The White Lioness Paperback – May 13 2003
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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 the Hardcover edition.
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 the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Excellent entertainment. Fast paced and challenging plot twists. This is the second Mankell book I have read and my appreciation for his creative writing skills continue to grow.Published 8 months ago by Patrick Sherman
Fantastic book. I love Henning Mankell and I can't wait to read more of his books. If you enjoyed The White Lioness, I also recommend The Man from Beijing. Read morePublished 15 months ago by KDun
Not the best of read, to say the least. I didn't finish the book.Published 19 months ago by Joyce Laird
Mankell never disappoints me with his imperfect sleuth.Published 21 months ago by Terence Charles Bacon
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 morePublished on May 21 2014 by Sir Steven
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 morePublished on Nov. 14 2013 by AllNightReader
A fascinating historical novel about Apartheid South Africa. Very well written and populated with remarkable characters. One of the best early Mankell's.Published on July 3 2013 by C. A. Kuczer