The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell
Translator: Laurie Thompson
Narrator: Dick Hill
Series: Kurt Wallander #2
Published by Blackstone Publishing on July 1, 2006 (first published January 1, 1992)
Source: Library
Genres: Mystery
Length: 10 hrs 41 mins
Pages: 326
Format: Audiobook
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
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two-half-stars

In this case, only Wallander's obstinate desire to see that justice is done brings the truth to light.

On the Swedish coastline, two bodies, 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 he has the ability to solve a case as mysterious as it is heinous. But 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 done, Wallander slips into the routine once more, until he is called suddenly 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.

I didn’t enjoy The Dogs of Riga. It started off interestingly enough, with two dead men in a life raft. Detective Kurt Wallander picks up the case, but it’s frustrating with no crime scene, no motive, and no witness. Eventually, the two are traced back to Latvia and a Latvian detective comes over to Sweden to help. But then it goes off the rails a bit. The Latvian detective goes back to Latvia and gets killed. Wallender is summoned to Riga to “help” with the investigation but gets tangled up with crooked cops, revolutionaries, the widow. He blunders around and feels sorry for himself. By the time I decided to just quit, I only had an hour or so left, so went ahead and pushed through, but it wasn’t worth it.

  • Emotional, fish out of water detective
  • Wish I had dnf-ed it

About Henning Mankell

Henning Georg Mankell (3 February 1948 – 5 October 2015) was a Swedish crime writer, children’s author, and dramatist, best known for a series of mystery novels starring his most noted creation, Inspector Kurt Wallander. He also wrote a number of plays and screenplays for television.

He was a left-wing social critic and activist. In his books and plays, he constantly highlighted social inequality issues and injustices in Sweden and abroad. In 2010, Mankell was on board one of the ships in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that was boarded by Israeli commandos. He was below deck on the MV Mavi Marmara when nine civilians were killed in international waters.

Mankell shared his time between Sweden and countries in Africa, mostly Mozambique where he started a theatre. He made considerable donations to charity organizations, mostly connected to Africa.

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