Stopping to use a cash machine one evening, a man inexplicably falls to the ground: dead.
A taxi driver is brutally murdered by two teenage girls. Quickly apprehended, they appal local policemen with their total lack of remorse. One girl escapes police custody and disappears without a trace.
Soon afterwards, a blackout covers half the country. When an engineer arrives at the malfunctioning power station, he makes a grisly discovery.
Inspector Kurt Wallander is sure that these events must be linked - somehow. Hampered by the discovery of betrayals in his own team, lonely and frustrated, Wallander begins to loose conviction in his role as a detective. The search for answers leads Wallander dangerously close to a shadowy group of anarchic terrorists, hidden within the anonymity of cyberspace. Somehow these criminals seem always to know the police's next move and Wallander finds himself fighting to outsmart them.
©2004 Henning Mankell (P)2009 Random House Audio
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I am a fan of Kurt Wallender and appreciate Mankell's methodical and thorough narrative. This is not a fast read, but a great read. I like knowing the case from Wallender's perspective and find his character flawed yet endearing. Firewall is about coincidences and conclusions wrapped up in computer terrorism. I am as unknowledgeable as Wallender when it comes to technology, but was able to keep up with him and the elements of the mystery as it unfolded. Mankell doesn't force all of the pieces together and keeps suspense building. I was introduced to Kurt Wallender on PBS Masterpiece Mystery, and enjoy the episodes, but they don't come close to Mankell's own mastery.
"Top Scandanavian crime"
Good contemporary thriller
The global nature of the crime as action switched between Angola and Sweden was critical. The power of computer linked financial information and the ability of competing and skilled hackers to access and manipulate this information gave the plot a sense of Good vs. Evil in the race against time. The build up of tension was strong and the story well told.
Yes he is a particularly fine reader of Scandanavian crime and is able to give his characters distinct and effective voices.
"Wallander is a great caracter, excellent reader"
Kurt Wallander as detective and person, the unexpected twists and hints
good hidden little hints, great desciption of characters. - Main story too complicated, unreal
Very well presented, one could distinguish the different persons easily. Excellent performed mood changes
"One of the Best"
I do love the combination of Sean Barrett and Henning Mankell. This story involving cyber crime is one of Mankell's best.
To write too much about story line or plot would spoil this one for others. Inspector Wallander is perplexed by a seeming senseless murder and faces his lack of computer skills while his daughter urges him to join an on line dating service. There are a couple stories running through this novel that intersect in an unusual way.
That is the backdrop to a great mystery story. It is audio book I have heard a few times and will, no doubt, listen again.
Wallander is under pressure, but at his excellent best. sit back, clear your diary and enjoy an excellent thriller, and excellent naration. This is probably my favourite listen from 150 books!
"Excellent - one of the best"
I enjoy Henning Mankell's Wallander novels and this is the one I have enjoyed the most so far. The story is well put together and moves along at the right pace with good twists and turns in the plot. Sean Barrett's narration is excellent and this was one of the best listening experiences I have had.
You have to be in the right mood to listen to a Wallander book. He's so miserable most of the time that if you're feeling a bit down he could send you spiraling down yourself. That though is something to be accepted.
What I found dissatisfying about this story was that it had lost its internal logic. I kept expecting the police to be asking questions about why a body was stolen and an item left in its place. As far as I could tell, had that not happened they would never have started the investigations into that person, leading them to uncover the plot. For a long time I thought a rival set of 'baddies' was going to appear, but no, there was no reason given for this set of events it was simply something to intrigue the reader at the beginning, then be left unanswered.
I realise that not all questions in a thriller will be answered, but I do expect the detective to notice and ask himself why something happened.
"Ignorance wrapped up in repetition and cliché"
If you write a book about cyber crime called "firewall", you should at least find out what a firewall is. Mansell clearly did not. In fact, pretty much everything technology related in this book is about as realistic as Harry Potter. It is cringe worthy at times.
The number of times Wallander has "just one more thing" to say, or has some inexplicable feeling, or knows he should do something but decides not to (as a clumsy plot device) starts to grate. At times the writing is stilted and sounds more like a journal than a novel.
On the positive side, Mansell does manage to create some tension at times. Sean Barrett's narration is solid as always, but can't rescue this book. I got the feeling that he knew how bad it was as he was reading it.
"A good listen"
Interesting plot with some good character development. Conclusion not as convincing as it might have been but nevertheless still worth a listen.
"TMany tantalising hooks, only a few resolved"
There were so many tantalising hooks thrown at the listener, each a macabre sprinkle designed to surprise and then to form some entirely believable connection. But most led nowhere, and designed to lead nowhere. A character confirms this all too human drive to seek meaning and form out of disparate facts about a case. Where in all this lie the essential clues? One of the few Wallanders I've read/listened to. Kept me engrossed.
"Good story with good pace.."
As always I enjoy these Mankell stories and the readings. This has the usual gruesome killings and interesting plot. I'm not sure about the ending but nevertheless I still enjoyed it.
Sean Barrett delivers usual high quality reading with a tone and style that resllh reflects and supports what's going on in the story.
it's very good but maybe not as compelling as others in the series but other tastes may prefer this one..
The story kept you moving along the whole time. There were no 'dead' or boring periods that cause you to tune out for a while.
Sean Barrett gave a decent performance while trying to portray the different characters.
At over 13 hours I couldn't have listened to it all in one go. But I found it quite easy to put down and pick up again the following day.
"Another excellent listen great series of books!"
I really did enjoy this book, once again excellent narration from Sean Barrett. More twists and turns that keep you listening, another series I'm hooked on! Great story- I wasn't sure how this one was going to work out and it kept me listening. You can't help but smile at some points. Again didn't want to stop listening - I've bought book 9 and just about to start listening, hoping it will be as good as this!
"Narrator spoils the plot"
The storyline is excellent, however, the narration is somewhat "dead". A deep voice with little inflection or speed. Not great to be honest
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