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The Fifth Woman: A Kurt Wallander Mystery | [Henning Mankell]

The Fifth Woman: A Kurt Wallander Mystery

In an African convent, four nuns and an unidentified fifth woman are brutally murdered, and the death of the unknown woman is covered up by the local police. A year later in Sweden, Inspector Kurt Wallander is baffled and appalled by two strange murders with an elusive connection to the fifth woman.
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Publisher's Summary

In an African convent, four nuns and an unidentified fifth woman are brutally murdered, and the death of the unknown woman is covered up by the local police. A year later in Sweden, Inspector Kurt Wallander is baffled and appalled by two strange murders. Holger Eriksson, a retired car dealer and bird watcher, is impaled on sharpened bamboo poles in a ditch behind his secluded home, while the body of a missing florist is discovered strangled and tied to a tree. The only clues Wallander has to go on are a skull, a diary, and a photo of three men.

What ensues is a case that will test Wallander's strength and patience, for in order to solve these murders he will need to uncover their elusive connection to the earlier unsolved murder in Africa of the fifth woman.

©1996 Henning Mankell; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The darkest of Swedish noir." (Publishers Weekly)
"Intricate plotting, chilling psychological divination, and thrilling police procedural." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (751 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (357 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (353 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Melissa Pleasanton, CA, United States 04-09-13
    Melissa Pleasanton, CA, United States 04-09-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Well Written"

    I enjoyed this book, as I have all of the Kurt Wallander mysteries I've listened too. I was prompted to write this review because I disagree with other listeners who have complained about Dick Hill's narration. I don't know Swedish, but his pronunciation seems genuine to me. As for his ability to carry off other voices than the main character, I think he does a very good job! I don't mind at all when he does a female voice, as I have with some other narrators. His expression is right on and if he is a little monotone at times I don't have a problem. This is a Henning Mankell book! He is a slow, methodical writer and the cadence of Dick Hill's voice is perfect for these books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P.J. LANSING, KS, United States 10-25-12
    P.J. LANSING, KS, United States 10-25-12 Member Since 2001

    katsuey

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Real Yawn"

    I purchased this book, along with some others, based on others' reviews. Please! Who are the people who review some of these books. I find myself attempting so hard to finish some of these books simply because I paid for them. In the end, I remind myself that there are simply too many great literary works out there to waste one's time on drivel.

    This book has moments where you become a bit interested, but it always moves back to yawning parts that one has to work to get through. I simply would skip purchasing the book. It's NOT worth it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LA 01-15-08
    LA 01-15-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "better to read than listen"

    Usually I prefer books by ear than by eye, but this one is one of the exceptions. The narration is banal, the story slow to develop. I like Mankell, and the book, but the audio format does not work on this one.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ada Eban 11-29-14
    Ada Eban 11-29-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    "Cliches, lengthy, do not recommend"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    mostly change of the story.


    Has The Fifth Woman turned you off from other books in this genre?

    yes actually, until I find a new LeCarre


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    yes, I did read it to the end, so I guess does evoke some suspense


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dwhith 08-25-14
    dwhith 08-25-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    15
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    "Another Moving Chapter in this Wonderful Series"
    What did you love best about The Fifth Woman?

    The plot. Henning Menkell's plots are complex and rich. I want to ask him "Where do you get your ideas"!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Definitely, Who would the killer take next, how would the murder take place, will Wallander be able to stop him or her?


    Have you listened to any of Dick Hill’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. I have also listened to him read the novels of Ed McBain. He is perfect for those novels. His sometime staccato performance is ideal for McBain's writing. I struggled with his narration on these novels at first. I thought all of his characters sounded like a New Yorkers. Now, I cannot imagine the series without him.


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

    Yes. I was deeply saddened by something that happens to Wallander regard his Father. No details!!


    Any additional comments?

    Read this novel, but don't start here. Start at the beginning with "Faceless Killers". These novels are among the best police procedural novels I have read. Menkell is a fine writer and these books are better savored in order.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Valencia, CA, United States 10-11-13
    Michael Valencia, CA, United States 10-11-13 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dick Hill is a fish-out-of-water as Wallander."
    What did you like best about The Fifth Woman? What did you like least?

    I liked the realistic police work, lack of cliche chase scenes and gun battles. I least liked Dick Hill's interpretation of Wallander.Dick is good as the tough, grizzled cop like Harry Bosch, but he is nowhere capable of doing a character like Kurt Wallander. Dick also could not do a woman's voice or a European accent if his life depended on it. When I saw that the entire Kurt Wallander series was on Audible I was excited. I started with The Troubled Man and loved it (read by Robin Sachs). After hearing Dick Hill on The Fifth Woman I'm shaking my head. His interpretation of Kurt Wallander is unlistenable. What a shame.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Sure, many times. Mankell is an excellent author who knows how to build tension.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Dick Hill?

    Robin Sachs.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It is. They, the BBC, have done six of the books and they are all excellent. They're on Netflix, check them out. Kenneth Branagh plays the ideal Kurt Wallander, brooding, intelligent, tortured soul. That's why Dick Hill was so disappointing. It's like Harvey Keitel doing James Bond.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Euan New Zealand 06-11-13
    Euan New Zealand 06-11-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great story, delivery a little wanting"
    What made the experience of listening to The Fifth Woman the most enjoyable?

    Henning Mandel weaves a complicated but enjoyable story into a mystery, not because you don't know whodunnit, but because you wonder how on earth Inspector Wallander is going to figure it out.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Dick Hill’s performances?

    After listening to Sean Barrett, who is brilliant, Dick Hill was very off-putting at first, but as the story developed the quality of the narration seemed less important than the excitement of the narrative.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Max Etheart 04-26-13
    Max Etheart 04-26-13

    mildmax

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    "Weak story, overacting narration"
    Would you try another book from Henning Mankell and/or Dick Hill?

    I have enjoyed Dick Hill's narration of other works but this time out he "overacts," if that is the right word. Mankell's story is weak and pedestrian.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Fifth Woman?

    Novel has repeated dialogue that could, and should, have been edited out.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gypsy Wife Back on Boogie Street 03-29-13
    Gypsy Wife Back on Boogie Street 03-29-13 Member Since 2007

    Gypsy Wife

    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
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    "Another intriguing Kurt Wallander Story"
    If you could sum up The Fifth Woman in three words, what would they be?

    Worth the listen!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fifth Woman?

    I wouldn't want to say for fear of writing a spoiler.


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

    Dick Hill does an excellent portrayal of the very realistic and unglamorous Wallander, a character whose flaws and indecision are a refreshing yet very tense contrast to the usual do-it-all perfect detective. Wallander maintains his humanity while struggling with his near paralytic reticence. He changes, but very slowly.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maureen Margaret river, Australia 08-13-12
    maureen Margaret river, Australia 08-13-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So much better than the TV show!"

    OK, so I got hooked because I saw a TV series on Wallander, even saw the Fifth Woman and then up it came on an Audible list the next day. The book was a bit slow to start, but then, oh yes, a really good listen, so complex and compelling....and definitely so much better than the TV version - but then they had to condense it so much. I will look out for more Mankell books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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