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The White Lioness: A Kurt Wallander Mystery (3) [Paperback]

Henning Mankell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 13 2003 Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Third in the Kurt Wallander series.

The execution-style murder of a Swedish housewife looks like a simple case even though there is no obvious suspect. But then Wallander learns of a determined stalker, and soon enough, the cops catch up with him. But when his alibi turns out to be airtight, they realize that what seemed a simple crime of passion is actually far more complex—and dangerous. The search for the truth behind the killing eventually uncovers an assassination plot, and Wallander soon finds himself in a tangle with both the secret police and a ruthless foreign agent. Combining compelling insights into the sinister side of modern life with a riveting tale of international intrigue, The White Lioness keeps you on the knife-edge of suspense.

Frequently Bought Together

The White Lioness: A Kurt Wallander Mystery (3) + The Dogs of Riga: A Kurt Wallander Mystery (2) + Sidetracked: A Kurt Wallander Mystery
Price For All Three: CDN$ 36.81

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Like his countrymen Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, Mankell writes mysteries that connect crimes in Sweden to the rest of the world. Faceless Killers (1997), the first of his books about provincial police inspector Kurt Wallender to appear here, involved Turkish immigrants and Eastern European villains. This novel, written in 1993, links the murder of a real estate agent in Wallender's town of Ystad to South Africa, where Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison, and to Russia, where the KGB is busy planning Mandela's fate. Wallender is a classically dour but dedicated policeman whose progress through his cases is a combination of hard slogging and lucky breaks. But several factors render this effort less compelling than its predecessor. The first is the Day of the Jackal syndrome: we know that Mandela wasn't killed by KGB agents or white Afrikaner terrorists, and that knowledge makes the suspense writer's job even harder. Second is the book's length?560 pages is a long haul, even with three exotic settings and dozens of important characters. Third might be Thompson's translation, which?unlike Steven T. Murray's work on Faceless Killers?often seems excessively deadpan. But Wallender is still a solid character, whose strengths and weaknesses are utterly credible, and Mankell (who now lives in Mozambique) knows how to make the most of his virtues.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Mankell's Faceless Killers , the Swedish author's first novel to appear in English, introduced Kurt Wallander, an Old World cop on the edge of being overwhelmed by New World crime. Wallander returns in this less compelling but still memorable case involving an assassination attempt on Nelson Mandela in 1990. The disappearance of a Swedish housewife--murdered by an ex-KGB agent training the would-be assassin, hired by right-wing Afrikaaners--draws Wallander into the tangle of South African politics. The action jumps from Sweden to South Africa, where President de Klerk struggles to bring his country into an apartheid-free new era. The massive scope of the novel--race relations in South Africa, on one hand, Wallander's personal travails in distant Sweden, on the other--proves a bit unwieldy, but the action is skillfully grounded in human rather than political concerns: the ambiguous moral position of the black assassin, Wallander's single-minded determination to explain the housewife's death, the tortured psyche of the Afrikaaner leader. If Mankell's reach slightly exceeds his grasp here, his stature as a major voice in international crime fiction remains undisturbed. Bill Ott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Louise Akerblom, an estate agent, left the Savings Bank in Skurup shortly after 3.00 in the afternoon on Friday, April 24. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery/Thriller! April 24 2004
I read a lot of novels, but haven't read a mystery/thriller in a long time. I picked up "The White Lioness" while traveling as I thought it looked interesting - especially as it is written by a Swedish author. Also - the cover of my copy claimed it was a "thinking man's thriller".
The book was excellent - I just finished reading it and immediately went to Amazon to obtain the next novel in the Kurt Wallander series.
The first third of the book is interesting - I was thinking that it was okay, but I wasn't real excited about it. As you get to know the characters, the story gets more and more interesting, until it became a real "page turner".
The story was also good exposure to South African politics and the culture before the first free election in 1994.
I read some of the other Amazon reviews - I was surprised that many folks didn't like the first chapter. I thought it was fine - it was an interesting way to introduce the plot and characters.
I highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining read from an excellent author Sept. 16 2003
Henning Mankell writes excellent mysteries, and this is no exception. The main character Kurt Wallender comes across as an authentic, flawed character who is all-too-human. Unlike the lone wolf Philip Marlowe in Chandler's books, Wallender is a detective who is also a divorced father, a son, and a man with middle-age challenges. Mankell does an excellent job of balancing the rational pursuit of evidence found in polic procedurals with Wallender's intuition. Moreover, while many of the events themselves are violent, Mankell avoids over-the-top graphic descriptions of violence, unlike some contemporary works (Lehane's Darkness, Take My Hand or Ellroy's Black Dahlia come to mind). This, along with other Mankell books like One Step Behind and Firewall, are excellent and entertaining reads.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Change of scenery Oct. 7 2003
Reading a thriller written by a swedish author is a new experience to me. Mankell is a talented writer who praises his plots above everything, even above character development and book edition. Some pretty clear mistakes, like a totally wrong-placed first chapter and too many coincidences that help the main character, have to be forgiven so that the reader can fully enjoy "The white lioness".
Sweden and South Africa are linked by a white-supremacy conspiracy that intends to train in Scandinavia a black killer whose mission is to kill one of the two most important men in the african country: De Klerk and Mandela. The book is mainly divided between scenes in Sweden and South Africa. The ones in Sweden are a little too slow, and the reader has to pay full attention to remain interested in the story. The parts in South Africa are more interesting.
The main character, swedish inspector Kurt Wallander, is an anti-hero: low-profile, coward, has bad-relationship with his father and daughter. Yet, he's very likable. The reader unwillingly takes Wallander side on the story, even when he does everything wrong. That's his power. Many other characters are part of the plot, some of them more interesting than others. The ending is a little too rushed, and in my opinion could be more developed. This is a very straight and correct book. Mankell doesn't risk too much concerning his writing style.
I understand Mankell has already written several other books featuring Inspector Wallander, and "The white lioness" is only the second one. Also, Mankell was previously known for his children books and his theater plays. I'm pretty sure that his plots and characters show much improvement in more recent books, but nonetheless this one is a preety good way to get to know Henning Mankell.
Grade 8.0/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping but a little far-fetched May 29 2003
By snalen
In fact it's gripping enough that it's possible to ignore much of the time that one's credulity is being strained. The first chapter has to be one of the great stereotype-busting moments in all crime fiction, featuring as it does Louise Akerblom, an estate agent of near-saintly honesty and goodness. Sadly, however, she doesn't last long as Russian psycho Konovalenko, the bad guy's bad guy, suddenly appears to blow her brains out on p. 9.
Along comes Inspector Wallander who is, at the outset, at a loss to make sense of this apparently quite pointless murder of a greatly loved young woman. But, slowly and tenaciously, he starts to dig and dig, moving ever closer to the discovery that Akerblom was killed for stumbling upon the activities of the agents of a fiendish South- African plot by highly placed Afrikers of far right political affiliation to derail the de Klerk-Mandela talks with a act of political assassination that will plunge their country into a bloodbath of racial violence, thereby wiping out any further possibility of a peaceful and negotiated end to Apartheid.
The story is told from two ends, Swedish and South African, and from the multiple perspectives of, inter alia, Victor Mabasha, the contract killer Konovalenko is training to carry out the assassination, of Jan Kleyn, the arch plotter, of Pieter van Heerden and Georg Scheepers the South Africans investigating the plotters on behalf of de Klerk, of de Klerk and Mandela themselves, but of course above all from the perspective of Wallander himself, increasingly obsessed and, as the story unfolds, ever closer to breakdown.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a let down
This Wallander series overall is fantastic. Great story telling and character development. While this book isn't bad per se, it is a bit slower than others in the series. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sir Steven
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Makell's Best
I've read about half of Mankell's novels and consider this one nearly the best of the bunch. The only one I liked better is Faceless Killers. Read more
Published 9 months ago by AllNightReader
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Mankell's
A fascinating historical novel about Apartheid South Africa. Very well written and populated with remarkable characters. One of the best early Mankell's.
Published 13 months ago by Claudio A. Kuczer
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Read!!!
I really enjoyed this book even though it took place in the early 1990's. The plot is interesting and varied. It's a book I couldn't put down. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2010 by Alexandra
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Better Detective Writers Available
Admittedly, I'm a bit of a Johnny-come-lately when it comes to singing this author's praises. It is only my third Wallander book and third episode in the accompanying TV series,... Read more
Published on Dec 13 2010 by Ian Gordon Malcomson
4.0 out of 5 stars South African Politics
The former white rulers decide that Nelson Mandela must be killed: the ensuing chaos would help them to regain power. Read more
Published on April 17 2003 by lvkleydorff
2.0 out of 5 stars Mmm... like an amateur theatrical ?
I'm very sorry that I can't agree the other reviewers' praise.
First, I don't understand why the author set "Chapter One" in the beginning, in which an incident is described. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2003 by "tadachan"
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reading
The third book of Henning Mankell and his inspector Wallander. And again it is a great book to read. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2003 by Linda Oskam
5.0 out of 5 stars MANKELL REIGNS!
Published on June 22 1999
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