Not the best Wallender story in his collection. Much too long and convoluted. The plot was complicated and beyond credibility at many points. Definitely not recommended.
Worse than the story was the uninspiring narration. I have about a dozen audio books at this point and most readers appear to be well-trained and professional. This was a singular exception: dull, uninflected, and in many places, annoying. I bought this without first hearing a sample, so I take responsibility for the poor choice. I recommend that all audio buyers check samples before buying.
David Glasser, Datca, Turkey
real estate agent, owner of a fixer upper
Such well written characters--even the most minor. Superb. I was Leary about the South Africa connection. He writes so well. Page turner to the last.
Mankell writes stories that is never short of depth, complexities, and dimensions. And very importantly, it is never simply a detective novel, as the story is always waved into a social problem or a historical events in this case. He calls for thinking, and re-evaluation of human nature.
For audiobook, narrator makes and breaks the book. In this case, Dick Hill did the later.
His performance is merely OK if I were to be extra kind. As a voice actor, I found him really lack of skills. Unlike Ray Porter who switches between any international (and national) accents flawlessly, or Graeme Malcolm who nails all the Scandinavian and Arabic accents, Mr. Hill completely fails. It is "All-American" accent, which might be ok.
But Mr. Hill's improvisations just killed me. For example: he used whinny feminine American-accented voices for all Swedish male detectives other than Wallander (thats Mr. Hill's "great" idea of to make up his lack of accent skills? please drop this). Also, his poorly done South African accent - I appreciate the try, but as an actor, the bar is higher, and importantly do not forget to take it back when the narration moved from the African man to the Russian KGB!!! What an amateur job!
Also, what's up with American Southern accent for the Swedish male divers? ? And this thing of making Bjok drawing deep breathSSS every he opens his mouth gives me chills all over.
IT IS A BIG DISTRACTION. AND MR. HILL, please go travel the world or try to have some international friends!
Audible should not delete the comments.
I am a huge fan of Kurt Wallander and the first 100 pages or so of this book are really great at allowing the reader to see the world as Wallander sees it.
Unfortunately the author is determined to make a political point with the rest of the book and puts together a long - way too long - convoluted - way too convoluted - tale that is hard to believe and paints the bad guys as caricatures - not real villains - but evil symbols
This novel is a tour de force. It's story is complex and it's characters have flesh. It is a superb novel. As the story opens, Wallander and his team investigate the apparent execution style murder of a real estate agent. Nothing adds up, why would anyone murder this harmless mother of two? The story gets more complex. We are taken to apartheid South Africa in the days just prior to Nelson Mandela's presidency. An assassination is planned by a desperate group of Afrikaners. They hire a former KGB agent to train the chosen assassin. The training is to take place in Sweden. I will say no more. The beauty is in the details and I will not ruin the book for you. If you are a fan of police procedural novels, you will enjoy this book. It is long - we go at Wallander's pace, the reader is not allowed to miss the minutiae of police investigation, but the effort is worth it.
I should mention Mr. Hill's performance. I love him narrating the Ed McBain novels, but he fails here - everyone sounds like they are from New York! The books need a narrator who is more subtle, and who is able to project the melancholia that is so necessary here. George Guidall comes to mind, or the late wonderful Mark Hammer.
This was one of the best books I've listened to ever. So my apologies for my "juvenile" review of the first book. I'll try it again.
I dont know the written version.
more or less, many people, many names to remember...
good in general
Think - The Pink Panther and Inspector Clouseau
minus any humor.
I'm not sure but I don't think I've rated any of the more than 200 books I've read with 1 star. I have to wonder what a Sweedish Police Officer might think of this ridiculess fiction. I might also add that the Narrator fits in perfectly, most of the characters sound like 15 year old boys.
My recommendation: Bypass this one
Not all the books are available from the Audible UK store, with 2 books missing. Therefore chance to catch up.
Michael Ridpath did a book that was more telling on apartheid, even though in the end it was obvious he hated South Africa and saw no hope for reconciliation.Read Deon Meyer for the now South Africa - 20 years on.
I prefer Sean Barret, who narrated the Mankell books from Audible.uk site.
From the tedium of the writing to the plotting of the character arcs to the silly insipid contrivances to advance the plot. Writer lacks the basic imagination to go from plot point A to plot point B. Then the repetitive peachiness of the political situation at the time of Mandela and DeClerk. The Author ruined what could have been a first rate thriller..
No, only this author
Take some acting lessons.
Too numerous to mention. This work could have be done in 20 chapters.