Laura Gonzalez


29 Jan 2014

The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell ***

Reading dates: 17 – 26 January 2014

I like Mankell’s vision for Wallander, as I think he has found an angle on the tired cliché of the police officer detective. With Wallander, we get more: a believable character, questions of ethics and a focus away from the whodunnit and into what it means to detect. Yet, I think there is too much whodunnit in the second part of this book. Two well dressed chaps in a life raft turn up on the Swedish coast. As they seem to be Latvian, a charming but eerie police officer from Riga comes to Ystad to help Wallander. After his return to the Baltic country, something (which I won’t write about as it is a spoiler) makes Wallander go to Riga to continue his case. Although Latvia is portrayed in a rather seductive, dark way, the plot falls into a tokenistic love interest, a doubles game and a chase. Too predictable, even with Wallander’s lovely manner and thoughtful approach to crime. The first part, though, is just what I needed as I was lying in bed ill: an interesting page turner with mysterious qualities. Shame it all fell apart at around page 125.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading

One Response to “The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell ***”

  1. Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark said:

    […] recently criticised my review of The Dogs of Riga. In his view, it focused too much on plot. ‘Books are more than plot’, he said to me as […]

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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.