Kerry reviewed The White Lioness (Kurt Wallander, Bk 3) on
Helpful Score: 3
A change in narrative viewpoint makes this story better than second Wallander story, "Dogs of Riga." Mankell's first two stories were shorter and essentially from Wallander's viewpoint alone. Narration of "The White Lioness" rotates through viewpoint of many characters. This makes for a much deeper more nuanced story with a broader sweep. Indeed, much of the action involves people in or from South Africa. The story gains some enjoyable variety when told from the "bad guys" point of view.
Third in the Kurt Wallander, police detective in Ystad, Sweden series. This was a big juicy detective story with underlying political intrigues, beginning with the murder of a Swedish real estate agent and ending with a plot to assassinate Nelson Mandela as South Africa was approaching the end of apartheid. Quite a wide stretch between the two, but plausibly done. Wallander was up to his old solo he-man tricks and the book was full of the usual Swedish melancholia, but I still raced through the book and found it hard to put down.
Tangent: Making contact at a single point or along a line; touching but not intersecting.
Henning Mankells The White Lioness is almost like 2 novels in one. On one side, we have the Swedish police investigating the murder of a Real Estate agent, along with a severed finger of someone of African descent. Investigation indicates that one of these actions, then both, are tied to a Russian thug who has entered the country. On the other side, we have a South Africa preparing for some sort of radical (at the time) departure from apartheid, threatened by a conspiracy to assassinate an influential leader but is it President De Klerk, or ANC head Nelson Mandela?
Readers can tell that these two stories are closely tied together, but the investigators in each country cannot. As such, it is not apparent to the Swedish authorities that they have stumbled upon a plot to alter world history nor do the South African investigators know that the threat they are seeking can be found in Scandinavia.
To be honest, I was not impressed with the first book in Mankells Kurt Wallander series, Faceless Killers or at least the first of those translated into English. However, as I already owned the second book The Dogs of Riga, I invested the time to read it and enjoyed it much more than the first. This book, the third in the series, surpasses the Dogs of Riga. I enjoyed it tremendously, and eagerly look forward to tackling the next book in this series.