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The man who smiled
Henning Mankell
Adult Fiction MANKELL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

First published in Sweden in 1994, Mankell's terrific fourth Kurt Wallender mystery opens with the kind of startling image typical of this internationally bestselling series (Firewall, etc.): a lawyer, driving home through the fog, stops after he sees "a human-sized effigy" propped on a chair in the middle of a deserted highway. Gustaf Torstensson gets out of the car to investigate, is hit from behind and was "dead before his body hit the damp asphalt." The police accept the assailant's claim that it was an accident, but when Torstensson's son, Sten, is shot dead just two weeks later, the brooding Wallender, who's on sick leave and vowing to retire from the Ystad police force, decides to pursue the killer and resume his career. The chief suspect a powerful, globe-trotting Swedish businessman who's the smiling man of the title leads Wallender on an exquisitely plotted search for motive and evidence. Dark and moody, this is crime fiction of the highest order. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Detective Chief Inspector Kurt Wallander, on sick leave for more than a year after killing a man in self-defense, is drinking too much and contemplating resigning. Then a lawyer friend, questioning whether his father's death was accidental, appeals to Wallander for help. When this friend is murdered just days later, Wallander's investigative juices get flowing, and he's back on the job, zeroing in on title character Alfred Harderberger, a wealthy businessman. But only painstaking police work-a keynote of European writer Mankell's thrillers, this time involving complex financial dealings-can confirm Wallander's suspicions. While any Kurt Wallander appearance is a pleasure, this volume is out of sequence: published in 1994 as the fourth in the series, it includes Wallander's father, whose death he grieved in previously translated books; a colleague murdered in One Step Behind; a woman whose relationship with Wallander is long over; and Ann-Britt Hoglund as a rookie (causing the inspector to ponder the future of police work). An essential purchase for mystery collections, this may disappoint Mankell fans who enjoy the changes and character development of a sequential series.-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Kurt Wallander
Age: 40s
Paunchy; balding.
Police inspector

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