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The Dogs of Riga: A Kurt Wallander Mystery | [Henning Mankell]

The Dogs of Riga: A Kurt Wallander Mystery

On the Swedish coastline, the bodies of two victims of grisly torture and cold execution are discovered in a life raft. With no witnesses, no motives, and no crime scene, Detective Kurt Wallander is frustrated and uncertain that he has the ability to solve the case. After the victims are traced to Latvia, Major Liepa of the Riga police takes over the investigation. Thinking his work is done, Wallander slips back into his routine - until he is suddenly called to Riga and plunged into an alien world.
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Publisher's Summary

On the Swedish coastline, the bodies of two victims of grisly torture and cold execution are discovered in a life raft. With no witnesses, no motives, and no crime scene, Detective Kurt Wallander is frustrated and uncertain that he has the ability to solve a case as mysterious as it is heinous. After the victims are traced to the Baltic state of Latvia, a country gripped by the upheaval of Soviet disintegration, Major Liepa of the Riga police takes over the investigation.

Thinking his work is done, Wallander slips back into his routine, until he is suddenly called to Riga and plunged into an alien world - in which shadows are everywhere, everything is watched, and old regimes will do anything to stay alive.

More mayhem? Download Faceless Killers: A Kurt Wallander Mystery (Unabridged).

©1992 Henning Mankell; translation ©2001 Laurie Thompson; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The writing is spare, the characterization deft, the atmosphere strong, and the suspense overwhelming." (Times Literary Supplement)
"Apart from his uncommon skill at devising dense, multilayered plots, Mankell's forte is matching mood to setting and subject." (New York Times Book Review)
"Wallander's introspection and self-doubt make him compellingly real, and his efforts to find out what happened to those men on the life raft makes for riveting reading." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (498 )
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4.0 (272 )
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4.2 (278 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 12-17-06
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 12-17-06 Member Since 2005

    I love books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My first Mankell book"

    My interest was piqued when I read on the audible just released lists about Swedish author Henning Mankell. I read the publisher's summary and thought they looked interesting. I'd never read a Swedish author before, that I know of anyway, and thought why not give it a try. I've always found the Baltic history intriguing so decided to give Dogs of Riga a try as my first one. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and getting to know Kurt Wallander. It was a fun listen with with plenty of plot twists and turns. Henning writes a good story. I enjoyed hearing the descriptions of life in both Sweden and Latvia. You wonder sometimes what the citizens of both countries think about life there and it appears to have its challenges. I will look forward to listening to the other Mankell books on Audible.

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David APO, AE, United States 10-15-13
    David APO, AE, United States 10-15-13 Member Since 2010

    Clarkplus

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    "The Incxredible Kurt"

    This was one of the stranger mysteries I heard recently. The author goes into lots of detail on meaningless points while ignoring some of the real interesting points he, himself, created. It is a fun book because of its time in history with no cell phones, communist cops and lots of people scared to death of their government and all its hidden secrets. As a side note, Kurt Wallander is on German television weekly in a series like CSI. I watched the Dogs of Riga a few weeks ago but was saddened because the ending was so different. The book is better and I recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pegeen 05-22-13
    Pegeen 05-22-13

    reading is pure joy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "first part was riveting, then unbeleivable"
    What disappointed you about The Dogs of Riga?

    repeated telling us not showing us about the characters -- he wan't sure why he was doing what he was doing; she wasn't sure she could go on. Then thankfully there is a randomly introduced insider inside the police station who risks all... no mas!


    Has The Dogs of Riga turned you off from other books in this genre?

    not the genre -- the author maybe


    How could the performance have been better?

    avoid the sappy romance -- stick to the original idea of bodies in a lifeboat.


    What character would you cut from The Dogs of Riga?

    the Latvians


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane MADISON, WI, United States 09-13-12
    Jane MADISON, WI, United States 09-13-12
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    "Fairly Enjoyable"

    Not sure if I will follow up with other books by this author. This was an ok story & kept my interest fairly well, but just not a grabber.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Mcafee Texas USA 08-29-12
    Daniel Mcafee Texas USA 08-29-12 Member Since 2005

    danmc

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Best of the Wallander Books I Listened to."

    This is my second of the first three in the Henning Mankell / Kurt Wallander series. This one is actually the best of the first three by a decent margin.

    I went ahead and purchased one of Audible's package deals which included the first three books in this series all at once.

    As I said with my first review of "Faceless Killers", while this is definitely an improvement, it's still nothing great. Likewise, the narrator, Dick Hill was good, but he is so "white-bread", he's not the perfect fit here.

    Granted, overall, this one is not bad, three Mankell / Wallander books is enough for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    IVAL FREEHOLD, NJ, United States 08-22-12
    IVAL FREEHOLD, NJ, United States 08-22-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Creeped out in Latvia"
    What made the experience of listening to The Dogs of Riga the most enjoyable?

    As a dedicated Kurt Walllender fan, I felt I knew what to expect in this book, just another in the excellent series. Wallender introspective, police procedure grindingly glacially, Sweden bleak and foggy. I was not expecting Latvia. Wallender is out of his never-very- comfortable comfort zone and spends much of the story in horror at getting himself embroiled in an illicit trip behind the iron curtain. Unlike some of the other, more procedural books, in this one he finds a depth of his own bravery and capacity for heroism that astounds him, and us.By the way, the trip to Latvia is off!! At least the treacherous cold war era Latvia Wallender navigates in The Dogs of Riga!!


    What other book might you compare The Dogs of Riga to and why?

    Any book in this series is an excellent listen. Narrator Dick Hill adds a dimension to the character of the Swedes who people the books without endless annoying overacting and bogus accents. His reading of Wallender captures the world weariness and indecision of this very human character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Madison, OH, United States 08-16-12
    Brenda Madison, OH, United States 08-16-12 Member Since 2001

    brenwalt

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    "Thought provoking foreign detective story"

    I used a credit for this book for reason of the other reviews written about it. It does have an excellent plot which moves well, although definitely not "fast." This book is not a "cliff hanger" nor a "page turner" but does an excellent job of providing the listener of a birds' eye view of police establishments in other countries. There seem to be more similarities than differences between our American culture and that of Sweden and Lithuania. The story opens with good action and the author proceeds well through the novel to the action which happens at the end. Well thought out plot that moves well. My personal preference is for more "action" and more "cliff hanger" events; however, I rated the story relatively highly for the reason the author has written a quality novel and the reader does an excellent job in the narration. On a personal note, I had some difficulty keeping the characters straight for reason of their strange sounding names; however, the listener does become acclimated to the foreign names. All in all there is good value for a book credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reecia Arlington, TX, United States 08-14-12
    Reecia Arlington, TX, United States 08-14-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Superb"
    Where does The Dogs of Riga rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the top.


    What other book might you compare The Dogs of Riga to and why?

    None


    Which character – as performed by Dick Hill – was your favorite?

    Vollander's father---


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Volllander falling in love with the dead major's wife and couldn't tell her.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle Seattle, WA 10-25-11
    Kyle Seattle, WA 10-25-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Overwrought"

    I really enjoy the Kurt Wallander mysteries. This one was was a bit, okay WAY, overwrought at times. Happy I listened to it, but it had its weaker moments.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Atlanta, GA, United States 05-08-11
    Mark Atlanta, GA, United States 05-08-11
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    "Great Book, WRONG READER"

    Mankell is one of my favorite detective writers and audiobooks are my favorite medium for novels. I may be driven to paper or eBooks by the awful decision to have Dick Hill read them. Hill's voice is perfect for the brutal, raw emotion if Lee Childs, but totally wrong for the ironic European Mankell. Mankell neeeds a European-sounding voice.

    For American noir, Hill is the greatest. For other genres, he is totally wrong. Don't the tim eared decision to have him read this put you off this superb writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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