Crestfallen, dejected, and spiralling into an alcohol-fuelled depression after killing a man in the line of duty, Inspector Kurt Wallander has made up his mind to quit the police force for good.
When an old acquaintance, a solicitor, seeks Wallander's help to investigate the suspicious circumstances in which his father has died, Kurt doesn't want to know. But when the solicitor also turns up dead, shot three times, Wallander realises that he was wrong not to listen. Against his better judgment, he returns to work to head what may now have become a double murder case.
A rookie female detective has joined the force is his absence, and he adopts the role of mentor to her as they fight to unravel the mystery. An enigmatic big-business tycoon, who hides behind an entourage of brusque secretaries and tight security, seems to be the common denominator in the two deaths. But while Wallander is on the trail of the killer, somebody is on the trail of Wallander, and closing in fast.
©2005 Henning Mankell (P)2009 Random House Audio
Not the best of the Wallander series, still magic. Too much angst about the past to start. Then, when the plot thickens, wonderful mystery and minds focused on the solution to a national disgrace, let alone a murder. The unravelling of a multi-national company and crime is thought provoking while foreign to most people's experience, including mine. It's so hard for someone in the 99% to comprehend the lives of the 1% I almost lost sight of the emptiness it must be to be mega-wealthy, the only reason for life to get more. This is a profound literary illustration of the greed, soulessnes, and narcissism that seems to rule the world, all wrapped around a murder investigation. Marvelous read.
Sean Barrett excellent as always with the delivery of the story.
What I love about Mankell's characters is their depth. I never wonder why someone behaves the way they do - their actions arise from the sense of real personality that Mankell endows them with.
"Wallander is my (new) favorite Detective."
Sean Barrett brought this fantastic story to life. The Man who Smiled has launched me onto a path of reading (listening to) every Mankell story I can. I could not have been better entertained. I've since read "The Pyramid" and will work my way through the collection.
Thank you Audible!!!
I can never get enough of Henning Mankell and usually download a book by him after a dissappointing listen as I'm guaranteed to enjoy listening to anything my this author and great reader too
The joy of an unabridged reading is that the story takes its time to unfold and the listener becomes engrossed in the fine detail as well as following the plot. This reading by the incomparable Sean Barrett does exactly that. We find Wallender in a deep depression after shooting a man 18 months earlier and Mankell does not spare us from the depths of his despair. Then a chance encounter takes Wallender back to the police station and involved in a double murder. This is an excellent reading and up to Mankell's usual high standard. Much recommended.
"Another great Wallander book"
Yet again another book I purchased out of sequence as I have listened to the later books first! I thoroughly enjoyed it and it did fill in a couple of holes for me though. Sean Barrett really gets into character and makes it such an enjoyable listen - another series I'm hooked on and have gone back to as I've started listening to Val McDermid books and they just aren't the same so I stopped on chapter 5 and thankfully found this one I hadn't read. I do like the Wallander series and the dark background he has and getting to know the character. Again highly recommended listen!
"The Man Who Smilled"
Wallander is depressed, both narrator and storyline bring this fact magnificently to the listner from the start, intending to resign he returns to work only to find the pressure on him increasing, as the story unfolds the tension is constant and the relationships between work colleagues just adds to the high pressure atmosphere of the story. Wallander is like a Scandinavian "Taggart" only better and I can't get enough
"An easy and enjoyable listen"
I enjoyed the story, it is faster paced and more exciting than the first Mankell novel, Faceless Killers. I listen to a lot of books and Sean Barrett is by far my favourite narrator. He has a captivating voice.
i struggled at times with story details which at this times were a bit far fetched and difficult to believe. I know it's fiction, but it's meant to have a degree of believability.
"Great story, disappointing ending"
Story develops well and keeps your interest, but unfortunately the end is kind of predictable.
"Enjoyable Story, had me gripped.."
Throughly enjoyed the book, it moved at good pace. It kept my attention right to the end.
Some gruesome crimes and subject matter.
I enjoyed the reading greatly.
"Twists and Turns"
As always... a great story and characters. Just found the ending a little bit of a let down after such a good story hence the 4 stars.
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