The Fifth Woman

The Kurt Wallander Mysteries

Book 6
New Press/ORIM
25
Free sample

From the #1 international-bestselling master of Scandinavian noir: a “marvelously told mystery” of murder in Sweden and corruption in Africa (Austin American-Statesman).
 
In an African convent, four nuns and an unidentified fifth woman are found with their throats slit. The local police do little to investigate . . . and cover up the unknown woman’s death. A year later in Sweden, Holger Eriksson, a retired car dealer and birdwatcher, is skewered to death after falling into a pit of carefully sharpened bamboo poles. Soon after, the body of a missing florist is discovered strangled and tied to a tree. Baffled and appalled by the crimes, the only clues Inspector Kurt Wallander has to go on are a skull, a diary, and a photo of three men.
 
What ensues is a complex, meticulously plotted investigation that will push the detective to his limits. The key is the unsolved killing of the fifth woman in Africa—who was she, and what did she have to do with the brutal deaths of two seemingly innocent men? Are more victims in danger? The answers will lead Wallander to question everything he thought he knew about the psychology of murder.
 
An international bestseller, this “scary and cunning tale” (Rocky Mountain News) “achieves the satisfying density of plot and characterization” that established Henning Mankell as one of the twentieth-century’s finest crime writers. His Kurt Wallander mysteries are now the basis for the hit TV show Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh (The Baltimore Sun).
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Additional Information

Publisher
New Press/ORIM
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Published on
Aug 1, 2000
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9781595586124
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / International Mystery & Crime
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Fiction / Noir
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The story of the Swedish detective’s beginnings, told in five gripping short mysteries: “An indispensable chapter to the saga” (Booklist Online).
 
Here are the stories that trace, chronologically, Kurt Wallander’s growth from a rookie cop into a young father and then a middle-aged divorcé, illuminating how he became a first-rate detective and highlighting new facets of the character who “remains one of the most impressive and credible creations of crime fiction today” (The Guardian).
 
“Wallander’s First Case” introduces us to the twenty-one-year-old patrolman on his first homicide case: his next-door neighbor, seemingly dead by his own hand. In “The Man with the Mask”, Wallander is a young father confronting an unexpected threat on Christmas Eve. On the brink of middle age, he is troubled by a distant wife as he unravels the poisoning of a lonely vacationer in “The Man on the Beach.” Newly separated in “The Death of the Photographer,” Wallander investigates the brutal murder—and the well-concealed secrets—of the local studio photographer. In the title story, he is a veteran detective uncovering unexpected connections between a downed mystery plane and the assassination of a pair of elderly sisters.
 
Written from the unique perspective of an author looking back on the life of his own character, these mysteries are vintage Henning Mankell and essential reading for fans of the fiction series or the BBC program Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. The Pyramid is a wonderful display of Mankell’s virtuosity powers as “the unrivalled master of Swedish crime fiction and one of the finest practitioners of the genre anywhere” (Toronto Star).
The #1 international-bestselling tale of greed, violence, and corporate power from the master of Scandinavian noir: “One of his best” (The Times, London).
 
After killing a man in the line of duty, Inspector Kurt Wallander finds himself deep in a personal and professional crisis; during more than a year of sick leave, he turns to drink and vice to quiet his lingering demons. Once he pulls himself together, he vows to quit the Ystad police force for good—just before a friend who had asked Wallander to look into the death of his father winds up dead himself, shot three times.
 
Far from leaving police work behind, Wallander instead must investigate a formidable suspect: a powerful business tycoon at the helm of a multinational company engaged in extralegal activities. Ann-Britt Höglund, the department’s first female detective, proves to be Wallander’s best ally as he tries to pierce the smiling façade of the suspicious mogul. But just as he comes close to uncovering the truth, Wallander finds his own life being threatened.
 
In this “exquisitely plotted” thriller, Henning Mankell’s mastery of the modern police procedural—which has earned him legions of fans worldwide and inspired the BBC show Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh—is on vivid display (Publishers Weekly).
 
“This is crime fiction of the highest order.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
“Compelling . . . Skillfully plotted and suspenseful. . . . A thriller for the thinking reader.”
—The Dallas Morning News
 
“Mankell’s novels are a joy.” —USA Today
 
“Absorbing. . . . In the masterly manner of P.D. James, Mankell projects his hero’s brooding thoughts onto nature itself.” —The New York Times
 
“Wallander is a loveable gumshoe. . . . He is one of the most credible creations in contemporary crime fiction.” —The Guardian
The Inner Circle opens with an international group of young archeology students sweating on a dig on the island of Gotland, uncovering a Viking fortification dating back over a millennium. They are a fun-loving lot, partying together every night, but the good vibe turns to horror when one of them, twenty-one-year-old Martina Flochten, disappears. Her body is found a short while later, naked, bled out, and hanging from a tree. Her injuries indicate that she is the victim of a ritual killing.

Inspector Anders Knutas investigates Martina's acquaintances. Who was the mysterious lover she was supposed to have been meeting in secret and whom none of her fellow archaeologists have actually seen? What do the marks on Martina's body signify? Is there possibly a connection between Martina's death and the recent and unsolved brutal beheading of a Gotland pony? The pony was also bled out, and its head was missing---until it appears mounted on a stick outside the next victim's house.

Inspector Knutas and his team work feverishly to catch the killer, but before long there are more victims, all of whom have been killed and mutilated the same way.

Mari Jungstedt integrates a healthy dose of Scandinavian mythology in this installment of her critically acclaimed series, and also addresses current issues on Gotland, while keeping up a fast-paced and intricate plot as Knutas closes in on the killer and the secret that connects the victims. This is Swedish crime fiction at its best: dark, atmospheric, and character-driven.

From the New York Times–bestselling author of the Kurt Wallander novels: An “absorbing” and “chilling” historical mystery “dripping with evil atmosphere” (The Times, London).
 
December 12, 1945. The Third Reich lies in ruins as a British warplane lands in Bückeburg, Germany. A man carrying a small black bag quickly disembarks and travels to Hamelin, where he disappears behind the prison gates. Early the next day, England’s most experienced hangman executes twelve war criminals.
 
Fifty-four years later, retired policeman Herbert Molin is found brutally slaughtered on his remote farm in Härjedalen, Sweden. The police discover strange tracks in the blood on the floor . . . as if someone had been practicing the tango.
 
Stefan Lindman is a young police officer who has just been diagnosed with cancer of the tongue. When he reads about the murder of his former colleague, he decides to travel north and find out what happened. Soon he is enmeshed in a puzzling investigation with no witnesses and no discernible motives. Terrified of the illness that could take his life, Lindman becomes more and more reckless as he uncovers the links between Molin’s death, World War II, and an underground neo-Nazi network. Mankell’s impeccably researched historical thriller is “a worthy successor to the Wallander whodunits” (The Sunday Telegraph).
 
“[Mankell] never fails to find a deep vein of humanity within the perpetually furrowed brows of his troubled cops.” —Booklist
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