I seem finally to have found a type of genre-writing that I get.
This is a really fabulous, fabulous book -- better than Faceless Killers (which itself was excellent) -- a mystery set partially in the grim landscape of a decaying factory town in southern Sweden, and partially in the even grimmer setting of Latvia (Riga) during the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mankell's construction of plot, and his characters show mastery.
Modris Eksteins' Rites of Spring is one of the most astonishing books I have read over the last few years -- and reading Dogs of Riga puts in mind someday to read:
Anyway 5-stars for the Dogs of Riga