Author(s): Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo
The eighth book in the classic Martin Beck detective series from the 1960s and 70s -- the novels that shaped the future of Scandinavian crime writing. Hugely acclaimed, the Martin Beck series were the original Scandinavian crime novels and have inspired the writings of Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell and Jo Nesbo. In one part of town, a woman robs a bank. In another, a corpse is found shot through the heart in a room locked from within, with no firearm in sight. Although the two incidents appear unrelated, Detective Inspector Martin Beck believes otherwise, and solving the mystery acquires the utmost importance. Haunted by a near-fatal bullet wound and trying to recover from the break-up of his unhappy marriage, Beck throws himself into the case to escape from the prison that his own life has come to resemble.
'I have never read a finer police story.' Los Angeles Times 'If you haven't read Sjowall/Wahloo, start now.' Sunday Telegraph 'Their mysteries don't just read well; they reread even better. Witness, wife, petty cop or crook -- they're all real characters even if they get just a few sentences. The plots hold, because they're ingenious but never inhuman.' New York Times 'They changed the genre. Whoever is writing crime fiction after these novels is inspired by them in one way or another.' Henning Mankell 'Pick up one book!and you become unhinged. You want to block out a week of your life, lie to your boss, and stay in bed, gorging on one after another.' Observer 'The godparents of Scandinavian crime fiction' Jo Nesbo 'Some of the most gripping crime fiction ever written' Michael Connelly 'If you haven't come across Beck before, you're in for a treat.' Guardian
Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, both left-wing journalists and politically radical, met in 1961 while working for magazines published by the same company. They married the next year and together created the Martin Beck crime series, famously writing alternate chapters at night after putting their children to bed. Wahloo died at the age of 49 just as their 10th book was going to press. Sjowall currently lives in Sweden and continues to work as a writer and translator. They won the esteemed Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Crime Fiction Book in 1971.