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(Kurt Wallander #8)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  14,591 ratings  ·  697 reviews
Stopping to get money from a cash machine one evening, a man inexplicably falls to the ground: dead. A taxi driver is brutally murdered by two teenaged girls. Quickly apprehended they appal local policemen with their total lack of remorse. One girl escapes police custody and disappears without trace. Soon afterwards a blackout covers half the country. When an engineer ...more
Paperback, 534 pages
Published 2004 by Vintage (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  14,591 ratings  ·  697 reviews

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Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it

In this 8th book in the 'Kurt Wallander' series, the Swedish detective is dealing with personal problems while investigating two suspicious deaths. The book can be read as a standalone.


Inspector Kurt Wallender and his detectives are looking into two incidents: the brutal murder of a cab driver by two teenage girls, Sonya Hokberg and Eva Persson; and the death, seemingly from a heart attack, of computer expert Tynnes Falk near an ATM machine.

Events escalate when Sonya escapes police
This book made me feel sick to my stomach. Not because it was too gory or because what was written disagreed with me in a philosophical way, but because I have grown to care about Kurt Wallander over the eight books I've read -- maybe even seeing a bit of myself in him -- and it's in this book that he is most under siege, and that feeling of being under attack was the feeling that made me feel ill.

His protege, Martinsson, the man he trained in the way his mentor Ryberg trained him, the man he
Sep 22, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gong farmers
Mankell's laziest, most hackish work yet, a pastiche of several other books in the series. At this point, I guess he could write them in his sleep. And probably did. Take elements of techno-terrorism or sabotage, Africa, disgruntled teens committing seemingly random crimes, mix, rearrange. He didn't even bother to tie up several loose ends in this one.
Jul 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of chewy reads that take time
Recommended to Jennifer by: a large % of CLC's Biology Department
With each Kurt Wallander mystery I read, I'm more and more impressed with Mankell's ability to create a Swedish police procedural that pulls you in--no matter how dense the "procedural" aspects of the case are. Like the first book I read (Faceless Killers), this is no thriller with aspirations for movie-dom (you know the ones) though there are suspenseful moments. Instead, this is a layered, complex telling of two seemingly unrelated cases and how Wallander and his team slowly tease out the ...more
Laurie Anderson
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Satisfying police procedural featuring detective Kurt Wallander in rural Sweden. This is the 8th in a series of 11 and my first experience with the author. A case of two teen aged girls who brutally murder a cab driver and confess with no remorse that it was simply for money leads Wallender to look closer. Another case of a computer consultant dying of apparent natural causes at a cash machine provides an early hint that he was planning something socially disruptive. From this slow start, ...more
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2003-reads

Firewall: Any of a number of security schemes that prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to a computer network or that monitor transfers of information. What an appropriate title for this book, in more ways than one. First of all, the main area of investigation centers on trying to break through the firewall protection systems on the computer of a dead man. The police have reason to believe that a program in the computer may be set to cause some kind of destruction. The word "firewall"
Eva Lorenz
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first got exposed to Wallander and Mankell through the PBS mystery series and got immediately hooked because I used to gobble up books by Sjoewall and Wahloo. Let me say upfront, if you like realistic, modern crime drama that does not paint routine policy work as a series of great inspirations and glorified thoughts, these books are definitely for you.
The story is not idealized, it shows the police as human beings, flawed to the core, struggling with everyday problems of their own and drudging
Patrick Sherriff
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-and-such
I love the Kurt Wallander character, maybe because as I slip deeper into middle age, his world-weariness tinged with idealism that gives him only just enough strength to carry on are familiar aspects of life. With the author's death last month, I thought it was about time I read one of his Wallander mysteries. Firewall was the only one I have on my shelves. I think it's the eighth outing and I might hazard a guess that it's not his best. Written at a time when the Y2K bug was considered a real ...more
Daníel Freyr Jónsson
Firewall is a well thought out and well written crime novel. Kurt Wallander is a bit of an anti-hero but it's easy to feel compassion for him. In this book he's investigating a murder committed by two teenage girls that soon become linked to the death of a man that apparently died of natural causes in front of an ATM machine.
The story has its weak points though, e.g. the reason for the perpetrators to go to such great lengths in providing clues for the police to link the two deaths in never
A Man Called Ove
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 Kiego Higashino's crime novels focused on "How" instead of "Who". Often you know the perpetrator and the mystery is to figure out how a crime actually happened. Think Mankell's novels are on the same theme. Unlike Christie's novels, where a glance at the last page was tempting, Mankell's novels are all about the procedure - the journey and not the destination. And at 500+ pages, the journey can be long and sometimes frustrating but well worth it.
This was a typical Mankell novel with all
Tina Marga
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The death of a high-tech man brings us in the world of the computer firewalls, while Wallander himself is also fighting against his own firewall. There are only some minor flaws in the story line. Why does he take the computer freak Molin to his new lady friend in Malmö, where he himself has even never been? If his colleague is betraying him and going behind his back, why would he be so concerned about Wallander and safe Wallander's life? But the crime plot and the developments in Wallander ...more
Margaret Wakeling
I was disappointed. The actual crime story was good but the everyday actions of the police were boring. I got sick of hearing how tired they were, what they were eating, blowing their noses, combing their hair, their petty feuds- there was no real sense of them working together. Maybe it lost something in the translation.
Teresa Lukey
Apr 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
There is no doubt that the Scandinavian crime novels I have read thus far fail to disappoint. After reading Stieg Larsson and now my first Henning Mankell, either the Swed's are really creative in creating some really messed up situations or Sweden is a pretty messed up place to live.

This crime is relatively twisted and complex, but I didn't find the ending as exciting as other crime novels, hence the 4 star rating.

The investigator at the forefront of the story is Kurt Wallander, which I found
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio-books, mystery
I have come to the conclusion that Kurt Wallander is a lousy policeman and detective. He continuously snarls at his team, "I don't care! Do what I say!", he doesn't tell his team OR is supervisor key points in an investigation, he sneaks around behind everyone's back, he has anger management issues, chronic depression, and harasses people at 3am in the morning because he wants the answer NOW but then is irritated when someone calls him in the middle of the night.

Wallander believes he is the
Andrea Cox
Good police-procedural mystery that swept me into Sweden. I liked that I couldn’t guess what was going to happen next. The twists kept me listening, and narrator Dick Hill did a great job of keeping me entertained too.

Content: expletives, profanity, alcohol, tobacco, nudity, violence, love affairs (mentioned, not explicitly shown)
Romi || Romi Reads
Firewall deals with two, what seem to be entirely different cases. In one a man is killed in front of a cash machine and in the other a taxi cab driver is killed by two young girls. Wallander is convinced these two must be linked to each other somehow. At the same time he faces betrayal within his own team. Will Wallander be able to fix this, while also catching one or more criminals, who always seem to know the police’s next moves?

Every now and then I love myself a slow burning Scandinavian
Jonathan Lin
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First pass at a review.

Henning Mankell has a virtually flawless writing style. There were two points later on in the novel where there was just one too many plot twists to be bearable, but the conceit held and the tension became palpable.

I always dig into a Wallander novel expecting a good read, but Mankell surprises me again with the environments that he creates. I have no idea if Malmo and Ystad are really as he describes in the novel, and the only way to find out is to visit these places. The
Kurt Wallander's life is a mirror of the bleak Swedish landscape. With each book in this series, he seems to continue his dysfunctional personal downward spiral while still successfully solving increasingly horrific cases. Over 50, living alone, long divorced and in no relationship, his father now deceased, his daughter off on her own, diabetic and in poor health, in Firewall Wallander takes on two seemingly unrelated, sleep-depriving cases in the midst of mistrust and betrayal by his department ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of crime, suspense, and detective lit
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

Others in this Series:
1.) The White Lioness -
2.) One Step Behind - /Review
3.) The Troubled Man - /Review
Elayne Isaacs
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Tense, and intense. I find this character flawed and insecure enough to make him reader friendly. Well plotted and just complex enouth.
Bill H.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Correction of basic description--"soon the blackout covers half the region," not the whole country.

In this one, Mankell moves into thriller territory, as he did in The Man From Beijing. A small town in Sweden and its chief detective (Kurt Wallander) find themselves in position of stopping criminals representing international interests. If you accept that premise, then things move along as usual--Kurt's personal problems, conflicts within his team, misleads and hunches, missed opportunities, good
Bob Brinkmeyer
I love the Wallander novels and I've been reading them in German to improve my language skills. This one, as do all of them, push the boundaries of the mystery genre, as the turmoils of the ever-evolving emotional lives of Wallander, his family, and his co-workers are as central to the novel as the mystery itself. Indeed, it's the mystery of Wallander over the course of the novels keeps bringing me back to the works. This one is not my favorite (the crime is, well, a bit forced, with the world's ...more
Marlow Ockfen
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am a fan of Henning Mankell and have read the entire series of his Wallander books. I recommend them to anyone who like the slower pace of Northern European crime fiction. I honestly cannot think of a downside to his books. They are interesting and exciting, without over-sensationalizing the underlying social topics. The protagonist is a conflicted man, but not without convictions. The criminals are awful, but often with understandable reasons for the evil that they do.
My Swedish reading proficiency has come a long way since I read the first Wallander book a year or so ago. I didn't have to use a dictionary a single time; the words I didn't recognize I could understand from context. I jumped from book 1 to book 8 because of availability, but I didn't feel lost despite the elapse of years in his life. Wallander is no hero, but he is methodical and determined in his work, and caring in his own way, and I have begun to warm to him. I don't really enjoy slogging ...more
Joan Colby
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A procedural detective story starring Kurt Wallender can move along slowly and still be absorbing. Mankell is one of the Scandinavian mystery mavens and will certainly be missed.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Getting to know Kurt Wallander is like getting to know someone of a personality you never saw before. But once you know him, you see someone like him in people you never understood before.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great entry into the Wallander lexicon. Enjoyed this one immensely...lots of twists, some hard knocks for Kurt and a bit of grace at the end. Very well done.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Well written and up to date story. Thanks Elizabeth
Nancy Oakes
Number eight in the Wallander series (which, personally, I hope Mankell never stops writing),

It's a year after the events of the previous book (One Step Behind), and the story opens with the death of a computer consultant just after making a withdrawal from his ATM. As the team begins its investigation into his death, two young girls in a taxi beat and stab the driver to death. The girls are arrested, and claim they killed the driver for the money, which as it turns out, wasn't very much for
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Goodreads Librari...: Book is hardcover with 422 pages 2 10 Mar 02, 2019 01:00AM  
Un answered questions 3 30 Jun 15, 2014 12:26AM  

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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.

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)
  • The Man Who Smiled (Kurt Wallander #4)
  • Sidetracked (Kurt Wallander, #5)
  • The Fifth Woman (Kurt Wallander, #6)
  • One Step Behind  (Kurt Wallander, #7)
  • The Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries (Kurt Wallander, #9)
  • The Troubled Man (Kurt Wallander, #10)
“Could you hold Martinsson’s flashlight for a moment?” Wallander said to Hansson.
“Just do it, please.”
Martinsson handed Hansson his flashlight. Wallander took a step forward and hit Martinsson in the face. However, since it was hard to judge the distance between them in the shifting beams of the flashlights, the blow didn’t land squarely on the jaw as intended. It was more of a gentle nudge.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“What the hell are you doing?” Wallander yelled back.
Then he threw himself on Martinsson and they fell into the mud. Hansson tried to grab them as they fell, but slipped.”
More quotes…