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Henning Mankell is known as the “dean” of Nordic noir, so it’s only fitting that the first book in his acclaimed Inspector Kurt Wallander series won the first ever Glass Key Award, the eminent prize in Nordic crime fiction. By the time of his death in 2015, Mankell had written more than 40 books—including a smattering of children’s stories—and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. Faceless Killers, originally published in Swedish in 1991 and translated to English by Steven T. Murray in 1997, is a dark detective story that follows Wallander as he works to catch the killer who bludgeoned and murdered an elderly couple in an isolated farmhouse. Mankell was not afraid of making his left-wing values known, peppering in progressive sentiments throughout his work. In Faceless Killers, the crime coincides with a rising anti-immigration sentiment, and Mankell deftly weaves social critique into the police procedural to offer a true thriller that’s just as gripping as it is gloomy and grim. —Meg Zukin

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