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The Fifth Woman (Kurt Wallander #6)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,807 Ratings  ·  634 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
Paperback, 438 pages
Published April 13th 2004 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

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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
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
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
Dec 14, 2008 Reinhold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, the-very-best
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
Sep 13, 2014 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-suecia
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
Marius van Blerck
Mar 16, 2010 Marius van Blerck rated it liked it
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
Roderick Hart
Oct 13, 2011 Roderick Hart rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 20, 2015 Margarida rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um dos melhores policiais de Wallander, o meditabundo comissário de Ystad, que devorei em poucos dias. A acção passa-se em 1994, quando uma série de homicídios, todos de homens, são perpetrados de uma forma particularmente violenta e cruel.
Infelizmente, e como aconteceu nos anteriores romances, este livro tem uma péssima tradução e revisão, tão má que confunde, muitas vezes, a leitura.
Parisa Hashemy
Feb 23, 2016 Parisa Hashemy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: crime, women
اصلا خوشم نیومد
خیلی کش می داد الکی
مثلا والندر شب خوابید
والندر صبح بعد بیدار شد
والندر فلان صبحونه را خورد
والندر رفت اداره
و همین طور تا آخر که دوباره می خوابید
بعدم اینکه آدم از قاتل اصلا بعدش نمی اومد
تشویقشم میکرد
و اصلا دوست نداشت دستگیر شه
اصلا کتاب خوبی نبود
به هیچ کس توصیه نمی شود
Dec 21, 2015 Kally rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Много ме измъчи тази книга. Дотолкова, че - (цитирам Лу) - от един момент нататък ми се изпари желанието да разбера кой е убиецът.
Прекалено разтеглена е книгата, адски мудно и бавно разследване, множество повторения на клиширани изречения в текста, които се набиват на очи и след n-тото им използване стават не досадни, ами направо отчайващо свръх нелепи и скучни. Да не говорим за елементарни пропуски в самото разследване; явно съм "разглезена" доста от CSI, Картър и Чайлд, но това е още една черн
Jul 06, 2013 Marcelle rated it it was ok
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
Feb 12, 2013 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Just received the rest of the Henning MAnkell books... back to Det. Wallender. :)
This novel begins when a woman receives a letter stating that her mother has been murdered along with four nuns in an African convent - the crime has been hidden so that no one know about it.
Then an old man who writes bird poetry is impaled on sharpened bamboo stakes embedded in a ditch on his property while a person watches from his bird tower.
As the police are trying to comprehend the man who was impaled... they
Jul 31, 2014 Shari rated it liked it
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
Oct 05, 2011 Miguel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: policiário
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?!
Jan 09, 2016 Barry rated it it was amazing
One of the best Kurt Wallander books. It kept you guessing all the way through. An odd murder occurs at an isolated farm where an elderly birdwatcher falls into a pit of bamboo spikes. A florist is kidnapped and missing. What do these men have in common? For the first half of the book we, the readers, know that the killer is a woman, but the police are sure it is a man. The threads weave with several red herrings (it is Sweden after all, and they have a penchant for herring). The ending may seem ...more
Mark Fallon
Feb 13, 2016 Mark Fallon rated it really liked it
A friend decided to introduce me to the Wallender series by Henning Mankell. Thanks, Theresa, now I just have to track down the other 10 books in the series.

It's been some time since I read a foreign novel, and this is the first time I've read something by a Swedish author. I like the way Mankell doesn't just focus on the mystery, but on all the things that impact the lives of the officers investigating the crimes - including death, daycare and divorce. The characters have lives. And apartments
Apr 08, 2015 Lena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one very long book, in which every page has something vital to say. The plot moves along continuously, and every time it almost gets slow, something else happens. The solution does not come till the end. The reader (at least this reader) suspects what the crimes mean, and where to find the solution - but Wallander is right there and works this out before anyone else.

The only problem - there is so much happening in this mystery that I tended to misplace some of the events in my mind once
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deborah Moulton
Dec 15, 2009 Deborah Moulton rated it really liked it
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
May 20, 2009 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
The Fifth Woman
One Step Behind
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
Feb 27, 2008 Coalbanks rated it liked it
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
Oct 05, 2009 Lars Guthrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ubik 2.0
Oct 24, 2012 Ubik 2.0 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-e-book
“Qualcuno deve pur farlo” (Kurt Wallander)

Quinta donna ma, per me, quarto romanzo con Wallander, in una serie che purtroppo mi è capitato di leggere in ordine sparso; quindi non sono in grado di formulare giudizi sull’evoluzione del personaggio e delle storie, ma mi è sembrato inferiore al cronologicamente successivo “Delitto di mezza estate” benché comunque ben congegnato e, anche a giudicare dal ritmo con cui ne ho concluso la lettura, avvincente.

Due difetti mi hanno impedito di apprezzarlo fi
Aletha Tavares
Apr 25, 2009 Aletha Tavares rated it it was amazing
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
Mary Helene
Jan 19, 2012 Mary Helene rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
✿ Deni
Oct 09, 2015 ✿ Deni rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, wallander
I enjoyed this book very much, even though know who the killer is pretty much from the beginning... we know, but we still don't know so we keep reading!

There are a few things, though, that I didn't quite understand:

(view spoiler)
This was the sixth book in the Wallander series. My book ran 654 pages. It was a good read but would have been better if it had ended at 354 pages. Repetitive. The translation from the Swedish was excellent by Steven T. Murray. Wallander finds himself hunting down a serial killer. It felt like Wallander was close to the brink of a total mental breakdown. Not sure if that helped the plot of the story. It kept me reading long after the point that I should have given up...RIP Henning Mankell..
Marissa Morrison
Mar 30, 2015 Marissa Morrison rated it it was amazing
I enjoy each book in this series better than the last. This one is especially detailed and inventive.

The reader learns about a long-ago incident that may have triggered Wallander's divorce.

One delightful aspect of the Wallander mysteries is the use of Swedish names.

"Does the name Harald Berggren mean anything to you?"

"No. Nothing. But I could be mistaken. It's a common name."

The bit about a train encounter at the end was the icing on the cake.
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Why the wig incident at the train station? 3 41 Jan 06, 2014 03:14PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please combine 3 151 Jul 11, 2012 05:41AM  
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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 White Lioness (Wallander, #3)
  • The Man Who Smiled (Wallander #4)
  • Sidetracked (Wallander #5)
  • One Step Behind (Wallander, #7)
  • Firewall (Wallander, #8)
  • The Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries (Wallander, #9)
  • The Troubled Man (Wallander #10)

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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.” 12 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.” 11 likes
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