First edition (Swedish)
|Original title||Mördare utan ansikte|
|Translator||Steven T. Murray|
|Series||Kurt Wallander #1|
Published in English
|Media type||Print (hardcover, paperback)|
|Pages||288 pp (Eng. hardback trans.)|
|ISBN||1-86046-780-6 (Eng. trans.)|
|Followed by||The Dogs of Riga|
Faceless Killers (Swedish: Mördare utan ansikte) is a 1991 crime novel by the Swedish writer Henning Mankell, and the first in his acclaimed Wallander series. The English translation by Steven T. Murray was published in 1997.
Inside an almost isolated Skåne farmhouse in Lunnarp, an old man, Johannes Lövgren, is tortured to death and his wife Maria savagely beaten and left for dead with a noose around her neck. Inspector Kurt Wallander, a forty-two-year-old Ystad police detective, is put on the case with his team: Rydberg, an aging detective with rheumatism; Martinsson, a 29-year-old rookie; Naslund, a thirty-year veteran; Svedberg, a balding, forty-something-year-old detective; Hansson and Peters. Maria Lovgren is taken to hospital, but dies anyway. Her last word: "foreign".
Rydberg has been examining the noose around Mrs Lovgren's neck and "has never seen one like it before". He thinks that Mrs Lovgren's last word is accurate, and that the murderers are foreign. But his conclusion leads to several racially-motivated attacks after the information is leaked to the press.
Faceless Killers has also been adapted into a 90-minute television episode for the BBC's Wallander series starring Kenneth Branagh as Wallander. It was first broadcast on 3 January 2010. Fredrik Gunnarsson, who played Svartman in the Swedish TV series, had a cameo in this episode.