Synopses & Reviews
The Man Who Smiled begins with Wallander deep in a personal and professional crisis after killing a man in the line of duty; eventually, he vows to quit the Ystad police force for good. Just then, however, a friend who had asked Wallander to look into the death of his father winds up dead himself, shot three times. Ann-Britt Hoglund, the department's first female detective, proves to be his best ally as he tries to pierce the smiling facade of his prime suspect, a powerful multinational business tycoon. But just as he comes close to uncovering the truth, the same shadowy threats responsible for the murders close in on Wallander himself.
All of Mankell's talents as a master of the modern police procedural which have earned him legions of fans worldwide are showcased in The Man Who Smiled, which is the fourth of the eight Wallander books published thus far in English.
"First published in Sweden in 1994, Mankell's terrific fourth Kurt Wallender mystery opens with the kind of startling image typical of this internationally bestselling series (Firewall, etc.): a lawyer, driving home through the fog, stops after he sees 'a human-sized effigy' propped on a chair in the middle of a deserted highway. Gustaf Torstensson gets out of the car to investigate, is hit from behind and was 'dead before his body hit the damp asphalt.' The police accept the assailant's claim that it was an accident, but when Torstensson's son, Sten, is shot dead just two weeks later, the brooding Wallender, who's on sick leave and vowing to retire from the Ystad police force, decides to pursue the killer and resume his career. The chief suspect a powerful, globe-trotting Swedish businessman who's the smiling man of the title leads Wallender on an exquisitely plotted search for motive and evidence. Dark and moody, this is crime fiction of the highest order. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Compelling...skillfully plotted and suspenseful....A thriller for the thinking reader." Dallas Morning News
"Mankell's novels are a joy." USA Today
"Wallander is a lovable gumshoe....He is one of the most credible creations in contemporary crime fiction." The Guardian
"[T]errific....Dark and moody, this is crime fiction of the highest order." Library Journal
"When the bleak landscapes of Henning Mankell's Swedish police procedurals start to look like home, it's time to head for the hills. Either that, or confront the grim truths about modern society that give weight to this author's absorbing but disquieting existential mysteries." Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"I commend the New Press for publishing this as well as other Mankell novels and nonfiction works in translation." Philadelphia Inquirer
The long-awaited fourth mystery in the bestselling Kurt Wallander series finds the detective deep in crisis after killing a man in the line of duty. Vowing to quit the police force, he instead becomes involved in solving a friend's murder.
About the Author
Henning Mankell has written thirty-six novels, including nine Kurt Wallander mysteries, and many plays. His books have been published in thirty-six countries with over 25 million copies in print worldwide. He has received the Crime Writers' Association's Macallan Gold Dagger and the German Book Prize, and has been a three-time finalist for the Los Angeles Times Mystery/Thriller Book Prize. Mankell lives in Sweden and Mozambique.