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The Man Who Smiled    by Henning Mankell order for
Man Who Smiled
by Henning Mankell
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Kurt Wallander, a police detective with the Ystad police force, became depressed and despondent after being forced to kill someone. Just as Kurt is about to resign from the force, a lawyer dies in what appears to be a car accident. But it just doesn't sit right with Wallander. So he's back to work.

Next, the lawyer's son is murdered and Wallander is driven to discover the killer, with his entire department behind him. And, for once in a police procedural, the detective's superiors listen to him and accord him the respect he has earned. The plot is tangled but tightly written, with a thrust that keeps Wallander on track. His co-workers all have their own demons, giving them depth and making them human. The action is a little slow moving, but accomplishes its purpose with brilliance.

The Man Who Smiled is one of a series of eight featuring Kurt Wallander. Author Henning Mankell has also written five other mystery novels that are highly acclaimed in his native Sweden.

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