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  • Faceless Killers

  • An Inspector Wallander Mystery
  • By: Henning Mankell
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (701 ratings)

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Faceless Killers cover art

Faceless Killers

By: Henning Mankell
Narrated by: Sean Barrett
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Summary

One frozen January morning at 5am, Inspector Wallander responds to what he believes is a routine call out. When he reaches the isolated farmhouse he discovers a bloodbath. An old man has been tortured and beaten to death; his wife lies barely alive beside his shattered body, both victims of violence beyond reason. Wallander's life is a shambles. His wife has left him, his daughter refuses to speak to him, and even his ageing father barely tolerates him. He works tirelessly, eats badly, and drinks his nights away in a lonely, neglected flat. But now Wallander must forget his troubles and throw himself into a battle against time.

©2000 Henning Mankell (P)2009 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Faceless Killers

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Unexpectedly bad, right wing and chauvinistic.

What disappointed you about Faceless Killers?

A whole host of things disappointed me about this book. Wallander is your basic bland divorced police detective struggling with his own bland demons.

Wallander takes a right wing stance on immigration and crime, and despite various claims that Mankell is bravely tackling the anti-immigrant sentiments present in Sweden, the reality is that while many of the white characters are named, people of colour are referred to consistently as “the Iranian”, “the Somalian” etc, even when they are the victims of crimes. The book is anti immigrant and has a distinct anti-refugee tilt in which refugees are described as illegal immigrants arriving by the boatload to overwhelm Sweden, and the only real criticism of the concentration camp living arrangements they are forced into is that they are disorganised and too flammable.

Critical of anyone advocating a social approach to youth crime rather than prison, Wallander sexually assaults his (only) female colleague, who subsequently appears to forgive him with hints of an impending affair, something only a man could write.
He also drink drives, but we as the audience are supposed to forgive this little indiscretion as well, whilst sympathising with his reactionary beliefs about criminals, who’s circumstances are barely ever truly engaged with.

Would you ever listen to anything by Henning Mankell again?

Not likely

Any additional comments?

Honestly it’s just a fairly standard mystery novel, and not deserving of most of its acclaim.

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15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth a listen

After reading the books at the end of this series I headed back to the beginning where I should've started! I did enjoy this book and as usual excellent narration. This did fill in some of the gaps for me with incidents mentioned later on, story not as good as the others but still worth a listen.

After this book I found The Dogs of Riga -2nd book and I really did enjoy that - an excellent listen I couldn't put down- fills in the gaps of how Wallander met Bieber and the story behind her- thoroughly enjoyable listen and highly recommended. Great story with lots of twists and turns right up to the end! Am miffed that this was the last book for me to read in the series so off to find a new series!

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

So simple, yet so captivating

The first time I head of Kurt Wallander was when I watched an episode of UK series Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. It was a truly refreshing experience. The lead character who is human enough to be believable and yet exciting enough to observ and follow. Since then, I've watched all the available episodes and decided to turn to the source.



The biggest disappointment about the book was that the episode based on it follows it almost to the point. I always knew what was going to happen - hardly anything was changed in the adaptation. Which was the right thing to do as the original, this book, is simply fantastic. The main theme of the book is a very present-day problem not only in Sweden, but all over Europe.



The narration is slow. And is rightly so. Kurt is not one of the those detectives that runs around shooting his gun at everything that doesn't look right. He is very down-to-earth, he is smart, but, what's most important, he is persistent. He will try over and over, and over again, until he succeeds. Slow pace of narration helps to get into the mood of the world surrounding Kurt Wallander.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good Story, but very slow moving.

I found it very slow moving.I felt the mystery was never going to finish.
I have listened to other books read by Sean Barrett.He is a great storyteller.
In this book ,He tries his best to create tension and suspense with the characters but I just didn't find the story very gripping.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Addictive

This book held me in its spell from the moment that I started to listen to it. Truly addictive.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

wonderful

superb narration. wonderful story telling and beautifully written.

Evocative of time, place and people.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good story well told

good story well told very enjoyable the plot was very well thought out great

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

good crime fiction

I liked this book, although I found it quite short and quick to finish, this may be because i have just finished the fantastic series of Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole novels which were fantastic and were each double in length. However I fee there is more to learn about the character of Wallander and will listen to book 2.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant

Great story, characters and flow. finally got round to downloading this and not disappointed

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Unlikable main character

The story started with a rather interesting atmosphere, but lost momentum. I didn't really find anything positive or likeable on the main character, Wallander, and started to dislike him even more throughout the story.

Throughout the investigation, it seems that Wallander is only making progress through unbelievable luck.

I guess the book has been written some time ago, and the protectionist, nationalistic subtone didn't age very well. The author could have done at least some research on what typical Czechoslovakian names look like.

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1 person found this helpful