Someone is killing young girls in the once-peaceful parks of Stockholm - killing them after having his way. The people of Stockholm are tense and fearful. Police Superintendent Martin Beck has two witnesses: a cold-blooded mugger who won't say much and a three-year-old boy who can't say much.
The dedicated work of the police force seems to be leading nowhere, and with each passing day, the likelihood of another murder grows. But then Beck remembers someone - or something - he overheard.
©1967 Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (P)2011 Audible Ltd
The Martin Beck series hits one of its peaks with the Man of the Balcony, the police procedural in perfect motion. A long hot summer in Stockholm, irritated policemen with failing relationships both amongst themselves and with their families. The frustration at the painstaking nature of policework is beautifully painted against the background of an undercurrent of social failure, molestation and the authors' perception of the breakdown of the core social values of Swedish society.
Read/Listen to all 10 of these novels, though 40 years or more old now they still set the bar for crime fiction today, they are lean and perfectly formed, the characters well sketched out and the storylines more believable for the stolid nature of the police work they engage in.
"Good book in a great series"
This isn't one of my favorites from the Martin Beck series but it is still pretty darned good. Pacing was a bit off in this one for my taste, but you still have the great characterizations and that wonderful sense of place that has made these Scandinavian detective stories such a big hit. If you like Wallander (Mankell) or Blomqvist (Stieg Larsson: sp?), can't go wrong with their granddaddy, Martin Beck.
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