Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Dogs of Riga - post III

Although this is a great read it differs from the first book that had the feeling of being a police procedural type thriller into something that is more akin to James Bond. The thing that keeps you going is Wallander who despite the increasing implausibility you still belief in as a character.

Wallander having left Riga with the case apparently closed has made a promise to return to help solve the crime of the murdered police captain who came to Sweden to solve the mystery of the two dead drug dealers from all those weeks before.

His return to Riga to help solve the mystery of which police boss ordered the killing of the Latvian police officer who had come to Sweden involves meeting mystery people and heading across borders in the dark. Once back in Latvia he is introduced to a group working with the dead policeman’s widow but before they can become acquainted the police burst in and kill everyone except Wallander.

Without guides and support he has to resort to survival mode and steals a car and then reintroduces himself with a woman selling postcards at the hotel who was a previous point of contact on his visit to Riga. She hooks him up with the widow and they search for the testament of the dead policeman who will expose the corruption in the police force and name the superior officer guilty of crimes and inadvertently his own murder.

The pace steps up a gear and there is a final showdown with Wallander getting it wrong but being saved by the principle that everyone’s enemy has an enemy. Once the details of the case are closed Wallander asks the widow to come back with him to Sweden because he has fallen in love with her. But he travels home alone.

There is an authors note at the end of the book that Markell uses to point out that it is very difficult not only setting a book in an alien environment but also hard to set it against a political background that is changing rapidly. The fact that he tried to bother at all is obviously the result of something that drove him on.

A review will follow soon…

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