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The Dogs of Riga (Kurt Wallander Series #2)
     

The Dogs of Riga (Kurt Wallander Series #2)

3.6 42
by Henning Mankell, Laurie Thompson (Translator)
 

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From the dean of Scandinavian noir, the second riveting installment in the internationally bestselling and universally acclaimed Kurt Wallander series, the basis for the PBS series staring Kenneth Branagh.

On the Swedish coastline, two bodies, victims of grisly torture and cold execution, are discovered in a life raft. With no witnesses, no

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The Dogs of Riga (Kurt Wallander Series #2) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
awtumleef56 More than 1 year ago
An excellent read - I couldn't put it down. Although dated a bit by subsequent events in the Baltic Republics, it remains a gripping read and well worth the effort. Though it could be read stand alone, it is better as a follow-up to "Faceless Killers". Wallander is an appealing character and I look forward to reading further into this series.
Lance_Charnes More than 1 year ago
The Scandinoir tsunami has broken on either side of me and left me largely unmoved. I'm tired of protagonists who are incompetent at the business of being human beings and stories full of characters who are all broken doves. So it could be that my reaction to The Dogs of Riga -- author Mankell's second Wallander novel -- is one of relief in finding an entry in this genre that didn't make me want to open a vein. Inspector Kurt Wallander, Our Hero, is a detective in a provincial town in southern Sweden. When two murdered Latvians wash up on his shores in a life raft, he ends up falling down a rabbit hole trying to solve the crime and the associated murder of his Latvian counterpart, whom he befriended earlier in the story. As seems to be the case among the Scandinavian authors I've read, Mankell is more concerned with characterization than he is with setting. We spend extensive time inside Wallander's head, and the other characters are well-realized and feel authentic. The dialog is likewise realistic and serves to both move the plot and further the characterizations. However, if you don't know what Ystad (Our Hero's hometown) looks like before reading this, you won't be any better informed afterwards. To be fair, Mankell spends more time describing Riga than he does any other location, possibly because Wallander is seeing it for the first time, and possibly because it was still considered exotic in 1992 when this book first appeared in Sweden. It's impossible to overlook the fact that when Mankell wrote this book, the dust from the fallen Berlin Wall was still blowing through central Europe and the post-Soviet era was both new and fragile. Much of the plot hinges on the political upheaval in the Baltic states and the possible threat posed by ex-Soviet hardliners wanting their empire back. That we know how this all worked out doesn't detract from the story, though, in the same way that knowing the interwar years in Europe wrecked on the twin shoals of fascism and war doesn't take away from the experience of reading an Alan Furst novel. I use that comparison advisedly, because The Dogs of Riga is as much a novel of intrigue as it is a police procedural -- perhaps even more so. Without giving too much away: Wallander finds himself involved with Latvian dissidents who are trying to resist the old-regime apparatchiks who are working to throttle Latvian democracy in its crib. There are midnight meetings, shadows to be evaded, secret messages to be passed, and a fair amount of skulking around that wouldn't be out of place in a spy novel. As a result, Wallander isn't nearly as much a human wreck as he was in Faceless Killers, and most of the non-Swedish characters are likewise acting rather than wallowing in their various dysfunctions. It's this atypical excursion into political intrigue that salvaged this book for me. Wallander is still too dithery and diffident to really engage me as a protagonist, and the general bleakness wears after a while. It could simply be that after my various other excursions with Larsson, Nesbo and Mankell, this genre is lost to me. If you're a fan, you'll probably enjoy it more than I did. I may read the next Wallander tale sometime in the future, but not soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although i enjoy the intertwining elements of murder mystery and following the slow start of the resulting police investigation, i was fascinated by the all too human wallender. As he carefully picks up clues, he gets frazzled from exhaustion and lack of sleep or regular meals. He works himself to the disregard (not only of his health) but ogf his family. Wallender takes rare breaks inderto visit his crusty old gather who upbraids wallender for his choice of profession but also his lack of attendance upon the father. Wallender has a sentimental side that misses his wife but also allows the gruffness shown to others to disappear when his daughter makes one of her unannoumced visits. Wallender worries about his daughter, his dad, his ex wife between his endless bouts of self-doubt and his non stop investigations. As i read a wallender novel, i sometimes get so involved that i feel that i too have neen hard at work! The illusion only ends when wallender falls accross vital clues then makes a very satisfying conclusion.... leaving the end of the novel in inspired resolution
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bayareagirl More than 1 year ago
over wrought -- tells us rather than shows us; unbelievable when insider suddenly materializes to help infiltrate ....no spoilers!  as if it could be spoiled.  Should have stuck with bodies in the lifeboat and Sweden.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mikehampen More than 1 year ago
This series is nearly as good as the "Girl With the Dragon Tatoo" series. These are not as psycho-thriller as the other series, but just as suspensful and just as mysterious. Good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so into these books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another excellent book from a wonderful series.
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....not as good as the first one.
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telltales More than 1 year ago
All of this series needs to be on Nook.
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