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The White Lioness (Kurt Wallander #3)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  10,265 ratings  ·  716 reviews
The execution-style murder of a Swedish housewife looks like a simple case even though there is no obvious suspect. But then Wallander learns of a determined stalker, and soon enough, the cops catch up with him. But when his alibi turns out to be airtight, they realize that what seemed a simple crime of passion is actually far more complex—and dangerous.

Combining compelli
Mass Market Paperback, 576 pages
Published September 4th 2003 by Vintage (first published 1993)
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I'm only reviewing this one book, but I've read the entire detective series by Henning Mankell, and I am a huge fan. I first became aware of him after returning from a trip to Sweden in 2004, and then discovered he has a cult following in Europe and is beginning to have one in the U.S. He has written all kinds of novels, but I've focused on his mystery series featuring Swedish police officer Kurt Wallander. The Wallander stories are good mysteries in their own right, but what commends the books ...more
Here the world of Swedish detective Kurt Wallander crosses that of South African plotters intent on political murder. I'm not sure if I read this before or after Dogs of Riga. I enjoyed this book, liked the characterisation and the settings, despite the more than slightly stretched set up. It was hard to avoid the feeling that Mankell really was much more interested in writing about southern Africa, where he spent part of the year living for a fair chunk of his life, rather than his shabby Detec ...more
Book Review

The White Lioness, the third in the Kurt Wallander series is perhaps intended as Mankell's most ambitious Wallander novel to date. I say "intended" because on some levels it doesn't succeed as such. I'm a big fan of Wallander: his idiosyncrasies, his anti-authority attitude, his loneliness and faltering family relations - they all evoke a reader's empathy in just the right amounts - but Mankell's ambitions to incorporate in this book a world stage of politics, assassinations, and thir
Henning, dude, if you want to write a book about how it sucks to live in racist South Africa, I'm all for it. But I picked up this book because it was a KURT WALLANDER mystery. Wallander--the SWEDISH policeman, for he really going to foil a plot to assassinate Nelson Mandela? I want to read about SWEDISH police doing SWEDISH things like solving murders in SKANE, drinking coffee and eating sandwiches. If I wanted to read the Ladies Detective series, I would have joined a book clu ...more
This is the third book of the Wallander series.

The plot is around an execution-style murder of a Swedish housewife. This apparent simple investigation unmasks a murder plot against President De Klerk and the future South-african president Nelson Mandela. A ex-KGB agent together with a mercenary south-african will be responsible for such political outrage.

As usual, Inspector Wallander gives his own personal way in this crime investigation.

The book's tittle refers to an albino lioness and its rea
Some of the best police procedural/mystery writing is coming out of the Scandinavian countries. Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, for example, also come from Sweden, and their work is consistently excellent. Not to mention there must ne some very good translators working on these books.
Mankell, who wrote this in 1993 as apartheid was beginning to crumble, has little love for those white South Africans who wanted to retain the status quo. In this, one of his lengthier works, his protagonist, Chief Ins
Published in 1993, this is the third book in the Kurt Wallander series, and the best in my opinion, preceded by-Faceless Killers and The Dogs of Riga. Wallander is a detective inspector in a small city in Sweden. He is divorced, out of shape and experiences waves of self-doubt concerning his abilities as a police officer, father, and son. When Wallander has a case to solve, he is like a dog with a bone. He cannot let it go, and all else goes by the wayside. In this book, he is still reeling from ...more
THE WHITE LIONESS. (1993; Eng. Trans. 1998). Henning Mankell. ****.
I wish I had had the foresight to read Mankell’s books in order, although, ultimately it didn’t make any difference. What precluded my doing so was the fact that the books were not translated in order into English from the Swedish originals. I don’t know why. In any event, I have finally made it to this episode, which starts out rather mundanely with the disappearance of a female estate agent. Several says after her disappearance
Kathleen Hagen
The White Lioness, by Henning Mankell B-minus.
Narrated by Dick Hill, produced by Blackstone audio, downloaded from

This is the first Mankell book that I’ve been disappointed with. In this book, Wallander and the national police force of Sweden inadvertently become involved in an assassination plot in South Africa. The perpetrators are being trained in Sweden. Wallander’s involvement begins when a man comes into his office and says that his wife, a real estate agent, has disappeared. S
Review from Badelynge.
After the underwhelming Dogs of Riga I was hoping for a big fat Swedish murder investigation this time. The White Lioness is a far superior animal by far but it's also not entirely that big fat dose of Wallander I wanted. Written just before South Africa would throw away the worst of its horrific identity, Mankell once again writes a book that is so very rooted in the time of its writing - here the early 90s leading up to the eventual free elections in 1994. The first segme
Mar 16, 2011 Brad rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: swedish mystery fans
I approached The White Lioness tentatively, afraid that I wouldn't like it and that it could very well mark the end of my appreciation for the written Wallander.

Faceless Killers was a somewhat uninspired though compelling murder mystery. It was straightforward, and exactly what one would expect from the story of a taciturn Swedish cop in quiet Ystad. Coupled with the BBC movies, it was more than enough to make me want to proceed in the series. Dogs of Riga, however, was something else entirely.
Lewis Weinstein
Mankell undertook a difficult premise ... major related crimes on two continents, without much coordination between the police. I am intrigued by Wallender with all of his flaws and uncertainties. The African side was relatively weaker, with no well-developed characters to care about. The ending was staged and anti-climatic. So I gave it 3*** on a stretch. Other books in this series are better.
I hesitated for a long time to read the third Wallander story. That's mainly because I knew that this book would be much different than the first two books since it is a lot more ambitious. It deals with Mandela... hence with world politics. Uuuughhh... is this really what I want to read in a proper noir/crime novel? Nah... I read the papers for that kinda stuff.

The first two books had many flaws but they were also interesting in a certain way because they mainly focused on characters and the c
Este livro é deveras interessante. Não se limita a ser um policial. O crime que o inspector começa por investigar é apenas um acessório para falar de terrorismo, poder e luta pela liberdade.
Apesar de não gostar de livros baseados em histórias verídicas, adoro ler um livro, tal como este, em que o autor cria personagens e as coloca a interagir com pessoas reais.
Aos poucos vou conhecendo Kurt Wallender, que se vai revelando uma personagem muito cativante pela sua humanidade. E gostamos da mesma ca
Nancy Oakes
The White Lioness is book number three in Mankell's series of crime novels Ystad detective featuring Kurt Wallander. I was really iffy on whether or not I would read this one, since it seemed more like a span-the-globe type of mystery, but I stuck with it and was happily rewarded.

The action begins when an estate agent goes out to look at a house for sale and loses her way on the road. Stopping to ask for directions at a farmhouse was the last thing she ever did. Called in to investigate her dis
June Ahern
This was a CD gift to me. I had not read Henning Mankell books before and now I will read his other novels. A murder happens quickly in the story and the hunt for the killer by Detective Kurt Wallander becomes intense and actually obsessive by the policeman. The problem I had was the introduction of so many characters from another location with another plot. The turns, twist, intertwining and ultimately the knitting together of each character is a feat accomplished by the author. The plot is abo ...more
Remember the old commercial for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the US, where two people run into each other and complain about getting "your peanut butter on my chocolate" and vice versa, then discovering the combination was enjoyable? Here Mankell combines two kinds of books, a Nordic police procedural and a South African political assassination thriller. But in my mind, he doesn't match Reese's combinatorial genius. It seems Mankell has taken his cop, Wallander, who I enjoyed in his previous in ...more
Mr. Gottshalk
I could not put this book down through Part I, roughly 100 pages.
And then the book changed completely - plot, setting, characters moved to South Africa and, in my opinion, the pace slowed down considerably. Written in 1993, this book highlights the tumultuous time when Mandela was released from jail and De Klerk was on tenterhooks not knowing if the country would lapse into Civil War, knowing full well that South Africa would soon have its first black President and some hardliners would not exac
I continue to feel that Mr. Mankell should try and recapture the clean, spare lines of his first mystery. This particular book of his contains a plot encompassing South Africa's ANC, a former KGB agent, a hired Zulu assassin and other complications. This sort of convoluted meandering doesn't seem necessary to me, given Mankell's writing skills and his quirky, interesting protagonist.
Derek Baldwin
Mankell's heart is firmly on his sleeve in this one, which blends the usual Wallander elements with the African themes of many of his other "non crime" novels... but unfortunately it is not always terribly convincing. The stream of consciousness sections from the perspective of a Zulu killer-for-hire, for example, are really quite poorly done, vernacular is careless used, or poorly translated, or both, and these undermine the novel rather badly in my opinion. There are also at least one or two t ...more
Wallander: A
mystery/thriller plotting: A-
writing: A-
Swedish narrative: A-
South African narrative: C
One of those books for which I stayed up late three nights in a row to read. Mankell's famous chief inspector Wallander is an interesting mess of a man: fundamentally pragmatic, noble, and kind-hearted but with patches of the naive and the childishly impulsive. This book in particular focuses on how he, a small-town Swedish policeman, is faced with the fact that globalization and more porous borders is affecting his everyday practice...and possibly his ethics. Is his Sweden changing for the bett ...more
I like Kurt Wallander a lot. I like how real and human he is. I really enjoy reading these Wallander mysteries - usually.

The White Lioness was different. I did not enjoy it. The writing was the same. Kurt himself was the same but I just could not get into the story as much as I usually would with a Mankell mystery. I know the reason and I'm a bit embarrassed by it. Quite simply, stories about South Africa, racism and the Aparteid make me uncomfortable. Also, I'm getting a bit frustrated with the
Mais um excelente policial. Para além de um enredo cheio de suspense, a história de um atentado ao carismático líder sul-africano (não esqueçamos que se desenrola em 1992, nos fins do apartheid e de uma sociedade em colapso), Mankell dá a conhecer uma personagem negra que, através das suas metáforas do mundo dos espíritos, mostra-nos como nem tudo é linear. Wallander acaba por ajudar o estranho, apesar de ter sido contratado para executar uma terrível missão.
'- O leopardo é um caçador solitário
Bill Krieger
This is another very good Wallander book, the third in the series. The best part of each of these books is Wallander himself. He is a conflicted, insecure jumble doing extraordinary things as a police detective. The writing style is smooth and even and enjoyable.

All these Wallander books are nearly 4-star efforts. In White Lioness, the plot is a bit flabby and not very believable in parts. Mankell tries to juggle 3 or 4 different locations and subplots, but only to moderate success. We're in Sou
Rafal Jasinski
Z jakimś masochistycznym uporem eksploruję twórczość Mankella i po trzeciej z kolei książce muszę stwierdzić, że nie znam drugiego, tak słabego pisarza w obrębie gatunku zwanego powieścią kryminalną. W przypadku "Białej lwicy" nie sposób oprzeć się wrażeniu, że autor miał pomysł na zupełnie inną, nie związaną ze szwedzkim detektywem powieść, która choć ciekawa z założenia, sprzedałaby się raczej słabo, niż deklarowana kolejna część lubianego - kompletnie nie wiem za co - cyklu.

Mankell nieodmienn
It is evident that police work in Sweden, and everywhere, must be tedious, slow and painstaking while always overshadowed by the possibility of personal injury. It's even worse if your Wallander because you also carry around a lot of personal baggage. This is my first book by Henning Mankell and I am determined to read a few more just to see what all the fuss is about.

This is a good detective novel, but I was frustrated by the pace and the slowness of the unfolding of the plot. Maybe it's my im
Sep 28, 2011 Dorothy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of police procedurals and of Swedish mysteries
Inspector Kurt Wallander is a real sad-sack. His interpersonal relationships are a mess, totally unsatisfying. He's middle-aged and overweight and his heart often races with the slightest bit of exercise, leading him to fear that he's having a heart attack. Perhaps worst of all, he's come to doubt that he is any good at his job. He seems indecisive and unable to find and follow up clues to their logical conclusion. He suffers from serious bouts of depression. His life seems to be going downhill ...more
At 14 disks, this was not a short "read". It was, however, engrossing. A very accomplished narrator brought the story to life with small things like sighs, actual chortles and laughs, sounds of disbelief, and a great intonation. I have not Googled him, but I suspect he was bilingual in Swedish which, being a Swedish book, added to the appeal.

I found the point of view transitions to be interesting from a literary standpoint. In some cases, they seemed a abrupt which is a fault of an audiobook -
I have been reading Henning Mankell's books about the detective Wallander for a number of years. Wallander is something of the clichéd doughy, sleepless, overworked police investigator. The type is used in various iterations across the world of crime fiction. What makes Mankell's books interesting though is his taught writing and dry Scandinavian perspective. Wallander is a homicide detective in a smaller Swedish town, Ystad, and continually comes up against the problems that plague larger citie ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine 3 17 Jul 11, 2012 01:22PM  
  • The Fire Engine That Disappeared  (Martin Beck #5)
  • Sun and Shadow (Inspector Winter, #3)
  • Borkmann's Point (Inspector Van Veeteren #2)
  • Voices (Inspector Erlendur #5)
  • The Glass Devil
  • Bad Blood (Intercrime, #2)
Henning Mankell was an internationally known Swedish crime writer, children's author and playwright. He was best known for his literary character Kurt Wallander.

Mankell split his time between Sweden and Mozambique. He was married to Eva Bergman, Swedish director and daughter of Ingmar Bergman.
More about Henning Mankell...

Other Books in the Series

Kurt Wallander (10 books)
  • Faceless Killers (Wallander #1)
  • The Dogs of Riga (Wallander #2)
  • The Man Who Smiled (Wallander #4)
  • Sidetracked (Wallander #5)
  • The Fifth Woman (Wallander, #6)
  • One Step Behind (Wallander, #7)
  • Firewall (Wallander, #8)
  • The Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries (Wallander, #9)
  • The Troubled Man (Wallander #10)
Faceless Killers (Wallander #1) The Fifth Woman (Wallander, #6) Sidetracked (Wallander #5) The Dogs of Riga (Wallander #2) The Man Who Smiled (Wallander #4)

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