping and the gruesome suicide of a young lady.

There is also a greater insight into Wallander's personal life. His relationships with members of his family begin to warm and his love interest - Baipa - gets a greater mention in this book, which is welcome.

Overall, an excellent Wallander outing. It's easy to see why this book is award-winning
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Format: Paperback
Novels by Henning Mankel that have as protagonist to inspector Kurt Wallander you can opine are police books. "Sidetracked" is one of the best, dealing with the theme of a psychopathic killer.
But I personally find the author uses the hook of mystery to expose a big amount of questions so important if not more that the criminal plot. We can begin with the personality of Wallander, a policeman nothing usual, too much sensible for so hard, cruel facts he think has to face, although he overcomes his personal limitations when necessary, but at a considerable personal cost, drinking enormous amounts of coffee and breaking rules and ordnances. For that, in this novel, Wallander lets subconsciously to be sidetracked to avoid the horror he suspects from the beginning. From his police station of Ystad, a small village of South Sweden, the crimes Wallander has to solve, serve an excuse to expose a background of social and politic disarrangement rounding the chaos, details very notable as Swedish society is seen from outside as calm and very equalitarian, although this cases have frequent international implications that go much more far from Sweden. Psychology, ideology, politics and sociology are in this books as relevant as crimes and action. All that it's an engineering piece not easy to ensemble, and some of his novels are better achieved than others, and suppose even can disgust to readers which don't want more than a thriller or disagree with the general thesis of the author.
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Format: Paperback
I've been a fan of Mankell ever since I read "Faceless Killers", but "Sidetracked" is even better. The plotting is ingenious, the story credible and moving, the characters well drawn and believable. This time, Wallander and his collegues from Ystad police are confronted with a series of horrific killings as well as the suicide of a young girl who set herself on fire. As the killer strikes again and again, the police realize the suicide and the killings are connected. In contrast to other police procedurals, Mankell is not content with just telling a compelling story, but uses his narrative also to mirror social distortions. In doing so, he keeps the reader hooked from the first page to the last. Brilliant.
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