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The White Lioness Paperback – May 13 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard; Reprint edition (May 13 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400031559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400031559
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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 the Hardcover edition.

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 the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
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, and I am totally smitten with plenty more to come. Without further ado, I offer some plausible reasons why you might want to pick up this earlier release of a spine-tingling murder mystery that involves a chilling dose of international intrigue and national homicide. From the outset, reading "The White Lioness" is guaranteed to take you on a clandestine adventure that bridges two continents - Africa and Europe. In your journeys you will encounter interesting and bizarre cultural perspectives from as far away as South Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The world that Mankell creates through the eyes of Inspector Wallander is an unsettled and uneasy post-Cold War environment where the Russian Mafia is moving across borders, nations are bucking for independence, and the world has suddenly and ironically become very unsafe. In all this pell-mell, Wallander and his kind still have to investigate and solve the strangest and unsettling of crimes emerging from the land of the Northern Lights. This story offers up a string of real doozers because, in Mankell's created world, when people do bad things to good people they, generally, don't stop at one. I am very taken with how Mankell maneuvers his characters around the low-lying landscapes of southern Sweden and the interior plains of South Africa. In these respective settings, he assists the readers with a couple of detailed maps that are useful for tracing where the hunt is at in the pursuit of justice.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
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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