[[ Reading ]] ➸ The Dogs of Riga Author Henning Mankell – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk

The Dogs of Riga Second In The Kurt Wallander SeriesSweden, Winter, Inspector Kurt Wallander And His Team Receive An Anonymous Tip Off A Few Days Later A Life Raft Is Washed Up On A Beach In It Are Two Men, Dressed In Expensive Suits, Shot Dead The Dead Men Were Criminals, Victims Of What Seems To Have Been A Gangland Hit But What Appears To Be An Open And Shut Case Soon Takes On A Far Sinister Aspect Wallander Travels Across The Baltic Sea, To Riga In Latvia, Where He Is Plunged Into A Frozen, Alien World Of Police Surveillance, Scarcely Veiled Threats, And Lies Doomed Always To Be One Step Behind The Shadowy Figures He Pursues, Only Wallander S Obstinate Desire To See That Justice Is Done Brings The Truth To Light

10 thoughts on “The Dogs of Riga

  1. says:

    Kurt Wallander, Swedish detective, is inexplicably sent to Latvia to investigate the death of a Latvian police officer who was killed in Latvia.Wallander doesn t know why he s in Latvia Henning Mankell doesn t appear to know why Wallander is in Latvia I don t know why Wallander is in Latvia After 300 pages of Wallander being driven around Latvia, being cold, eating omelettes, drinking coffee, wandering around with a map, and sitting around asking himself why he s in Latvia, I don t actuall Kurt Wallander, Swedish detective, is inexplicably sent to Latvia to investigate the death of a Latvian police officer who was killed in Latvia.Wallander doesn t know why he s in Latvia Henning Mankell doesn t appear to know why Wallander is in Latvia I don t know why Wallander is in Latvia After 300 pages of Wallander being driven around Latvia, being cold, eating omelettes, drinking coffee, wandering around with a map, and sitting around asking himself why he s in Latvia, I don t actually care The subplot of shadowywhatever they werefreedom fighters made no sense whatsoever seriously, he s investigating the death of a police officer and he voluntarily lets himself be taken around by guys who throw hoods over his head To hang out with people with whom he can barely communicate in bad English Who does that , and the other subplot with the love interest was ridiculous Wallander is 40 ish, not 14.I should have paid attention to my instinct to drop this in the discard pile, but I was determined to ride it out I m going to pay attention to my instincts from now on

  2. says:

    Have you ever been to Latvia Me neither Turns out Riga is the capital of this Baltic state Back in the olden days of 1991 and thereabouts, this evil empire called the Soviet Union once and again called Russia home of the Rooskies controlled a big chunk of the globe, especially the cold wintry parts.Including Riga, Latvia I was happily showed otherwise when I first posted this review, check out the comments below and the friendly reader from sunny and warm Riga Another cold and dark pla Have you ever been to Latvia Me neither Turns out Riga is the capital of this Baltic state Back in the olden days of 1991 and thereabouts, this evil empire called the Soviet Union once and again called Russia home of the Rooskies controlled a big chunk of the globe, especially the cold wintry parts.Including Riga, Latvia I was happily showed otherwise when I first posted this review, check out the comments below and the friendly reader from sunny and warm Riga Another cold and dark place, though with happy trees and surly and reclusive police detectives is Sweden Henning Mankell s second Kurt Wallander novel was better than the first, 1991 s Faceless Killers, and much of the enhanced praise comes from Mankell s use of and exploration of the dichotomy between these northern countries and at this time and place.The Cold War was winding down, The Scorpions were releasing a song called Wind of Change , Ronald Reagan was telling eastern folks to tear down a wall, and Hey, let s face it, there was a lot of transformations in the world.In Latvia, citizens would get the choiceor less about whether to stay in the Soviet orbit or go it alone and free Mankell makes another interesting observation in that not all Latvians wanted Coca Cola capitalism, were just hunky dorey with communism but were dissatisfied at how the revolution was going Mankell also provides a good explanation for how, when the Iron Curtain fell, Russian style gangsters werethan ready to fill the void created by the end of totalitarian rule Why Because they were already there and in business.A lifeboat with two dead Russian thugs, having been tortured and shot, washes up on the shores of Sweden Inspector Wallander and his shift of Swedish police officers investigate until a Latvian police major arrives Later, Wallander is summoned to Riga to help the Latvian police and he gets embroiled in the changes sweeping the communist world.An inspired, introspective but dynamic story told with style and character

  3. says:

    Poor old Kurt Wallander I just want to buy the guy a beer and tell him to quit being so hard on himself The Swedish police detective isn t faring much better in the second book of the series than he was in the first Still lonely after his divorce and worried about his flighty daughter and elderly father, Wallander has also lost his best friend on the police force to cancer The new breed of crime rising in the early 90s in Sweden continues to shock him and makes him uncertain whether he shou Poor old Kurt Wallander I just want to buy the guy a beer and tell him to quit being so hard on himself The Swedish police detective isn t faring much better in the second book of the series than he was in the first Still lonely after his divorce and worried about his flighty daughter and elderly father, Wallander has also lost his best friend on the police force to cancer The new breed of crime rising in the early 90s in Sweden continues to shock him and makes him uncertain whether he should even continue being a cop.When a life raft with a couple of tortured and murdered bodies washes up on shore, Wallander doubts that there will be any way to solve the crime, and when the victims turn out be from Latvia, he s all too happy to turn the case over to the Latvian detective sent to investigate Of course, things don t go that smoothly and Wallander ends up having to travel to Riga and finds himself wrapped up in dangerous political and police corruption as the country struggles to free itself from the last remains of Soviet communism.Like the first novel, Faceless Killers, the main appeal in the books is the character of Wallander A great everyman sort of detective, who is very insecure about his professional skills and private life, Wallander seems always on the verge of just giving up in frustration Yet he always manages to keep plodding along and working on the case at hand, and showing the kind of grim determination that others call bravery even if Wallander would scoff at the idea.It s been very interesting to read these Swedish books that were written right as communism fell in Eastern Europe It gives a lot of new perspective to what that part of the world had to deal with

  4. says:

    I was looking forward to reading this one because it hadn t been adapted for Kenneth Branagh s Wallander TV series, which I ve been a fan of I suppose I should have wondered instead why they d skipped it This one starts off ok, with an intriguing mystery of suited men, dead of gunshot wounds, adrift in a dinghy There s some interesting hangovers from Faceless Killers, not least Wallander s former confidant, the deceased detective Rydberg haunting his decision making Mankell tries to establis I was looking forward to reading this one because it hadn t been adapted for Kenneth Branagh s Wallander TV series, which I ve been a fan of I suppose I should have wondered instead why they d skipped it This one starts off ok, with an intriguing mystery of suited men, dead of gunshot wounds, adrift in a dinghy There s some interesting hangovers from Faceless Killers, not least Wallander s former confidant, the deceased detective Rydberg haunting his decision making Mankell tries to establish two of the underused characters from the first book, Martinsson and Svedberg, and Wallander is havinghealth problems but before we can relax into the investigation he introduces a twist and Wallander ends up going solo for some extended cloak and daggering in Riga, Latvia It s very much a book nailed into 1991, in that transitional period between the Baltic state s break with Russia and eventual adoption into the EU Descriptively there s hardly anything beyond generic urban areas with brief statements of being in the countryside Wallander voices Mankell s philosophical musings about national identity interspersed with dollops of canine symbolism Let s face it Wallander isn t James Bond In fact he s probablyin line with Michael Crawford s Condorman I look forward to reading the next book in the series which hopefully will have Wallander, shouting at his subordinates, stuffing down cold pizza and struggling with his personal life in Sweden where he belongs

  5. says:

    I enjoyed the first Wallander book and this one starts off promising but it ultimately fizzles The set up rapidly takes us through some standard police procedural but after a few reveals it switches focus to a new, seemingly unrelated crime Wallander is promptly sent to Riga in Latvia and for much of the middle section he wanders mopes around Riga with little focus He can t seem to figure out why he s there and I couldn t either to be honest.After a lot of nothing very much he gets caught up I enjoyed the first Wallander book and this one starts off promising but it ultimately fizzles The set up rapidly takes us through some standard police procedural but after a few reveals it switches focus to a new, seemingly unrelated crime Wallander is promptly sent to Riga in Latvia and for much of the middle section he wanders mopes around Riga with little focus He can t seem to figure out why he s there and I couldn t either to be honest.After a lot of nothing very much he gets caught up in a possible conspiracy and things become a little unbelievable, given the starkly realistic portrayal of police work in the first book Some melodrama starts seeping in, very little happens and at times he starts behaving like a lovesick teenage boy Then he goes off to play at James Bond Kind of By this point I had lost interest and it all seemed rather silly Ultimately I didn t find the story or any of the new characters that engaging It s also quite dated an afterword explaining the rapidly changing political social situation in the Baltic states back in 1991 is interesting but highlights that times have changed.I still like the character and wouldn t rule out any further books, especially as most people seem to like them I d just rather he stayed closer to home next time

  6. says:

    Once upon a time I heard tell of a poet who always travelled with the same three books the Bible, Don Quixote and Kant s Critique of Pure Reason It was probably a symbolist poet now that I come to think of it view spoiler perhaps it was Alexander Blok, or Andrei Bely or just somebody like that hide spoiler Although I approve of travelling with a book or two I ll admit to being a bigamist reader as a rule I prefer a littlevariety even if this does require prolonged dithering in Once upon a time I heard tell of a poet who always travelled with the same three books the Bible, Don Quixote and Kant s Critique of Pure Reason It was probably a symbolist poet now that I come to think of it view spoiler perhaps it was Alexander Blok, or Andrei Bely or just somebody like that hide spoiler Although I approve of travelling with a book or two I ll admit to being a bigamist reader as a rule I prefer a littlevariety even if this does require prolonged dithering in front of the book shelves Sometimes though I entrust myself to fate, oraccurately, the glory and the grandeur of the airport or station station book seller And this led me to pick up Dogs of Riga.A couple of snarling dogs on the cover, the author had a familiar name, looked as though it would fit in a coat pocket whatcould I want Sadly it turned out that I wanted a great dealI see a lot of people have liked this book a lot Perhaps they are all crazy As a hypothesis this seems just a little sweeping, so maybe it s me I had the same problem with this as with The White Lioness I enjoy the characters and the settings, but with the second ormurders the story loses it s credibility for me In this case I was also unconvinced by Wallander s ability to smuggle himself back into Latvia and the final denouement.I suppose I buy into the gritty realism of the detective novel and simplistically take this to mean that it will be realistic Perhaps you ve read Homicide view spoiler if not, why not Do you think that Moses will deliver you to the promised land without having to wander through the desert for forty years Repent sinner Rise up and let your fingers do the wandering through the pages hide spoiler , perhaps you read the papers or follow the news and know that most murder cases are not at all like the stories in Detective fiction, but still perhaps you are still able to enjoy such stories I can t They just stick in my throat after the second murder I read about the second murder and I remember the man who tried to murder his parents by driving them into a canal British canals on the whole aren t that deep and are typically full of sludge So the man got out of the car and stood on the roof to get it to sink faster Passers by gathered on the tow paths and shouted at him until he got down and let his parents out of the car Later he drove round to their home and killed them with a shot gun view spoiler or what about the young woman whose mother forbade her from having a boyfriend let alone getting married The woman, despite being an adult and having a well paid job didn t just leave home but instead ordered poison over the internet from the USA and administered it to her mother via her favourite fizzy pop while she was watching television The mother didn t die The daughter then wrote a furious email to complain about the ineffective poison not realising she was being monitored by the security services The case came to court and the jury acquitted her Mother and daughter are now apparently largely reconciled hide spoiler The problem with this kind of stupidity is that it doesn t make for long novels However it is real and brutal Crime novels on the other hand generally seem too clever to be plausible If I was reading a book about city bankers in the middle of which a dragon crashed into Bishopsgate I d put it down to the culture of dugs and drinking among raider traders But intricate plotting in a murder story Nah Can you get suspension of disbelief transfusions yet

  7. says:

    Swedish detective Kurt Wallander is plunged into another depressing mystery when two bodies wash ashore on the Swedish coast in a life raft The two male victims have been shot to death and then wrapped in an embrace in the lifeboat and cast adrift They are carrying no identification, but their dental work suggests that they are from somewhere in Eastern Europe.The victims are finally traced to Latvia and a police official from Riga named Major Liepa comes to Sweden to participate in the invest Swedish detective Kurt Wallander is plunged into another depressing mystery when two bodies wash ashore on the Swedish coast in a life raft The two male victims have been shot to death and then wrapped in an embrace in the lifeboat and cast adrift They are carrying no identification, but their dental work suggests that they are from somewhere in Eastern Europe.The victims are finally traced to Latvia and a police official from Riga named Major Liepa comes to Sweden to participate in the investigation It seems clear that the crime did not occur on Swedish soil and so Wallander is happy to pass the case on to his Latvian counterpart and assume that his job is done.In fairly short order, however, complications ensue and Wallander winds up going to Latvia to assist in the continuing investigation The story is set in the early 1990s in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall The Soviet Union is teetering and this has major implications for the satellite countries that have been dragged into its orbit, Latvia included.The tension in the country is palpable Native Latvians hope to take advantage of the international situation to win their freedom from the Soviets, but many Soviet transplants to the country want to maintain ties to the Soviet Union The police force itself is divided and no one knows who to trust.The bulk of the book, then, takes place in Latvia against the backdrop of these tensions Wallander is basically a fish out of water, especially since he cannot speak Latvian The case he is investigating becomes increasingly complex, and Wallander is soon at the mercy of forces beyond his control.Wallander continues to be a fairly dour character who is now plunged into a very depressing situation In other words, although well written, this is not a book likely to brighten anyone s day The situation in Latvia is described very believably, and Mankell has clearly done a lot of research My problem with the book is that, in the end, I could not sustain the level of disbelief required to make the story work Wallander makes some decisions along the way that left me scratching my head and which were so illogical as to take me out of the story And I found the climax to be way too implausible This is one of those series that I read fairly infrequently Wallander is an interesting character, but he works best for me if I visit him sparingly

  8. says:

    My impending trip to Riga gave me the perfect pretext for reading this though it s actually the second in the Wallander series I haven t yet read the first Good job I wasn t relying on it as a guide to the city, as it was written prior to Latvia s emancipation from the Soviet Union in 1991, and portrays Riga as a depressing totalitarian wasteland in which every room is bugged and you re liable to get kidnapped by the Russian mafia at any point It certainly conjures up a very vivid image, ju My impending trip to Riga gave me the perfect pretext for reading this though it s actually the second in the Wallander series I haven t yet read the first Good job I wasn t relying on it as a guide to the city, as it was written prior to Latvia s emancipation from the Soviet Union in 1991, and portrays Riga as a depressing totalitarian wasteland in which every room is bugged and you re liable to get kidnapped by the Russian mafia at any point It certainly conjures up a very vivid image, just not of a place I would want to visit I loved it as a crime novel, though the sheer amount of detail makes it very absorbing, and the plot, though too convoluted to even outline here, is perfectly paced I can see why the Wallander books have become near ubiquitously popular the character is very interesting but completely believable, with so many realistic imperfections I m definitely going to readof these

  9. says:

    Book Review Dogs of Riga, the second in the Kurt Wallander series places Wallander outside of his comfort zone in Riga, capital of Latvia and without the presence of his familiar Swedish colleagues to whom we were introduced in the first of the series.Riga, LatviaAn oft rendered opinion of Americans by Europeans is that the average European appears to knowabout American politics than does the average American And so it is with slight amusement that I find Wallander cast adrift in the same Book Review Dogs of Riga, the second in the Kurt Wallander series places Wallander outside of his comfort zone in Riga, capital of Latvia and without the presence of his familiar Swedish colleagues to whom we were introduced in the first of the series.Riga, LatviaAn oft rendered opinion of Americans by Europeans is that the average European appears to knowabout American politics than does the average American And so it is with slight amusement that I find Wallander cast adrift in the same boat he knows nothing about Latvia Kurt is in fact ignorant of the eastern bloc nations and chides himself as to that fact as the novel finds him comparing Sweden, which he considers relatively droll, grey, cold, and saturated with a certain ennui, looks suddenly like the jovial Caribbean islands when compared to post Cold War Latvia.Spy stuff Hyper inflation crime as always politically motivated KGB like watchdogs everywhere bugs as standard in hotel rooms buildings and structures made of grey concrete left to whither in the country side violent and secret interrogations crime syndicates in cohort with corrupt government officials as they vie for post Cold War spoils an anti communist underground movement that meets regularly to oppose the betrayal of communism yeah, I had to read that twice too police officials where allegiances fall based on shifting power For Wallander, it is like trying to hold onto a greased ball Unnerving and gastronomically ominous.Struggling with the death of Rydberg to the big C, Wallander takes comfort in having dialogues with Rydberg s ghost instead Alone and miserable in Riga he is drawn to self delusion convinces himself that he is in love with the wife of the murdered detective, the crime he is there to solve at the bequest of the Latvian police But, is love really love when its origins lie in a another person s need for him Kurt prefers not to dwell on that, prefers his momentary delusions He could think only of Baipa Liepa.When thinking about the character of Kurt Wallander I could say he seems indeterminate, a bit clueless, often allowing events to shape the course of his actions, as opposed to shaping events himself And just as I m thinking this, I sense I m wrong about that He is a policeman married to his job even as he continues his self delusion by threatening to quit and apply for a private security position What at first seems like instinct, is actually years of experience coming to the forefront in short, brilliant bursts of revelation Wallander knows this about himself and trusts it Unfortunately, I think in this novel Mankell does Wallander a disservice as I don t think the resolution has much to do with any sort of brilliant insight on Kurt s part ergo the 3 star rating Still, he is like a blood hound that once having sniffed its prey, will follow the trail until it ends, one way or another.When your whole personal life is shit it is often the job that carries you through the worst parts of it And Wallander understands that Series ReviewHenning Mankell is an internationally known Swedish crime writer known mostly for this fictional character Kurt Wallander He is married to Eva Bergman.Henning Mankell AuthorIt might be said that the fall of communism and the consequent increase in Swedish immigration and asylum seekers has been the engine that drives much of Swedish crime fiction Mankell s social conscience, his cool attitude towards nationalism and intolerance is largely a result of the writer s commitment to helping the disadvantaged see his theater work in Africa In this vein, readers might be interested in his stand alone novel Kennedy s Brain a thriller set in Africa and inspired by the AIDS epidemic Mankell often traveled to Africa to help third world populations or read his The Eye of the Leopard, a haunting novel juxtaposing a man s coming of age in Sweden and his life in Zambia Mankell s love of Africa, his theater work on that continent, and his exploits in helping the disadvantaged is not generally known by his American readers In fact, an international news story that has largely gone unnoticed is that while the world watched as Israeli soldiers captured ships attempting to break the Gaza blockade, few people are aware that among the prisoners of the Israelis was one of the world s most successful and acclaimed writers Henning Mankell It is no exaggeration when I say that Henning Mankell is by far one of the most successful writers in Scandinavia, especially in his own country of Sweden The Nordic weather, cold to the bones, drives its populace indoors for much of the year where cuddling up to read the latest in crime fiction is a national pastime.For many GR readers who have been introduced to Kurt Wallander it is interesting to note that ultimately the success of bringing Mankell to English speaking audiences only came after bringing in the same production company responsible for Steig Larsson s Millennium trilogy for the wildly popular BBC version starring Kenneth Branagh Viewers had no problem with an anglicized version of Mankell s work, an English speaking cast set down in a genuine Swedish countryside Of course, to those fans thoroughly familiar with Mankell s work, it is the Swedish televised version that is found to be aaccurately portrayal of Mankell s novelsnot the British, sensationalized version And there s a reason for that.Henning s prose is straightforward, organized, written mostly in linear fashion, a straightforward contract with the reader It is largely quantified as police procedural work The work of men who are dogged and patient to a fault Kurt Wallander, the hero in Mankell s novels, is the alter ego of his creator a lonely man, a dogged policeman, a flawed hero, out of shape, suffering from headaches and diabetes, and possessing a scarred soul Understandably so and if some of the GR reviews are an indication like his famous father in law Ingmar Bergman, Mankell is from a country noted for its Nordic gloom But before you make the assumption that this is yet another addition to the somberness and darkness that characterizes Nordic writing Mankell often confounds this cliche with guarded optimism and passages crammed with humanity for Mankell, this is true both personally and professionally as a writer.As Americans we often think of Sweden as possessing an very open attitude towards sex and that this is in marked contrast or perhaps reprieve to the somber attitudes of its populace But this is a view that often confounds Swedish people The idea of Nordic carnality is notably absent in Mankell s work, as much a statement of its erroneous perception Swedes do not see themselves as part of any sexual revolution at all and in the case of Mankell ironic because the film director most responsible for advancing these explicit sexual parameters for his time was his own father in law the great Ingmar Bergman In a world where Bergman moves in a universe where characters are dark, violent, extreme and aggressive take note that the ultimate root of this bloody death and ennui lies in the Norse and Icelandic Viking sagas of Scandinavian history that dark, somber view ascribed to both Mankell and Bergman s work was often a topic of intense jovial interest between these two artists.For any reader of Nordic crime fiction, Henning Mankell is an immensely popular and staple read.Enjoy

  10. says:

    This second Kurt Wallander book was surpsingly different from the first My dissapointment after what I thought was the start of a very promising police procedural series makes me rate this lower than the book probably deserves.I was expecting another gloomy, realistic rendering of a murder case, and the first chapters offered me just that a mysterious boat is found in the Baltic with two unidentified corpses in it Wallander tries to unravel the mystery, but he has a hard time because there a This second Kurt Wallander book was surpsingly different from the first My dissapointment after what I thought was the start of a very promising police procedural series makes me rate this lower than the book probably deserves.I was expecting another gloomy, realistic rendering of a murder case, and the first chapters offered me just that a mysterious boat is found in the Baltic with two unidentified corpses in it Wallander tries to unravel the mystery, but he has a hard time because there are very few clues Unfortunately, soon the novel completely abandons this investigation and goes to Riga where it devolves into a badly written pastiche of the 1950 s Behind the Iron Curtain thrillers Everything, from the description of places, people and situations is shoehorned into a pre established narrative of venal Russian KGB officers against the spunky local Resistance From the first minute Wallander steps out of the plane he starts to criticize and to pass judgment on everything he sees And everything around him is ugly, dirty, dangerous.Maybe I could have accepted the heavily political premise of the book, if there was something of a police investigation in it But there s nothing here Wallander solves the case based on his intuition and a series of lucky coincidences, that are not based on any facts or discovery of clues It just occurs to him, out of the blue.I might try for a third book in this Henning Mankell series, hoping The Dogs of Riga was a fluke, and hoping Wallander will snap out a little out of his manic depressive obsessions

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