Faceless Killers

A Kurt Wallander Mystery

First in the Kurt Wallander series, “a brilliant U.S. debut”(Library Jounal) from the successor to mystery writers Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

“For me, Henning Mankell is by far the best writer of police mysteries today. He is in the great tradition of those whose works transcend their chosen genre to become thrilling and moral literature.” —Michael Ondaatje

Faceless Killers marks the “brilliant US debut” (Library Journal) of Henning Mankell’s highly successful Kurt Wallander detective series. Taut and atmospheric, this winner of Sweden’s Best Mystery Award is a gripping mystery in the classic detective tradition, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “an exquisite novel of mesmerizing depth and suspense.”

Early one morning, a small-town farmer discovers that his neighbors have been victims of a brutal attack during the night: An old man has been bludgeoned to death, and his tortured wife lies dying before the farmer’s eyes. The only clue is the single word she utters before she dies: “foreign.”

In charge of the investigation is Inspector Kurt Wallander, a local detective whose personal life is in a shambles. His family is falling apart, he’s gaining weight, he drinks too much and sleeps too little. Tenacious and levelheaded in his sleuthing, he and his colleagues must contend with a wave of violent xenophobia as they search for the killers.

Faceless Killers is a razor-sharp, stylishly dark combination of police procedural and searing social commentary that reaches beyond its genre to produce “a superior novel—and a harbinger of great things to come” (Booklist).



“An especially satisfying crime novel, like those of such past masters as Georges Simenon, Nicholas Freeling, and Sweden’s own Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.”
The Wall Street Journal
“If you haven’t read Faceless Killers, you have something to look forward to.”
Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Intelligent, moving and topical, this is a thriller of the very best kind.”
The Times (London)
“A well-crafted police procedural, the story moves along at a brisk pace and comes to an exciting climax.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Wonderful! Police procedural with personal texture.”
—Associated Press
“The first Kurt Wallander mystery remains a classic, biting dose of icy noir.”
The Plain Dealer

Books by Henning Mankell

Kennedy’s Brain
A Novel

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Before the Frost
A Linda Wallander Mystery

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A Novel

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The Eye of the Leopard
A Novel

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Goodreads Reviews