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The Fifth Woman (Kurt Wallander #6)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  14,152 ratings  ·  520 reviews
Sixth in the Kurt Wallander series.

In an African convent, four nuns and a unidentified fifth woman are brutally murdered--the death of the unknown woman covered up by the local police. A year later in Sweden, Inspector Kurt Wallander is baffled and appalled by two murders. Holger Eriksson, a retired car dealer and bird watcher, is impaled on sharpened bamboo poles in a dit
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Paperback, 438 pages
Published April 13th 2004 by Vintage (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

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Brad
There was a point in The Fifth Woman where I thought, "Christ, Wallander is getting preachy. I wonder if Mankell realizes it?" And then a couple of chapters later it came clear that Mankell did realize what was happening to his Ystad Detective because those closest to Wallander comment on his fondness for lecturing everyone around him about the ills of Sweden and his philosophy of police work. They then prod him to become a lecturer at the local police academy.

A literary snap of the fingers and
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Teresa
Gosto de Henning Mankell. Escreve maravilhosamente bem!

Gosto de Kurt Wallander. Uma personagem de que, tal como me acontece com algumas pessoas, não gostei quando o "conheci", mas ao qual me fui afeiçoando ao longo de seis livros, onde ele se revelou um homem culto, sensível, humano, ...(gosto de homens que choram...).

Gostei da intriga, dos crimes, das vítimas, do criminoso e dos seus motivos para matar...
O início do livro é muito bonito. As páginas sobre o "Poeta dos Pássaros", uma figura solit
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AdultFiction Teton County Library
Julia - 4 stars
Since the first of the year, I have been on a Kurt Wallander series binge; this being the sixth that I've read in the series. (I am reading them in order, which isn't necessary since Mankell provides very efficient, two sentence recaps that give the reader all she needs to know to carry on.)With the first 40 pages I thought that this one - The Fifth Woman - just might be the novel that unhooks me from this Swedish crime novel addiction. Alas, I was wrong. I can't quite put my fing
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Anjali
The Fifth Woman starts with a prologue where five women are brutally murdered by some unknown murderers in a remote place in Africa. Four of them are nuns and the fifth woman is a tourist who takes shelter with the nuns. While the nuns' death is acknowledged by the police and government, they hush up the murder of the fifth woman to avoid any political conflicts. The death of the fifth woman would have gone unnoticed if not for a policewoman who investigated this murder and who decides to write ...more
Reinhold
Gut mit ausgezeichnet geschriebenem Ende

Endlich schafft es Mankell einem Roman ein Ende zu geben, das nicht der große Showdown ist. Viel zu oft verläuft sich der schwedische Bestsellerautor in künstlich hochgepushte Dramatik, die dann unglaubwürdig wirkt. Mit diesem Buch setzt er neue Maßstabe für die Beurteilung.

Wie bei fast allen Werken der Wallanderreihe üblich ist der Aufbau des Romans dergestalt, dass man die ganze Zeit über sowohl den Protagonisten als auch den Antagonisten verfolgt. In di
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Roderick Hart
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carolyn
Very long, very cerebral, highly entertaining mystery. At times, I grew impatient at the length of the book, but I think it paid off in successful, complex characterizations of victims, villains, and detectives. The author has a gift for letting the reader see tenuous connections between the very sparse clues develop precisely as they develop for Detective Wallender and his team. Thinking back over the novel, I realize that I never put anything together before Wallender did, and found myself app ...more
Marius van Blerck
Wallander - our favourite Introspective Detective: This book was enjoyable but overly repetitive. I like the way Henning Mankell adds a different dimension to the police investigation genre, and the setting in Sweden makes a change for the usual US / UK locales. The story itself is intelligent and well-constructed, and moves at a goodish medium-pace. One minor irritant is Mankell’s tendency to have the characters sum up the same facts at regular intervals – it seems he assumes that his readers h ...more
Shari
This might be the most complicated investigation Wallander has done to date. Imperative in Wallander novels is a plethora of blind alleys, and gnawing feelings, intuitive suggestions that lie just out of reach, languishing beneath the surface waiting to be recognized. There is also an abundance of false or misunderstood leads that clutter the investigation. The investigative team has meshed and accepted Ann-Britt and this strengthens the team when everyone works together.

An important subtext tha
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Miguel
Mais um excelente romance policial de Mankell, e um reencontro com Kurt Wallander, um dos melhores 'heróis' de literatura policial que conheci. Infelizmente a tradução do livro é tão má que dificulta a própria leitura. Como é que uma editora deixa sair um livro tão mal traduzido, com frases incompreensíveis, com erros crassíssimos?!
Cristina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deborah Moulton
Henning Mankell's Swedish detective Kurt Wallander continues his ruminations on a changing society with this tale of a female serial killer out to settle past scores for women wronged by men.

For the longest time, the investigative team tries to apply all their knowledge to the capture of a male killer. It never occurs to them that it could be a woman. The crimes are too gruesome, too cunning, too physical, too planned. The killer becomes infuriated at their failure to imagine a woman killing me
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Bob
Kurt Wallander - He works tirelessly, eats badly and drinks the nights away in a lonely, neglected flat. Still, he tackles some pretty incredible cases --

Here are the titles in the series (with a few extras) -

Faceless Killers
Dogs Of Riga
White Lioness
The Man Who Smiled
Sidetracked
The Fifth Woman
One Step Behind
Firewall
Return Of The Dancing Master (a Stefan Lindman mystery)
Before The Frost (actually a “Linda Wallander” mystery)

An old man has been tortured and beaten to death, his wife lies barely
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Coalbanks
Feb 27, 2008 Coalbanks rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of police procedurals
Like all the rest of the series it is slow-paced with seemingly obvious lines of inquiry which later are seen to be significant being ignored for no discernable reason other than Wallender, the main character, was ill, depressed, the weather was terrible, his car wasn't running right, he was overwhelmed by avoiding his family & potential lovers... and acknowedging his failings will give him greater reason to be evan more introspective, depressed & insecure. Wallender, is the stereotypica ...more
Nancy Oakes
In this the 6th book of the Wallander series, our hero has just returned to Ystad from Rome with his ailing father as the story opens, and it seems he is just in time to get to work on an incredibly brutal crime. A man is found impaled on sharpened sticks in a pit. As usual in a Mankell novel, this is just the tip of the iceberg and the beginning of a number of cruel and torturous murders. While Wallander's style is to thoroughly examine every aspect of these crimes, there is a move afoot among ...more
Lars Guthrie
As I get farther into this series ('The Fifth Woman' is the sixth book), I find the serial killers more and more unlikely and harder to see as actual characters. It's as if Mankell created them as progressively challenging exercises in motivation and execution and stopped working on them as people. That's not to say Mankell is not creative and clever (and shocking) in limning those motivations and executions, but I like more realistic villains (as in 'The White Lioness'). He makes up for this as ...more
Marcelle
Eh. Kind of tedious, is how I would describe this book. The climactic segment was very good, and almost worth the wait (but not quite). The lead detective character, Wallander, was hard to like: at times obnoxious and bullying, and then whiny and sullen at other times. Domestic violence was the background theme of the story and Wallender himself was not unfamiliar with dishing it out. I liked that his own experiences bothered him but it didn't help in the likability department. Also, the author ...more
Aletha Tavares
Excellent! This is my first of Henning's that I have read and he is just amazing. He is a master of mystery and this Kurt Wallander mystery is superb. He brings the landscape, emotions, eco-socio changes that the country of Sweden has gone thru, it paints a picture and is a wholesome reading- very few authors can paint a eco socio setting in a mystery and weave that through the story, including the emotions of characters, etc.

Just a para on pg 224: When I was growing up, Sweden was still a count
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Mary Helene
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Diane
Reading two Kurt Wallander/Henning Mankell books in a row--in the middle of a sometimes grey November--is almost enough to put a person into a permanent funk. The Fifth Woman, however, is an interesting study in obsession, both Wallander's and the person responsible for the serial killing of men who have brutalized women at one time or another. A nice addition to the cast of characters, Ann Hoglund, new to the Ystand police force, adds some lightness to balance Wallander's heaviness. Also, in th ...more
Chris
I love Kenneth Branagh. When I found out he was going to be in PBS's Wallander series. I was thrilled. Until I saw the series. There was something off about it. In fact, I only watched the first one and had no desire to pick up the books. Then, I watched the Swedish version of Wallander. Those were good. Those made me want to pick up the books.

Branagh was totally miscast. It's like John Hannah playing Rebus. He's a good actor, but he's wrong for Rebus. Dan Sott isn't. Whoever the Swedish guy pl
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Bibliophile
The Fifth Woman is yet another Wallander mystery in which Wallander must face off against a serial killer (there must be more serial killers per capita in Ystad, Sweden than there are anywhere else in the world at this rate!) whilst simultaneously bemoaning the degeneration of Swedish society and having stomach ailments described in far-too-plentiful detail by Henning Mankell. (In short, yet another Wallander mystery!) As always, Wallander more or less stumbles across the solution to the mystery ...more
Andrea
Meticulously crafted, seemingly divergent threads converge, Mankell's usual detailed and vivid depictions - another wonderful offering. This one is particularly gripping.
Mankell has a genius for depicting fully-fleshed, three-dimension characters. And as detailed a background against which they struggle through life and it's rocky paths.
I read somewhere that in every book Mankell asks and answers a question - here obviously the question is - if the law fails to punish those who commit crimes, w
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J
The seventh of Mankell’s Kurt Wallander series, The Fifth Woman was my first foray into Swedish noir. The novel is a moody police procedural that includes interesting bits about life and attitudes in Sweden with mention of mercenary soldiers in Africa. The lead detective is not your average Joe Friday, but is fraught with doubt and borders on depression. The murders are brutal, the landscape is bleak and it is nearly always raining. It examines issues of changes in society and domestic abuse. A ...more
Erik
A well written, if not high literature, thriller. A dark, brooding narrative in line with the central character and very readable. It's a police procedural novel; this happened then that happened and so on. Yet it manages to be gripping. The motive behind the killings is given due weight. Even though the characters (more the men than the women) are well drawn, the intentional pacing of the book sometimes only allows for a brief skimming over of important events. Wallander manages to be in three ...more
Vichy
Η αστυνομικός Φρανσουάζ Μπερτράν ενημερώνει ανεπίσημα την κόρη της Άννας Άντερ ότι η μητέρα της σκοτώθηκε μαζί με 4 καλόγριες σε μια επιδρομή μισθοφόρων στην Αφρική.
Ο Σουηδός επιθεωρητής Κουρτ Βαλάντερ έχει γυρίσει από ταξίδι αναψυχής με τον πατέρα του στη Ρώμη και καλείται με την ομάδα του στο Ίσταντ να εξιχνιάσουν τον αποτρόπαιο θάνατο με παλούκωμα ενός 80χρονου συνταξιούχου, ποιητή και παρατηρητή πουλιών, του Χόλγκερ Έρικσον. Τρεις εβδομάδες αργότερα και ενώ έχει δηλωθεί ως εξαφανισμένος, ο α
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Butch C.
I'm a fan of the Wallander tv series - the original one not the British version. I finally dove in and started reading Mankell's books.
As expected with any good book, the main character Kurt Wallander is more fleshed out. It's very satisfying to see that the author takes his time showing all sides of Wallander, emotional baggage and all.
The cast of characters surrounding Wallander gets enough attention from the author to make any reader care about them.
Knowing these details about the world of
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Frances Sawaya
Again, the four stars are given in consideration of this thriller's place in the genre. The setting is Ystat and I think that I prefer Mankell's work when he uses Sweden as the principal backdrop for his Wallander series. The Riga and South Africa settings seemed too far flung to be believed, although I did appreciate the author's desire to make political statements about his adopted country via his protagonist.
A few impressions: 1.) Lordy, the police crew and Wallander drink lots of coffee and
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Kurt
There's something about the Wallander books that makes my excitement fizzle out in the last 50 to 100 pages. Hard to put my finger on it. And while I do enjoy the character and the savage crimes he works to solve in southern Sweden, I think the author takes up too much space trying to change his readers' social awareness. Very often, when Wallander is having one of his epiphanies, it's like ... "MESSAGE!!!"
Anne Anon
Masterful crime fiction. This novel kept me up late into the night and made me reach for it first thing in the morning. I was already familiar with the story line of "The Fifth Woman" and other stories from the Wallander TV series. But there was so much more in the original writing- a depth and texture that felt effortless. There was something about the narrative style which rendered the book immensely readable. Was it Mankell's terse use of simple language; short sentences combined with deft in ...more
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Henning Mankell is an internationally known Swedish crime writer, children's author and playwright. He is best known for his literary character Kurt Wallander.

Mankell splits his time between Sweden and Mozambique. He is married to Eva Bergman, Swedish director and daughter of Ingmar Bergman.
More about Henning Mankell...
Faceless Killers (Wallander #1) Sidetracked (Wallander #5) The Dogs of Riga (Wallander #2) The Man Who Smiled (Wallander #4) One Step Behind (Wallander, #7)

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“It’s only when we can work with something that brings out our strengths that we’re of any real use.” 11 likes
“Society had grown cruel. People who felt they were unwanted or unwelcome in their own country, reacted with aggression. There was no such thing as meaningless violence. Every violent act had a meaning for the person who committed it. Only when you dared accept this truth could you hope to turn society in another direction.” 8 likes
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