Steven Mackintosh stars as Martin Beck, with Neil Pearson as his friend and colleague Lennart Kollberg, in this BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Murder at the Savoy.
The Martin Beck books, written by Swedish husband and wife team Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö between 1965-1975, set a gold standard for all subsequent Scandanavian crime fiction. Beck was the original flawed policeman, working with a motley collection of colleagues to uncover the cruelty and injustice lurking beneath the surface of Sweden's seemingly liberal, democratic society.
In Murder at the Savoy, adapted from the sixth book in the series, Martin Beck and Lennart Kollberg are called to Malmö in southern Sweden when an industrialist is shot whilst having dinner at the city's best hotel. People in high places want the case cleared up quietly and quickly, but Beck refuses to give way to pressure. Translated by Amy and Ken Knoespel and dramatised by Jennifer Howarth.
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The charactors and acting gave me the whole scene in my imagination
Beck long suffering but does never fails to see the hipocracy of his superiors but appreciates the skills of his team who contribute to his sucesses
Neil Pearson Colbert is sympathetic charactor who cares too much but his inteligence is often the key to the element in solving tricky cases
The hidden dark side of swedish society
If you enjoy inteligent and realistic drama without the modern trend for voyerism like in CSI
I have read and heard other examples of the Martin Beck stories written by this husband and wife couple credited as the parents of Scandinavian crime stories. In this one they are their most polemnical about the unfairness they see in Swedish society and the story suffers as a result. Because of previous experience, I was less surprised how marginal Martin Back is in the story and also appreciated the mild irony of one of his main critics coming up with an improbable source of help. There are plot twists and the narrative is shared by two actors who give it the deadpan, matter of fact narration that suits the writing of this writing team.
There are earlier and better examples of the style, story telling and character development and description. It is the worst Martin Beck story that I have encountered, but have three left to go.
I don't want to spoil the ending, but I found it unsatisfying and unsympathetic as well as feeling a little cheated.
The main mercy is that at less than an hour, I did not feel that I wasted too much time.
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