The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell

The synopsis of The Dogs of Riga:

Sweden, winter, 1991. 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 more 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. 

The Dogs of Riga is the second in the series of Inspector Wallander novels and is definitely an example of a work of brilliance – in progress. The Wallander books are eventually brilliant, but The Dogs of Riga is that early example of the diamond in the rough, in that it’s a good book, but not a great book.

The Dogs of Riga sees Wallander investigating 2 murders with ties to Latvia. Wallander ends up in Latvia – helping to investigate the murder of a Latvian police officer. While there he gets dragged into the a political situation he knows little of & which eventually threatens his own life.

Of the Wallander books I have read so far, I have enjoyed this the least. Possibly part of the problem is that for me, Wallander is Krister Henriksson & I just could not picture him in this book. Also, I think it just wasn’t that great a book, it seems to be an odd departure for Kurt, into a situation that I just couldn’t see him getting dragged into “in real life” (<- I was dying to say that, cause we all know that Wallander really does exist, lol). To me The Dogs of Riga just seemed too far fetched & not really very “Wallander-esque”.


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