Select one of the keywords
The Fifth Woman    by Henning Mankell order for
Fifth Woman
by Henning Mankell
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2004 (2000)
Hardcover, Softcover, Paperback, CD

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

A Kurt Wallender mystery novel by Henning Mankell is always welcome even if translated from the Swedish in the year 2004 (by Stephen T. Murray). This series, seven strong at the point of this publication, will never grow old or stale.

In picking up The Fifth Woman, you have already assured yourself of a very good read. A marvelous, tightly written plot with characters that rise from the pages as though composed of real flesh and blood.

Speaking of flesh and blood, this series is not for the faint-hearted. Rather distasteful deaths are depicted. I advise you to read it during the daytime so you won't start at every unrecognizable sound.

The prologue tells of the death of a foreign woman in Africa. She is slaughtered along with four nuns. Who is she? And why was she killed? You'll have to read the book to find out.

The repetition and drudgery of police work is only exceeded by its long hours. The Fifth Woman finds the police hard at work trying to reason out the death of a man found in a ditch behind his country home, impaled on sharpened bamboo stakes. Another body is soon found, after the man had been missing for a time, tied to a tree, showing signs of malnutrition, and strangled. Could the two murders be connected? What's next?

Inspector Kurt Wallender finds a photo of three men and a skull and has little else with which to work. And work he does. Often forgetting to eat and with not enough sleep, he manages to keep working as he continues to monitor the actions of his squad. A formidable man. It's a good thing for society that he is on the right side of the law.

He eventually finds a connection between the deaths and ... no, you'll have to read this winner yourself to find out just how he does it.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews