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Summary

The Martin Beck books are widely acknowledged as some of the most influential detective novels ever written. Written by Swedish husband and wife team Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö between 1965 and 1975, the 10-book series set a gold standard for all subsequent Scandinavian crime fiction. Long before Kurt Wallander or Harry Hole, 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.

This complete collection includes:

  • Roseanna (1965) - translated by Lois Roth and dramatised by Jennifer Howarth.
  • The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (1966) - translated by Joan Tate and dramatised by Katie Hims.
  • The Man on the Balcony (1967) - translated by Alan Blair and dramatised by Katie Hims.
  • The Laughing Policeman (1968) - translated by Alan Blair and dramatised by Jennifer Howarth.
  • The Fire Engine That Disappeared (1969) - translated by Joan Tate and dramatised by Katie Hims.
  • Murder at the Savoy (1970) - translated by Amy and Ken Knoespel and dramatised by Jennifer Howarth.
  • The Abominable Man (1971) - translated by Thomas Teal and dramatised by Katie Hims.
  • The Locked Room (1972) - translated by Alan Blair and dramatised by Jennifer Howarth.
  • Cop Killer (1974) - translated by Thomas Teal and dramatised by Jennifer Howarth.
  • The Terrorists (1975) - translated by Joan Tate and dramatised by Katie Hims.

©2017 Maj Sjowell and Per Whaloo (P)2017 Penguin Random House

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Nigel
  • Berkshire, UK
  • 20-08-17

Gripping Swedish crime stories 5-stars* - Superb!


I seldom re-listen to books in my library, but the Martin Beck stories are superb. Actually I have already got them individually, but by buying them (again) all together has made it easier to download/ listen in order.

So good is this collection I would say they are near faultless - great performances by the actors and spot-on pacing. Gripping Swedish crime stories. Just wish there were more.

Fantastic, highly recommended 5*

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic adaption of a great series of books.

This is a fantastic adaption of the Sjöwall/Wahlöö books that gives them a new and fresh coat of paint. For me as a Swede who have heard about the books all my life and seen two tv-adaptations and more or less knows the story this felt fresh and at the same time familiar.
The cast do a great jobb portraying the characters and the production is well made.
Two thumbs up!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah W
  • west midlands, UK
  • 21-10-17

loved it

Really enjoyed listening to the short stories. Even got my husband and my adult son asking me to play it when we had to do long drives.. Sad it came to a end. I recommend this to everyone who enjoys drama and crime.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Loved this!

It was good in every way. Particularly liked Neil Pearson in lead role. The story was dramatic but human, with plenty of subtle humour. Interesting to see the early form of this genre.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Superb

Loved the stories and dramatisation. The combination of narration and dialogue is great. I caught some of these on the radio but listening to them all in sequence is better - there’s humour and pathos in here that you pick up better when you listen to all the episodes in sequence. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

One of a very few audio books that are even better than reading the actual books. V good dramatisation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Get this

Brilliant, loved it. How did we live before mobile phones, not as dark as most Scandinavian novels and better for it.

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  • C
  • 24-04-18

great narration

the cast added an extra dimension to the stories. the voices and narrators are people I have grown up with, and this familiarity made the stories more engaging

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Perfect

Glorious narrative, wonderful contemporary stories, delicious evolution of characters. Almost better than my usual bbc4 Saturday 9pm Scandinavian Noir. Usually audible is my background to cooking and laundry but there were moments this demanded my full attention.

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love Beck

Great characterisations by very good actors. I loved all 11 episodes just as I enjoyed the books.

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  • Anniebligh
  • 27-09-17

Outstanding

This is good story telling in a play format. The adaptation is excellent, the acting is 'spot on'.
While reading each of the 10 novels in turn could be a rewarding experience, this 10 hour plus audio. presents the scope of Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall's project so very well.

I understood Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö wanted to show the underbelly of their society in fiction form and their books do present social comment using a wide range of criminal offenses in a policing format.The police are human characters with individual personalities.

These stories capture a period in history for us now in 2017, looking back to the 1960's and 1970's.

The BBC Radio 4. with this superb production, and these talented writers and performers get a standing ovation and a few 'bravo' from my living room.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Kylie Ahern
  • 17-01-18

One of the best narrations

I can see why this is such a popular series of books, the storylines and characters are excellent. This recording has a full cast and wow they are excellent! I felt like I was in the room with them. The attention to detail with background noises was just brilliant. Loved it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful