The Dogs of Riga

The Dogs of Riga

First edition (Swedish)
Author Henning Mankell
Original title Hundarna i Riga
Translator Laurie Thompson
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Series Kurt Wallander #2
Genre Crime novel
Publisher Ordfront
Publication date
Published in English
October 2001
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
Pages 326 pp (Eng. hardback trans.)
ISBN 1-86046-839-X (Eng. trans.)
OCLC 48571208
Preceded by Faceless Killers
Followed by The White Lioness

The Dogs of Riga (Swedish: Hundarna i Riga) is a Swedish detective mystery by Henning Mankell, set in Riga, the capital of Latvia. It is the second book of the Kurt Wallander series, and was translated into English by Laurie Thompson.

Plot introduction

When a life raft with two dead bodies washes up on the Swedish shore, detective Kurt Wallander is led on a wild goose chase that leads him to Latvia. Much of this book is a commentary on the unstable political climates of former Soviet republics in the early 1990s, before these countries faced the period of economic boom, stability and prosperity which started in the 2000s, and was interrupted to a degree again in 2008.


The novel was adapted into a theatrical film by Swedish public broadcaster Sveriges Television in 1995. Wallander is played by Rolf Lassgård. The film was directed by Per Berglund and released in the United States as The Hounds of Riga.

The novel also serves as the basis for an episode in the third season of the British production of Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh as the title character, and guest starring Søren Malling, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, and Anamaria Marinca.

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