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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 (802 )
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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Overall
4.2 (401 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (395 )
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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  •  
    Allen Anthony 05-20-15 Member Since 2013

    Old guy living in sunny south texas

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
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    Story
    "Make sure you are tuff enough to endure"

    Story was good but the author is relentless about presenting information overload. After getting into the story I felt like the author was pretty sure I couldn't process information so he fed the story to me in baby bites guided by s sledgehammer. Reminded me of why I don't enjoy Russian writers for the most part....but I will say the story was good and Dick Hill did his usual good job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ada Eban 11-29-14
    Ada Eban 11-29-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "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


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    adrienne EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States 06-11-13
    adrienne EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States 06-11-13 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Complex murders, mystery, and revenge"

    Kurt Wallander is able to take seemingly unrelated events and clues and piece together a cohesive picture that solves several murder cases. The book seems to progress at a moderate pace, gain speed, and then explode in the "aha moments."

    Mankell writes in a similar style to other Scandinavian authors. However, I am not left feeling the gruesome depravity and evil found in some of the others. He weaves a great story and tucks in all of the threads at the end.

    Dick Hill is an excellent narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Max Etheart 04-26-13
    Max Etheart 04-26-13

    mildmax

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Pleasanton, CA, United States 04-09-13
    Melissa Pleasanton, CA, United States 04-09-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    LA 01-15-08
    LA 01-15-08
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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
  •  
    Brad rolling hills estates, CA, United States 05-12-08
    Brad rolling hills estates, CA, United States 05-12-08
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    "boring boring boring"

    This is the first book I did not finish. It is horrible. I am the easiest to please in this genre and I found myself turning to the news in the car for more excitment. The plot takes forever to get going and is boring. Also the narration is brutal. It is filled with ridiculous banter between characters that is a complete waste. Blah!!

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Aptos , CA, USA 04-06-08
    David Aptos , CA, USA 04-06-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Asleep in Sweden"

    This mystery is paced so slowly and has so little action or character development, that it is the opposite of suspense or intrigue. I had no interest in finishing the story. Mystery writer who give away the identity of the murder in the beginning, run a high risk of loosing their readers/listeners. The inspector spends most of his time going over and over what he doesn't know while the "in the know" reader is wondering when he and his dull witted staff will put the 2+2 together. Definitely not recommended. A mystery needs much better use of language and local color - his lack luster depiction of both Africa and locations of Sweden were drab, boring, and without any specificity or flair.

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr phil 07-24-15
    Dr phil 07-24-15 Member Since 2013
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    3
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    Story
    "Captured"

    The geography of Sweden was hard to follow. The story holds your interest, and the narration was top notch by Mr. Hill.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy Stafford 04-23-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Interesting"

    Wallander is an ever interesting character & it's interesting to witness the changes taking place in his life not long after his father's death. Overall a decent story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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