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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about The Man Who Smiled

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Just a little short of the mark

I love Scandinavian thrillers an in particular Wallander stories but this one left me little disbelieving two or three times plot wise. You can never fault Henning for lacking in detail

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Wasn’t bad

Another adventure much the same in ways of the back story.
Enjoyed the storyline though.
Narration was great as always.

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wallander at his most conflicted.

loved it, despite the dark story line. wallander at his best, Sweden a real character

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a master's work, thanks

narater great .bla bla,bla,bla bla bla. bla. bla bla bla bla bla bla. bla,bla. bla


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  • Lia
  • 29-11-2013

Classic Wallander

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Maureen
  • 25-02-2013

Classic Mankell

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • george
  • 02-07-2012

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!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 24-03-2019

The Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell and

The Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell and narrated by Sean Barrett continue to impress. While the story lines and level of intricacy vary, the overall quality of the writing presented is first rate and this was no exception. A very enjoyable series from a talented team.

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  • Esther
  • 29-04-2011

Good Listen

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

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  • Jean
  • 11-06-2010

Classic Wallender

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.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Pip
  • 11-04-2014

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!

3 people found this helpful

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  • david
  • 13-04-2013

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • MISS
  • 13-08-2022

extremely enjoyable

amazing descriptive powers. empowering to women. understanding of our lives in the workplace. a plot that isn't kitsch or even what we tv viewers are expecting. A well written ending. a long and submersive recording ( excellent value for money)

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  • Pat
  • 04-07-2022

Riveting story 👍

you can see the development of Mankells writing from book 1 to now. this is his best so far. looking forward to next in the series

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  • Raymond Knowlden
  • 10-03-2021

Brilliantly written.

storyline great throughout, loved it and love the narrator, enjoyed every minute. will recommend.....

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  • Silver Fox
  • 10-10-2020

One of the best in the Wallender series

A strong, believable story, perfectly narrated. A superb listen full of gutsy action paired with delicate nouances & deep reflection.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-09-2020

Wallander Returns

Wallander returns to duty after a difficult time (no spoilers here) and falls into an intriguing case. It's a little far-fetched, not his best case, but still I enjoyed it. Sean Barrett is as super as ever, as narrator, Wallander and all. As ever, it's Wallander's internal dialogue that is so engaging.

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  • Casher
  • 13-07-2020

The Man who smiled

A good listen, Sean Barrett excellent narration as usual. Lots of scope to develop characters further and good ideas explored. I was expecting more from the sinister doctor, he was well hidden for most of the story and only took centre stage at the end. The conclusion came very quickly. All that said I am looking forwards to the next one and will probably read all of Henning Mankells Wallander books.

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  • F. Wynn
  • 03-06-2020

A story brought to life by a wonderful narrator.

Sean Barrett could inject life into the telephone book. The story, and all characters came alive under his telling. The story was interesting, but somewhat far fetched . I cannot reveal how without spoiling the plot.

Wallander is not superman , is as far as I can say.
The man who solved the problem must surely have been, to outwit such a ‘ villain.’

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