Kurt Wallander Books

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Kurt Wallander is the lead character in the Kurt Wallander series of novels created by Swedish crime author Henning Georg Mankell. Mankell published the first novel in the series “Faceless Killers” in 1991, before he went on to publish nine more titles culminating in the 2010 published title, “The Troubled Man”.

Order of Kurt Wallander Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Faceless Killers ( By: Henning Mankell) 1991 Description / Buy
2 The Dogs of Riga (By: Henning Mankell) 1992 Description / Buy
3 The White Lioness (By: Henning Mankell) 1993 Description / Buy
4 The Man Who Smiled ( By: Henning Mankell) 1994 Description / Buy
5 Sidetracked ( By: Henning Mankell) 1995 Description / Buy
6 The Fifth Woman ( By: Henning Mankell) 1996 Description / Buy
7 One Step Behind (By: Henning Mankell) 1997 Description / Buy
8 Firewall ( By: Henning Mankell) 1998 Description / Buy
9 The Troubled Man ( By: Henning Mankell) 2011 Description / Buy
10 An Event in Autumn ( By: Henning Mankell) 2014 Description / Buy

Order of Kurt Wallander Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Pyramid: The First Wallander Cases (By: Henning Mankell) 1999 Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

Order of Kurt Wallander Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Pyramid: The First Wallander Cases (By: Henning Mankell) 1999 Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

Kurt Wallander is a small town detective working in the coastal town of Ystad in Sweden. He is a very dedicated cop who has a knack for getting the smallest but most important of details from any crime scene. His peculiar gift typically leads him into the making of unconscious observations that come back to him just in time to solve homicide cases. He is a peevish and irritable police officer who hates office politics, preferring a glass of wine and opera music. He has a tiny social circle that includes his father and Linda his perceptive daughter.

The first novel in the series “Faceless Killer” starts with a senseless murder of an elderly couple. The man is an elderly farmer who has his head bashed in while his wife is left hanging on a noose. The police arrive to find the dying woman, who utters the word foreign, before she expires. With the only clue in the case having something to do with foreigners, the detectives acknowledge the repercussions the murder could have on the already boiling anti-immigrant sentiment in Sweden.

For Wallander, the situation is easier to solve as compared to the problems in his life such as approaching the married but young prosecutor, dealing with his estranged daughter, and his ex-wife. What follows is an obsession with the case as Wallander throws everything he has on the case before the already volatile situation worsens. The novel is an enthralling narrative that shows the outstanding story telling skills of Henning Mankell, in dealing with some of Sweden’s most pressing themes, which won him the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award in 1991.


Several novels in the series have won a plethora of awards over the years. “Faceless Killers” the first novel in the series won the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award by the Swedish Crime Writers Academy in 1991. The novel would also win Best Nordic Crime Novel at the 1992 Glass Key Awards. “Sidetracked” won the Best Swedish Crime Novel Award from the Swedish Crime Writers Academy and the 2001 Best Crime Novel of the Year by the CWA Gold Dagger. “One Step Behind” won the 2001 Corine Literature Prize.


Over the years, all the nine novels in the series have been adapted into TV series produced by Left Bank Pictures and Yellow Bird. The series has aired in batches on the BBC between 2008 and 2016. The series was shot on location in Ystad in Sweden, and starred Kenneth Branagh in the lead role of Wallander. The novels were also adapted into Swedish TV series and films over the years.


The multiple award-winning first novel in the series “Faceless Killers” is for the most part regarded as one of the best novels in the Kurt Wallander series of novels.

One Step Behind The seventh novel in the series is a fan favorite that is set in Midsummer’s Eve. Three young friends rendezvous in the forest to play out an intricate masquerade. Out of nowhere, the three are shot each with a single bullet. The killing of one of Inspector Wallander’s colleagues soon follows the tragic murders of the three boys. Wallander takes up the investigation determined to establish any connection between the murders. However, he is always one-step behind, tantalizingly close, but not close enough.

Sidetracked: The compelling fifth mystery in the series that opens to a teenage girl commit suicide by setting herself on fire. Before Wallander can bring himself to terms with the suicide, he is called to the scene of the murder of a former minister of Justice that had been scalped and hacked to death on a beach. While he knows he can resolve the murder case given time, several obstacles stand in his path. Some of these include a tenuous long distance relationship, frivolity of the world cup tournament, and the impending cutbacks in his department.


If you love the Kurt Wallander series of novels, you may find the “Martin Beck” series of novels by Maj Sjöwall. The detective thriller series of novels follow Martin Beck, a maverick detective as he investigates a series of mysterious disappearances and murders in Stockholm, Sweden.

Many fans of the Kurt Wallander series also love the “Inspector Erlendur” Series by Arnaldur Indriason. The series of novels is about Erlendur and three of his colleagues who work in a Reykjavik’s underworld full of murder, robberies, and car crashes that they solve using a range of archaeological and forensic techniques.

What Is The Next Book in The Kurt Wallander Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Kurt Wallander Series. The newest book is An Event in Autumn and was released on August, 12th 2014.


1 thought on “Kurt Wallander”

  1. For a guy with such a boring and depressing life, Kurt Wallander sure if fun to read about. A lonely guy with a failed marriage and tons of regrets, Wallander sounds like a sad sack, but he’s actually a great detective and solves multiple crimes in his small Sweden town. I like the way that his flaws often come into play in his cases and the old fashioned style of police work in his town. Sometimes it can be annoying when they simply ignore modern technologies, but overall it is Wallander himself that keeps me coming back.

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