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The Dogs of Riga
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Product Description

Second in the Kurt Wallander series.

Customer Reviews:

  • Entertaining story, but too many twists and turns
    This time inspector Kurt Wallander has to solve the murder on two very well-dressed men, who float ashore the Swedish coast on a raft. The trail leads to Latvia. After his Latvian colleague is also murdered, Wallander ends up in a web of intrigues in an unstable country that is unknown to him and where he does not speak the language. Soon he finds out that one of his two nearest Latvian colleagues is the villain, but which one of the two?

    In contrast to yFaceless killersy by the same author, this book contains much more action, but after a while I became quite dizzy with all the twist and turns that the story took. It is an entertaining story, but Wallander appeared less real to me than in the previous book....more info

  • European Blues
    The Berlin Wall has fallen and the East is opening up. An Inflatable dinghy drifts ashore in Sweden, and with it two dead men. It becomes Inspector Wallanderys case. Who are these two men? Their dental work suggests east European origin; the dinghy was made in Yugoslavia. Wallander keeps digging, and his investigation leads him to Riga.

    City and country of Intrigue, deception, corruption and murder. Willander is like the ivory ball on a billiard table, pushed in one direction and rebounding in an other. He solves the case, at great danger to himself.

    Mankell has a habit of inserting his political convictions into his books - be it the sorry welfare state of Sweden, be it the flowers of evil blooming in the newly liberated East. I do not believe that a mystery should be the dais for politics....more info

  • Anxiety and the wonderful character Kurt Wallander
    Monk, the character on television, has extreme anxiety and is obsessive compulsive. A far more interesting character than Monk is to be found in crime novels, Kurt Wallander the Swedish detective created by the author Henning Mankell. Wallander suffers deeply from anxiety. He even (like many people) self-medicates by drinking too much. Like so many cops, he's divorced and very isolated. Wallander is drowning in doubt even though he solves difficult crimes. Michael Ondaatje, my favorite NY Times book reviewer says "For me, Henning Mankell is by far the best writer of police mysteries today."

    The second book in the series is The Dogs of Riga takes place in Sweden and Latvia in 1991. Most people in Latvia live in fear because the communists are in charge. Reading this shows how fear infiltrates daily life. Wallander is besieged with worry because he sneaks into the country (legitimate fear) and never trusts his own tenaciousness. His ordinary life is constantly interrupted because of the disease of anxiety.

    When people are anxious they tend to want to people please, and then too much truth goes ignored. When hurts and wants are unspoken they go underground and build into resentments. Anxious people suffer with short term thinking and are afraid of hurting others. One of the most important things anyone can do to build more authentic relationships is to be able to talk about hard things. Inability to talk about hard things means the pile of resentments deepens and it can be tough to dig out from under it. People tend to get self righteous about their resentments which then makes it hard to consider the truth of the other person's point of view. Truth always lies in between people. Hearing the truth from someone who loves you is one of the most important ways to grow.

    If you are anxious and people please you will lose track of yourself. Love is meant to help you be more of yourself, not less. Diane Keaton was asked why she never married and she responded that she knew she would lose her identity. Kurt Wallander does get lost. His father was disgusted he became a policeman. Kurt still plays with the idea of quitting to be a security guard, to regain his father's approval. Though he's in his early 40's, his anxiety clouds his ability to recognize he only needs his father's love. These are a terrific series of novels and Wallander is a very three dimensional character who makes mistakes in relationships because of anxiety. ...more info
  • Recent Baltic history through Swedish eyes
    Henning Mankell is undoubtedly the Agatha Christie of Sweden - a very good, competent author of crime and suspense novels. His writing style is sparse, but very effective, and as a suspense novel, this story will grip you and keep you reading until the last page. At least, it kept me glued to the story to the last page. As a history of the events in the Baltic states, especially Latvia, it is not so convincing. Several grievous errors crop up, and it is quite unbelievable that a policeman, even from a small Sk?ne town, would be so ignorant of the history and situation in the Baltics. Even in the turbulent times of the 1988-1991 'Singing Revolution', There was no question who the ultimate authority was in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. To pretend that Latvians had any real say-so in their country is not realistic, even by a Swede. It is true that Sweden was practically the only western country to recognize the incorporation of the Baltic States into the Soviet Union, but it also had a sizeable diaspora of Estonians and Latvians, some of whom moved in fairly high circles of the Swedish government. Any halfway-educated Swede knew the situation across the Baltic Sea. And any Swedish policeman sent to coordinate criminal investigation in the former Soviet Union should, and would have been briefed by the foreign ministry before being allowed to go. So, in reading the book, be enthralled by the mystery, but do not take the history and explanation of the political scene all too seriously....more info
  • Not the best of the series
    I love the other books of the series but this one is not as good. I noticed a couple of mistakes in the plot like when Wallendar cut his knee in one of the last chapters and then there was no mention to that again in the rest of the book, or when he was paying a hotel and noticed he had enough money to spent more days but a few minutes later he had no money to pay for gasoline and then at the end he changed money..I was just confused specially because the other books are flawless......more info
  • Great idea but simplistic
    The setting and the characters promise a great read. And while the books is easy to get thru and diverting enuf, it is far too
    simplistic and predictable; like a TV crime episode. There are far too many far-fetched turns to make it believable. The basic political tenet is never really explained or backgrounded. This is a great shame as the book's theme and characters hold so much promise....more info
  • Latvia in Wallender-Land
    Though this was the second book in the series, it was the sixth to be translated into English. Unless you lived through the Cold War and the transition time of the early nineties, you will not understand this book. In 1991, two men wash up on the Skane shore of Sweden. They are in a life raft with no ship markings. Both men are well dressed in Western European clothing, and have both been tortured and shot in the heart. Their dental work is Eastern European. So how did they get to Sweden?

    When Inspector Wallendar is called in on this case, he has little to go on, and then some one steals the life-raft out of the Police Station. When the men are tracted to Latvia, a Major in their national police force comes to Sweden to help out the inquiry. On the day that he returns to Latvia, he is murdered, and their police request Wallendar's help. From here, the story turns into a thriller and the mystery becomes involved in politics and the changing political situation in the Soviet Union.

    The rest of the story needs to be read, not summarized. They is only one weakness in the story and most readers will be able to figure that out. But, I'm curious to see how this 'affair' will effect Wallendar down the road in later novels. ...more info