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The Man Who Smiled (Kurt Wallander #4)
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The Man Who Smiled (Kurt Wallander #4)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  15,503 Ratings  ·  681 Reviews
After killing a man in the line of duty, Kurt Wallander resolves to quit the Ystad police. However, a bizarre case gets under his skin.

A lawyer driving home at night stops to investigate an effigy sitting in a chair in the middle of the highway. The lawyer is hit over the head and dies. Within a week the lawyer’s son is also killed. These deeply puzzling mysteries compel
Paperback, 325 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1994)
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James Thane
The opening of the fourth novel in this series finds Kurt Wallander in a deep depression. At the conclusion of the last book, he shot a man to death, and even though it was clearly a case of self-defense, he's devastated by the fact that he has taken another man's life. After brooding over the incident for more than a year, Wallander resolves to quit the police force and is at the point of turning in his papers when a very bizarre case grabs his attention.

An elderly lawyer has died. The reader k
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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Book Review

The second review of two crime novels whose titles hint at laughter and joy, Mankell's novel The Man Who Smiled is in my opinion the best to date in the Wallander series. In the first review, we discovered the significance of how morose Martin Beck finally came to emit a burst of laughter in the last paragraph of that novel: The Laughing Policeman. I find this significant. Let's face it: laughter, joy, humor, these are not exactly the words I would describe as pertinent to Nordic crim
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is my second book in this police procedural series, set in a small city in southern Sweden. I found this less than fully compelling. Here are some of my problems with the book:

1. The pacing is slow, and the book bogs down a bit in the middle.

2. The mystery at the heart of the book is suspected financial crime by the principal of a large and secretive complex of businesses. The murder of several people, and the attempted murder of a couple of others, trigger the police investigation and appa
Linda  Branham Greenwell
A Kurt Wallender police procedural - or not... since Wallender does not always follow police procedures :)
It is best if you read these books in order... even though each one is a "stand alone" in many ways, there are references in Wallenders personal life that will be unclear if you have not read the books in order. This is book 4 (1 is FAceless Killers, 2 is Dogs of Riga, 3 is White Lioness)
This book begins with Wallender doubting himself and dealing with the occurrences in Book 3 where he had
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book. Presenting truly how police work impacts a man's psyche. The shooting, though justifiable, weighs heavily on Kurt. A year has passed and he is resolved, after 25 years service, to retire from the police force.

During a visit to Denmark, he is visited by Sten Torstensson, an old friend, now practicing lawyer in his father's firm. His father had been recently found dead in an "accident". Kurt declines his request to investigate the matter deeper.

Returning to Sweden, he finds an obit
Nancy Oakes
The Man Who Smiled is number four in the Wallander series, picking up some time after Wallander's experiences in book 3, The White Lioness. As book four opens, Wallander is still on sick leave, and has made the decision during a period of incredibly intense depression that he will not be continuing on in his career as a policeman. But all of that changes when a friend seeks him out to ask him for help regarding the case of his father's death. The police had ruled it a car accident, but the frien ...more
There are many book related things I could say about the fourth Wallander installment -- The Man Who Smiled. Stuff about the excellent introduction of Ann-Britt Höglund and Wallander as a character and the breakneck pace and the way the BBC adaptation of this differed in good ways and bad. But reading this particular book led me to a realization, and I'd rather talk about that.

I have often wondered why, even though I am compelled to read detective fiction -- which at its best still tends to see
Ubik 2.0
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-e-book
Astenersi amanti del thriller mozzafiato.

Leggendo i non pochi commenti negativi a “L’uomo che sorrideva” è doveroso sgombrare immediatamente il campo da un equivoco: molti romanzi di Mankell, e questo in particolare, NON sono dei thriller e a ben vedere non sono neppure “gialli” finalizzati a risolvere il rebus dell’individuazione (in modo deduttivo o intuitivo) del colpevole.

Si tratta di storie che tendono a concentrarsi soprattutto sull’analisi dell’indagine, della struttura mentale e organizz
Wallander torna al lavoro dopo un periodo profondo di crisi per la quarta indagine raccontata da Mankell. Questa volta il colpevole per l'omicidio di due avvocati è quasi ovvio, ma mancano le prove.
Più che gialli i libri di Mankell sono romanzi sulla vita, sul modo di essere degli scandinavi. Mi ha colpita una frase di Wallander riguardante il mestiere di pittore del padre:
"In quante case, su quante pareti poteva essere appeso quel quadro con o senza gallo cedrone e con un sole che non tramontav
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rounded it up to 3 stars. Not my favorite one, but I still want to continue with the series.
Annelie Bernar
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un apparente incidente stradale, un avvocato freddato da dei colpi di pistola nel suo studio legale e poi il ritrovamento di una mina antiuomo nel giardino della segretaria dello studio legale delle due vittime ; infine una carica esplosiva nel serbatoio dello stesso Wallander, che rischia per un pelo di porre fine alla sua carriera- e alla sua vita. Ci sono abbastanza elementi per far presagire al lettore che anche questa indagine sarà una bella gatta da pelare per il nostro investigatore. Un i ...more
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2011
This is the second Kurt Wallander book I've read, and enjoyed quite a bit.
Wallander is on sick leave after accidentally killing a man on duty, walking on a beach in Denmark, when a friend of his comes to ask for help. He suspects the death of his dad was not an accident. A few days later that friend is killed, and Wallander makes his decision to return to work to find justice for his friend, to find out who killed him, and what really happened to the father of his friend. Before long, the secret
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the 4th book in the Kurt Wallander detective series and like all previous books, I enjoyed this one even more than the one before. This is primarily because I get to know Kurt Wallandaer a bit more each time and like/love him even more with each book. The Man Who Smiled was also filled with clues and intrigue that kept me fully engaged throughout in trying to solve the crime.

Kurt Wallander is fierce and soft. He has a gruff exterior but is very sensitive and soulful - which is a big reas
Charles Kerns
In my country of "make my day" and "bring it on," this book may be a hard start for US readers. Detective Wallander drops into a year of depression after shooting a bad guy. He is ready to quit the force, but he finally gets his mojo back and is ready to pop anyone. Happy ending.

(you get the sense the writer went through this too, maybe after being financially forced to write yet another Wallander mystery)

The book's mid-section, also, might be a hard read. In Sweden police have meeting after me
Ian Mapp
Sep 24, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This is a real crock of a book.

Wallander is depressed cause he shot a crim and still has relationship problems with his father - which is just layed on as a break from the investigation to show that he has problems outside work.

Is he coming back into the police after his bout with depression and hard drinking. Yes he is and on day one - he is given the case of a father and son pair of solicitors who are murdered. And he is welcomed back as a returning hero.

For a crime book - this contains no red
Mr. Gottshalk
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, if I wasn't hooked on this author and his Inspector Detective Kurt Wallander I am now! It's not that the mystery is so great...I saw the villain a mile away, but didn't get the motive. It's in the thinking of what it takes to be a great cop that has me constantly thinking. You have to have instincts, the ability to work around the clock, the knack to lie when necessary to get what you need to crack a case, and the grumpiness of Wallander to see angles in a case when other cops and detectiv ...more
Wallender is an old friend in our home from when he was first available in English. This was an audio read, with a fabulous voice actor, who really got the different characters down beautifully. We loved being back in Sweden, though felt a bit schizophrenic, because we've been reading so much Nordic crime stuff, and also a bit of Harry Bosch, too. Everyone seems to have left the police force, but only Kurt is welcomed back; the Harrys in the other stories are still on the skids with their respec ...more
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Every time I read a Mankell book, I'm reminded why I keep picking up one of his books out of hundreds on my to-read list. I just love his stories and his writing.

I read more of Henning Mankell than any other authors, living or dead. That must have said something, right?

Now that I have read most of his books, I am going to ration myself. I want him to beat cancer and keep writing - my fingers are firmly crossed and he has my prayers, I know that he will always be one of the greatest, as well as
Aug 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Billy Graham
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Masterpiece Mystery
I love the gloomy, foggy, windy, damp, or bitterly cold (etc.) Swedish setting, which mirrors Kurt Wallander's depression, angst, and solitude. The unraveling of the mystery is a bit less complicated than you'd like it to be.
Thomas Strömquist
This must be included in the "Scandinavian crime"-phenomenon by the gravitational pull of others (including some of Mankell's granted). The bad guy (the smiling one) is so far from believable that it makes the book virtually unreadable. I did finish it, but I don't remember why.
Irene B.
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started and stopped this book several times, but the plot was engaging and the Wallendar character's point of view was well-stated.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impossível não comparar o Kurt Wallander, ao Harry Hole, acho-os tão genialmente parecidos.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ormai Henning Mankell è diventato, almeno per me, una garanzia: infatti, anche questo quarto volume dedicato alle indagini del mitico, ma molto tormentato, Commissario Wallander mi ha conquistato.

Ancor di più rispetto ai romanzi precedenti, Kurt Wallander è davvero il perno attorno a cui ruota tutta la vicenda: all'inizio lo troviamo in congedo, a camminare inquieto sulle spiagge spoglie della Danimarca e ancora sconvolto dai traumatici eventi raccontati nel volume precedente. In bilico sul camm
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as a mystery goes, this was excellent. I get a little tired of the social commentary included with Mankell's books, particularly as they are twenty years old. I love Wallander though!
Detective stuff. Decent
A problem that I have with almost all the Swedish novels that I read (and there seem to be quite a lot of them) is that often the language is incredibly stilted. Since I'm reading the books in English and I'm not familiar with the Swedish language, I can only assume that it is a problem with the translation, that it must be especially hard to render Swedish into English and make it flow easily over the page. Nowhere do I notice this problem more than with the books of Henning Mankell. I often fe ...more
Aug 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2015
It's been awhile since I read one of Henning Mankell's Wallander's novels. I can't think of why it's been so long. I think I wanted to save them and not read them all at once, lest I run out too quickly. Whatever the reason was, I'm back on the Wallander train - this series is absolutely fantastic.

This one begins with a deeply depressed Kurt Wallander. He killed a man in the line of duty and even though the shooting was justified, he feels horrible that he is directly responsible for someone's d
Tori Hoeschler
Feb 01, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, by my definition, this book is not a mystery. This is a book ABOUT a mystery, and unless I'm totally missing a point here, it's just not a good book at all.
Here we have a story about a detective, Kurt Wallander, who has come out of retirement to solve the mysterious death and apparent murder of two local attorneys. I'm just going to stop right here and say that the reason he goes into retirement is because he's conflicted over killing some criminal in a face off I assume took place in a pre
Roderick Hart
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel features Mankell’s well-known detective, Kurt Wallander. In the previous book, Wallander had killed a criminal. Though he had little choice this event set him back so much he was off work for a year and seriously considered resigning from the police force. Why didn’t he? Because it was the only life he knew and also because a lawyer sought him out, seriously concerned that his father, also a lawyer, had been murdered.

The son is correct, his father had been murdered, though it was made
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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 (Kurt Wallander, #1)
  • The Dogs of Riga (Kurt Wallander, #2)
  • The White Lioness (Kurt Wallander, #3)
  • Sidetracked (Kurt Wallander, #5)
  • The Fifth Woman (Kurt Wallander, #6)
  • One Step Behind  (Kurt Wallander, #7)
  • Firewall (Wallander, #8)
  • The Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries (Kurt Wallander, #9)
  • The Troubled Man (Kurt Wallander, #10)
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