The other day, while reading a nice review of Sjowall and Wahloo’s Martin Beck mystery “Roseanna” on The Resurgent Bookworm, I left a little comment about the lovely set of the Beck books that I own. The response was a request for a picture of them, so here it is!

beck

 

Aren’t they lovely? OH gave me them as a Christmas gift several years ago, and I absolutely loved them – and not just for the fact they look so cool on the shelf!

Sjowall and Wahloo were partners in life as well as in writing, and they planned to write the series of police procedurals featuring an ensemble cast which would reflect the changes taking place in Swedish society. The books were seminal, and influenced amongst others Henning Mankell, who wrote the introduction to one of the books in my set. Interestingly, as I read them I felt sure that Sjowall and Wahloo had themselves been influenced by Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct books, ย which I’m also a fan of; and although I’ve heard that denied, I find it impossible to believe that the appalling and ineptย Kvant and Kristiansson aren’t a Scandinavian version of McBain’s equally useless Monaghan and Monroe!

sjowall and wahloo

However, putting that to one side, I would highly recommend the Martin Beck series to any lover of great crime writing; they put many of the others to shame. I’ve read and enjoyed the Wallander and Inspector Irene Huss books; and I’ve abandoned the Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo books because the violence against women is too gratuitous and stomach churning for me. But I’ll always love the Martin Beck books – they’re head and shoulders above the rest!

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