Home > Book, Book Review, Mystery, Reviews > Book Review – Firewall: A Kurt Wallander Mystery by Henning Mankell

Book Review – Firewall: A Kurt Wallander Mystery by Henning Mankell

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Book Description:

Eighth in the Kurt Wallander series.

A body is found at an ATM, the apparent victim of heart attack. Then two teenage girls are arrested for the brutal murder of a cab driver. The girls confess to the crime showing no remorse whatsoever. Two open and shut cases. At first these two incidents seem to have nothing in common, but as Wallander delves deeper into the mystery of why the girls murdered the cab driver he begins to unravel a plot much more involved complicated than he initially suspected. The two cases become one and lead to conspiracy that stretches to encompass a world larger than the borders of Sweden.


If you’ve been following my reviews here, then you know that I’ve been blowing hot and cold with Henning Mankell’s Inspector Kurt Wallander series… but wow, I have to say that book #8 Firewall is definitely one of the good ones (if not the best!) I’m glad I stuck with the series even though I wasn’t too impressed at the start – now I’m dreading not having a Kurt Wallander book to look forward to anymore! Out of all the books,  I found this one to be the most suspenseful and exciting – I truly didn’t know what to expect next. It starts out slow (per usual), but when the action picks up, it keeps going at a break-neck pace. I was on the edge of my seat with the last chapters! 🙂

I was actually a bit weird-ed out in the beginning of the book, there’s  a lot of reminiscing going on with most of Wallander’s previous cases referenced in one way or another. Maybe Henning Mankell meant  Firewall to be the last book in the series? It did end up with a nice full circle moment for Kurt – but I’m glad that he revisited Wallander again in later books.

In Firewall, the Ystad’s police force’s latest perplexing cases are  the apparent death from natural causes of an old man, and a senseless (and brutal) act of murder committed by two unrepentant teenage girls. Henning Mankell usually has a running theme for his books, and this time around, he covers cyber-terrorism and the vulnerability of the internet age (the book is set around the time period when people were worried about the Y2K problem /Millennium bug). Kurt’s latest is a real challenge to him due to his uneasiness with computer technology (he’s a virtual technophobe), but he eventually muddles through with the help of some young ‘uns (a young hacker kid plus a younger detective whom Kurt had been ‘mentoring’).  I just wished that Mankell would let his main character be happy for once, but no – Kurt spends most of the book embroiled in a media scandal, with his job in jeopardy, and later – hit with not one but two betrayals! Kurt just can’t get a break 😦 Who knew I’d develop so much empathy for Kurt (after finding him really unlikeable in the first books)

Fast paced, clever writing, realistic characters – this one is a winner by my standards! Definitely recommended.

Firewall: A Kurt Wallander Mystery (8) by Henning Mankell is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition, Paperback edition and Audible Audio Edition. * Also available in Amazon UK

The eBook is also available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo books and the Apple iBookstore.

For a second opinion – here’s some reviews of Firewall by other bloggers:

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