Ruby Barnes's Reviews > The Dogs of Riga

The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell
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Jun 22, 2012

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Read from June 07 to 22, 2012

This is the first Wallander book I've read. I'm a big fan of the various TV versions.
The pace was similar to the TV adaptations, easy and enigmatic, and I enjoyed that although I know it isn't everyone's preference. In fact, the reason I had this book was my parents left it behind and my wife gave up on it without finishing.
I had two problems with this book in the reading, unrelated to the pace. The first was the writing style which, in parts, was a bit awkward and self-conscious. Sometimes I couldn't decide if the writing was pleasing me or annoying me e.g. when the doctor's pager 'warbled in his pocket like a nestling'. It tripped me up and made me think 'was that good or bad'? Wallander spent a lot of time in awkward introspection that wasn't necessary as the reader could feel what Wallander was feeling. I'm sure that a native English speaker would have written a smoother book and, by the end, I'd concluded that the translation from Swedish just wasn't that great.
My second problem was with the rooftop reveal at the end. Without getting into spoilers, the villain nicely explaining everything to his opponent before killing him is a bit of a tired old cliché and a get-out for telling the reader what really happened behind the plot.
I will be reading more Mankell when I come across them.
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06/07/2012 page 94
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