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Kurt Wallander Books In Order

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Publication Order of Kurt Wallander Books

Faceless Killers (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dogs of Riga (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The White Lioness (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Man Who Smiled (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sidetracked (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fifth Woman (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Step Behind (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Firewall (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Troubled Man (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Event in Autumn (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Kurt Wallander Collections

The Pyramid: The First Wallander Cases (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

There is nothing as good as reading an exciting mystery novel. What makes every mystery good is a truly unique main character.

Kurt Wallander is the protagonist in the series written by Henning Mankell. Wallander is a police officer who looks like a common middle-aged man whose wife and cute children love him and support him through anything. However, one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Especially when it comes to Mankell’s characters.

Henning Mankell is Swedish writer who became famous after the publication of the series that follow the life of Kurt Wallander. This fictional character has been portrayed on screen, as well, and made Mankell work on creating new stories about him for more than a decade. There are Swedish TV series, Swedish film series and British TV series based on the Mankell’s stories about Wallander, which are all famous among the viewers in Sweden and Great Britain. Recently, the world found out that Wallander is becoming an opera, as well.

The story of Wallander was born in 1989, when Mankell returned to Sweden from Africa and found a different Swedish society than the one he had left. Mankell was worried about the corruption and wanted to write about it. So, he created the police officer Kurt Wallander.

Mankell wrote 40 books in total, including the Wallander series, which have been translated in more than 40 languages and have been sold in more than 40 million copies around the world. Although his other books are as well accepted as Wallander series, it was this famous character that made Mankell a bestselling author.

In the series, Kurt Wallander is a police officer who constantly struggles solving his private problems. He is working in the police force, but this person admires more the opera than guns, hence his listening opera on his way to work every day. The police officer has had a near-death experience when he got stabbed with a knife while interrogating a criminal. His wife has died and left him alone with their rebellious daughter, Linda, who attempted to make a suicide when 15. Another character in Wallander’s life is his elderly estranged father. All of this makes him depressed and negatively affects him. These are the problems Wallander can’t handle well enough and always struggles solving. However, when it comes to solving problems in the interrogation room, he knows exactly what to do in order to solve the case. He may admire the opera, but he is certainly obsessed with solving crimes. Naturally, Wallander wants justice and tries to gets it whenever he confronts dangerous criminals.

Faceless Killers is the beginning of the journey in the world of Kurt Wallander. In the first book of the Kurt Wallander series written by Mankell, an elderly couple is brutally killed and our protagonist is the person who needs to find out the reasons for it and the people who did the murder. The only trace Wallander has is the last word of the victim – Foreign. Nonetheless, although this is surely a lead, the reader is never sure whether Wallander is on the right track or he is wrong. This makes the story even more exciting. He is constantly affected by his private problems while he is working on this case. The reader gets an impression that the two lives of Wallander – private and work – are constantly intermingling and probably impact one another. The riddle that the author gives us in the first book is a very difficult one. Wallander is the only one who can find the answer to it. Faceless Killers is a bleak book which will intrigue you until the end.

The second book in the series about Kurt Wallander is The Dogs of Riga. While the first book of the series introduces us with Swedish society and gives us a glimpse of the life there, the second narrative moves the plot in Riga, Latvia. What does Wallander find there? Many lies and threats. When it comes to his personal life, he continues to be lonely and constantly worries about his daughter and father. The problems are still there, only bigger for him, so he continues to devote himself to his work. This time, the police finds two murdured bodies of Latvian criminals. The case should be assigned to the police in Riga but when Wallender goes there, he finds himself wrapped up in dangerous police and political corruption. Now, Mankell gives us a glimpse into the life of a former Soviet country.This makes the mystery even more intriguing and the events in the story are surprisingly unanticipated. Dogs of Riga is a proper sequel to the first book in the series and an equally good work that explores the human soul through the character of Kurt Wallander.

The character of Kurt Wallander is one of the most genius feats in the writing of Henning Mankell. His stories are excellent, and the writing is very good. In addition, his capability to make the reader feel like they are in the head of the characters is brilliant. Nonetheless, the best feature from this particular series is the protagonist. Kurt Wallander gives the soul into the mysterious story that engages the reader to put themselves into Wallander’s place. The orthodox in him makes him different than other characters from this genre. Wallander is a just a man who has the same problems that bother other people, but that doesn’t stop him to be a hero. Mankell is trying to tell us this in every one of his narratives about this police officer.

As previously mentioned, these stories move the plot to an international level to be more complicated and interesting. This puts Wallander in place of other types of characters as he acts like more than just a police officer. He is often the victim. In addition, he is also a father, husband and a son. Wallender is here to make them complete so that you stay up all night reading. This is one of the most unique series you could find nowadays and Wallander is one of the most humane heroes in literature.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Kurt Wallander

One Response to “Kurt Wallander”

  1. Bryan Rourke: 3 years ago


    Can you help? In which book does The Brothers story appear?

    Thank you

    Bryan Rourke


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