The White Lioness (Kurt Wallander) by Henning Mankell
|The White Lioness (Kurt Wallander) by Henning Mankell|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: This third book in the Kurt Wallander series is best read in sequence or you will know much of what happens. The plotting is excellent and the characters and locations great but it is perhaps overlong.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 576||Date: May 2012|
Louise Akerblom was a young housewife, a mother, pillar of the local Methodist church and an estate agent. It was the last which would cause Kurt Wallander to investigate her disappearance and which would gradually bring to light a chain of events which led back to South Africa, to renegade members of the South African Secret Service and an ex-KGB agent who would do anything to live in South Africa. What they have in common is a determination to halt Nelson Mandela's rise to power even if the result is a blood bath. It didn't seem quite so complex on that Friday afternoon in 1992 but it would be one of Wallander's most complex cases and one which could cost him very dearly.
I've occasionally found absolute gems by going back and reading books which I've missed in an ongoing series and this could so easily have been one of them. All the elements are there - a chance encounter which could change world events and people with the background to be ruthless about getting what they wanted. Mankell is ingenious in his plotting. His characters are superb and he has the atmosphere in Sweden and in South Africa perfectly. I couldn't fault any of it. So, why isn't this a gem?
The problem was that I'd read subsequent books in the series. I knew exactly what had happened - or not happened - to the main fictional characters in the story. History clearly tells us what has become of the real people involved in the plot. I picked the book up expecting - as it says on the cover - a Wallander thriller and found that it really wasn't. In fact, I put the book down on a couple of occasions and read something else - which I had always thought would be next to impossible where any book by Mankell was concerned.
If you're reading the books in sequence then there would be more tension, but you might find the book overlong. It's worth reading for completeness but I wouldn't rank the book as one of his best.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
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