review · Sweden · Translated

The Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell

fifth womanThe Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell, translated by Steven T. Murray

Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, April 2004

Originally published as Den Femte Kvinnan , 1996

I bought my copy of the book.

I’ve put off reading The Fifth Woman for some time because I watched the tv adaptation (Kenneth Branagh) a few years ago: I wanted to wait until I forgot enough of the plot to make the reading of the book suspenseful. Needless to say, I enjoyed the book more than the film, and the book had a subplot or two that I don’t remember in the film, which added extra depth.

Wallander investigates a batch of seemingly unrelated, horribly violent murders in the fall when his father dies, and the crimes and his grief affect him deeply. The investigation is quite long and involved because the police do not have any viable theories of the case for a number of weeks, and that makes for a bit of a slow read in the middle of the story. The conclusion is very brisk, and I’m most impressed with the epilogue which basically involves Wallander reflecting on the crime and himself, which felt like a necessary part of the story because he felt so on edge during the investigation.

This series is one of my favorites, but I’ve decided to write just a few thoughts about it because it’s one I’ve blogged about before.

 

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6 thoughts on “The Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell

  1. This series is one of the best out there as far as I’m concerned. Admittedly some are a little better than others. Still, it’s a fabulous series and I’m glad you liked this one, Rebecca.

  2. I have only read the first book in the series although I have several of the series in my TBR stacks. We have watched all three seasons of the Wallander TV series but I don’t remember much of them, so that won’t hurt anything. Nice, brief review. If only I were capable of that.

    1. I like your longer reviews, Tracy: sometimes I’m incapable of longer pieces– probably when I’m too distracted. It is a great series, but I haven’t seen too many of the TV adaptations yet. I’m in the middle of Fargo right now.

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