The Fifth Woman

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The Fifth Woman


First edition (Swedish)
Author Henning Mankell
Original titleDen femte kvinnan
Translator Steven T. Murray
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Series Kurt Wallander #6
Genre Crime novel
Publisher Ordfront
Publication date
Published in English
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
Pages 428 pp (Eng. hardback trans.)
ISBN 1-86046-854-3 (Eng. trans.)
OCLC 59544856
Preceded by Sidetracked
Followed by One Step Behind

The Fifth Woman (original: Den femte kvinnan; 1996) is a crime novel by Swedish author Henning Mankell, the sixth in his acclaimed Inspector Wallander series.

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1996.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.4 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.

Henning Mankell Swedish writer, human rights activist and dramatist

Henning Georg Mankell was a Swedish crime writer, children's author, and dramatist, best known for a series of mystery novels starring his most noted creation, Inspector Kurt Wallander. He also wrote a number of plays and screenplays for television.


A sadistic serial killer has been preying on men, beginning with a retired car salesman whose interests appear to be limited to bird watching and poetry and whose body was discovered in a punji stick pit; and continuing with a flower shop manager, found starved and garrotted in the woods. Wallander soon realises both men have a past record of violence towards women, and after another man is drowned in a lake, he goes on the hunt for an avenging angel...

A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people, usually in service of abnormal psychological gratification, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant period of time between them. Different authorities apply different criteria when designating serial killers. While most set a threshold of three murders, others extend it to four or lessen it to two. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines serial killing as "a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone".

The punji stick or punji stake is a type of booby trapped stake. It is a simple spike, made out of wood or bamboo, which is sharpened and heated. Punji sticks are usually deployed in substantial numbers. Punji sticks are banned from use as weaponry under the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.


In 2002, The Fifth Woman was adapted by Swedish public broadcaster Sveriges Television into a four-part television miniseries, starring Rolf Lassgård as Wallander. British broadcaster BBC commissioned a 90-minute adaptation for its Wallander television series starring Kenneth Branagh. The episode was broadcast in January 2010.

Sveriges Television Swedish public service television broadcaster

Sveriges Television AB, Sweden's Television, is the Swedish national public television broadcaster, funded by a public service tax on personal income set by the Riksdag. Prior to 2019, SVT is funded by a television licence fee payable by all owners of television sets. The Swedish public broadcasting system is largely modeled after the system used in the United Kingdom, and Sveriges Television shares many traits with its British counterpart, the BBC.

Rolf Lassgård Swedish actor

Rolf Holger Lassgård is a Swedish actor. He is known for his many roles in crime dramas.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

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