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The White Lioness: Kurt Wallander
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The White Lioness: Kurt Wallander [Format Kindle]

Henning Mankell , Laurie Thompson
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

From Publishers Weekly

Like his countrymen Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, Mankell writes mysteries that connect crimes in Sweden to the rest of the world. Faceless Killers (1997), the first of his books about provincial police inspector Kurt Wallender to appear here, involved Turkish immigrants and Eastern European villains. This novel, written in 1993, links the murder of a real estate agent in Wallender's town of Ystad to South Africa, where Nelson Mandela has just been released from prison, and to Russia, where the KGB is busy planning Mandela's fate. Wallender is a classically dour but dedicated policeman whose progress through his cases is a combination of hard slogging and lucky breaks. But several factors render this effort less compelling than its predecessor. The first is the Day of the Jackal syndrome: we know that Mandela wasn't killed by KGB agents or white Afrikaner terrorists, and that knowledge makes the suspense writer's job even harder. Second is the book's length?560 pages is a long haul, even with three exotic settings and dozens of important characters. Third might be Thompson's translation, which?unlike Steven T. Murray's work on Faceless Killers?often seems excessively deadpan. But Wallender is still a solid character, whose strengths and weaknesses are utterly credible, and Mankell (who now lives in Mozambique) knows how to make the most of his virtues.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Mankell's Faceless Killers , the Swedish author's first novel to appear in English, introduced Kurt Wallander, an Old World cop on the edge of being overwhelmed by New World crime. Wallander returns in this less compelling but still memorable case involving an assassination attempt on Nelson Mandela in 1990. The disappearance of a Swedish housewife--murdered by an ex-KGB agent training the would-be assassin, hired by right-wing Afrikaaners--draws Wallander into the tangle of South African politics. The action jumps from Sweden to South Africa, where President de Klerk struggles to bring his country into an apartheid-free new era. The massive scope of the novel--race relations in South Africa, on one hand, Wallander's personal travails in distant Sweden, on the other--proves a bit unwieldy, but the action is skillfully grounded in human rather than political concerns: the ambiguous moral position of the black assassin, Wallander's single-minded determination to explain the housewife's death, the tortured psyche of the Afrikaaner leader. If Mankell's reach slightly exceeds his grasp here, his stature as a major voice in international crime fiction remains undisturbed. Bill Ott

Détails sur le produit

En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Né en Suède en 1948, Henning Mankell est considéré comme l'un des maîtres incontestés du roman policier suédois grâce à la série des Wallander, traduite en 35 langues et pour laquelle l'Académie suédoise lui a décerné le Grand Prix de littérature policière. Lauréat de nombreux prix littéraires dont le prix Mystère de la Critique, le prix Calibre 38, et le Trophée 813, il est l'auteur de romans sur l'Afrique ou des questions de société, de pièces de théâtre et d'ouvrages pour la jeunesse. Il partage aujourd'hui sa vie entre la Suède et le Mozambique.

Crédit photo : Lina Ikse

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 surprenant d'autant que Mandela vient de mourir... 21 décembre 2013
Par Koko
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
C'est mon premier Mankell mais ce ne sera pas le dernier!très différent des policiers genre thrillers Islandais,anglais ou américains que je lis habituellement.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Super 19 février 2011
Par J. Remi
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Comme tous les livres de Mankell : suspense et une ambiance nordique inégalable.
J'ai lu ce livre il y a quelques mois et je l'ai gardé en mémoire : excellent.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.2 étoiles sur 5  181 commentaires
64 internautes sur 77 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Derivative and Rambling 5 mai 2005
Par A. Ross - Publié sur
This is the third Kurt Wallander book, and it regrettably marks the series' continued decline in quality since Mankell's promising debut. The first book (Faceless Killers) was a solid police procedural, while the second (The Dogs of Riga) threw the provincial detective inspector into a wildly improbable espionage tale. This next book strays even further from Mankell's strengths and the result is a rather lame and entirely too long attempt at shoehorning Wallander into an international thriller. The story starts promisingly enough-in the opening chapter the reader is shown the seemingly random murder of a real estate agent in southern Sweden. The next 100 pages are quality police procedural stuff, as Wallander leads the hunt for the missing woman. It's a good puzzle, as he pokes into her apparently spotless life and tries to reconstruct her final movements. Then the book takes a U-turn as the story moves to South Africa. It's 1992, Nelson Mandela has recently been released from jail and President de Klerk is trying to steer the country to some kind of peaceful post-apartheid political arrangement. The next 100 pages detail how a secret committee of powerful right-wing racists led by an intelligence operative seek to derail the process -- and have decided to have Mandela assassinated. Rather improbably they complicate matters by having their South African hitman smuggled into Sweden to be trained by an ex-KGB operative. The rationale for this convoluted scheme doesn't really make any sense, and its only purpose is to serve as a flimsy way to link Sweden and Wallander to the story.

Things move along back in southern Sweden, as the woman's body is found and the missing persons case turns into a murder investigation. The procedural aspects are handled as ably as ever, although three books into the series, Wallander's colleagues are still flat, unexplored characters. With the discovery of a powerful radio transmitter, a rare handgun specific to South Africa, and the severed finger of a black man, you'd expect the investigation to become a little more intensive. However, mostly Wallander muses on how odd it all is. As in the last book, once he does get on the trail of the killer (Mankell does this very clumsily, as Wallander is given the ex-KGB agent's name by a bartender who would have no logical reason to know it), he does all manner of improbable stuff. It's appears to be a trademark of the series that just when Wallander's on exactly the right track, he goes home to drink or sleep instead of calling in a raid or picking suspects for interrogation, thus allowing them just enough time to escape. One of the major failings of the series that Wallander is alternately persistent or lazy, depending on what the plot calls for. In any event, while Wallander and the ex-KGB man chase each other back and forth across the Swedish hinterland, another investigation is taking place in South Africa where two loyal government agents unravel the plot from the other end.

In the end, it's all too obvious that Mankell has read Frederick Forsyth's classic thriller The Day of the Jackal, because the similarities are striking: A secret committee plans the assassination of a world leader in order to thwart political change that will do away with their privileged status. A cold-blooded hitman is contracted with. The killing will be done via high-powered sniper rifle. Intrepid investigators will race against time to uncover the plot. Even the ending is the same, in Forsyth's book the police race up stairs just in the nick of time, here the police race up a hillside just in the nick of time. Mankell's version of all this just isn't very compelling. It doesn't help that the book is cluttered with rather insipid lengthy digressions into the psyche of various characters and cheesy expositions on Africa. For example, we learn all about the importance of the "spirit world" for the hitman. More problematically, the reader is told that apartheid is to blame for his becoming a cold-blooded killer. The entire book is overly ambitious, and whenever we leave Wallander and his investigation, it doesn't work. With this book, and to a lesser extent the previous one, it's clear that Mankell's attempts to combine contemporary world affairs with the life of a depressed provincial cop just doesn't work. Fortunately, the next in the series (Sidetracked) stays at home.
21 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Not bad but rambling 3 juillet 2006
Par Michael K. Smith - Publié sur
This third novel in the Inspector Kurt Wallender series is much thicker than the three others I've read, and I'm of two minds about it. It starts off the way you would expect from a procedural: A female real estate agent is cold-bloodedly killed with a bullet through the head, and for no reason Wallender or his colleagues can figure out. While they're investigating the apparent scene of the crime (they haven't actually turned up the body yet), a nearby house explodes. Then they discover the severed index finger of a black man. Naturally, all these odd clues confuse the hell out of everyone. But then the focus shifts to South Africa in the present day -- 1993, that is, with Nelson Mandella newly released from prison and President De Klerk pushing for free election that will certainly mean the end of apartheid -- and for the first time in the series, Wallender is no longer the P.O.V. character. It's a bit unsettling. Maybe half the book deals with events in Sweden, with the Inspector chasing a thoroughly nasty ex-KGB officer working for a group of highly-placed Boer conspirators. The other half is a largely political thriller (with a strong flavor of Forsyth's _Day of the Jackal_) set in Johannesburg and Pretoria. There's lots of fascinating stuff about South Africa, and Mankell (who, apparently between the last book and this one, moved to Mozambique) seems to know his stuff. And the characters he draws are chilling in their lack of concern for human life -- while Wallender, the cop, is pushed to the brink of a nervous breakdown when he has to shoot someone. Nevertheless, the book is structurally schizophrenic; I wonder if it shouldn't have been written as a completely separate and independent novel, outside the Wallender series. Still, it's generally an exciting and eye-opening yarn, even if it's not what one would expect.
38 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 One of the best mysteries I've ever read 8 février 2005
Par Elizabeth T. Smith - Publié sur
A new acquaintance was kind enough to mail me a copy of Faceless Killers, Mankell's first Kurt Wallander novel and I have been addicted ever since. The White Lioness is the most compelling of them all. Mankell's Detective Kurt Wallander is excellent company. The plots are interesting but the settings and characters are what haunt my nights and keep me reading long after a more temperate person would have turned off the light. Wallander's interior life is laid bare as he struggles with senseless murders, the frustrations of puzzling through complex homicide investigations, and his own shrinking personal life. The Swedish countryside and an isolated village in Africa become vivid background for a plot that twists and turns through the end. One caveat: this novel is dangerous to personal productivity.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Who's a Better Writer: the Author or the Translator 25 mai 2008
Par Grey Wolffe - Publié sur
One of the things I look for when reading a translation, is the smoothness in which the characters move through the narrative parts of the novel. Laurie Thompson has done a superb job in this novel, especially because there are two diametrically dissimilar societies involved in the story; Sweden and Aparteid South Africa.

Mr. Mankell should be quite pleased with the way the book came out because the tension and subtlety of the story is there throughout the story. Unlike a lot of European Crime novels, those from the Scandinavian counties are not very procedurally involved. They tend to be more thoughtful and philosophical and will question the sociological aspects of the situation more than the criminal.

This story, which starts with a man reporting his wife missing, then the finding of the finger of a 'blackman' in an area where the woman might have disappeared, continues to grow in small pieces until we are able to see the whole. It is wonderfully written (and translated) and explains a lot about the society of Sweden as well as South Africa. The one weakness in the book is the "villian" who is very much a "stock" character and very one-dimensional.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Very bloody, not very convincing 17 décembre 2010
Par Alan A. Elsner - Publié sur
This thriller, partly set in southern Sweden, partly in South Africa just after the freeing of Nelson Mandela in the waning days of apartheid, brings in everything but the kitchen sink. It starts with the small town policeman Wallander investigating the apparently senseless murder of a woman. His crew is drawn to an abandoned house, site of a mysterious explosion, where they find the severed finger of an African. Before we know it, we are drawn into a sinister assassination plot by Afrikaners to murder Mandela, using a black marksman, setting off a civil war during which extreme right-wing elements can take over South Africa. They decide to train the assassin in Sweden, using an evil ex-KGB racist as their instructor.

It's all too much. There are hints of "The Day of the Jackal" but little suspense (of course we know Mandela is not assassinated and will become president); there are also hints of "Gorky Park" but without any deep insight into the KGB and their workings.

One thing I find strange and unrealistic about this series is that vast crimes threatening the entire world always originate in Ystad, a small town of no particular significance in southern Sweden.

This book also offers a veritable bloodbath. Characters die one after another in horrific ways -- but the author gives little respect to their suffering.

I know this series has its fanatical fans -- but I guess I'm just not one of them. Reasonable people can agree to disagree. What others find fascinating, I found unconvincing, sadistic and unrealistic.
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