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Roseanna (The Martin Beck series) Paperback – 6 Jan 2011


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Roseanna (The Martin Beck series) + The Man Who Went Up In Smoke (A Martin Beck) + The Man on the Balcony (The Martin Beck series, Book 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (23 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007439113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007439119
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘They changed the genre. Whoever is writing crime fiction after these novels is inspired by them in one way or another.’ Henning Mankell

‘If you haven’t read Sjöwall/Wahlöö, start now.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘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 writing is elegant and surprisingly humorous – if you haven’t come across Beck before, you’re in for a treat.’ Guardian

About the Author

Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, 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. Wahlöö died at the age of 49 just as their 10th book was going to press. Sjöwall 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.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
facts are what we need." Crane Wilbur

Facts are few and far between for Detective Inspector Martin Beck in "Roseanna". A girl's body is found by a dredger in a lock near Sweden's Lake Vattern. The body is naked and there are no clues as to her identity and the reasons for her death. Martin Beck is called up from Stockholm to assist the local authorities in their investigation. Through a process of time-consuming grunt work and dogged determination Beck and his colleagues try first to find the pieces to this jigsaw puzzle of a mystery. They first have to identify the dead girl. Next they have to identify the crime scene (one of a number of passenger ferries). Finally the have to identify a possible suspect out of more than eighty potential killers.

The pace of the book tracks the pace of the investigation. In the first few months of the case little progress is made. However, this affords the readers the opportunity to get a glimpse of Beck and his colleague's character and personalities as they go about the daily grind of their police work. The pace quickens and the excitement mounts as the jigsaw puzzle pieces begin to fall into place.

Roseanna was the first in a series of ten Martin Beck mysteries written by the Swedish, husband and wife team of Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall. The plot and structure of the four Beck mysteries I've read to date do not deviate from the standard format found in any well-written police procedural. However, what sets the Beck mysteries apart is their location and character development. Naturally enough, each book is a small window into Swedish life and culture in the 1960s and 1970s when the books were written.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Durston TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
Roseanna is the first in the series of the 'Martin Beck' series and was published in 1968. The series has provided inspiration for writers such as Graham Greene and Henning Mankell.

When the body of a young woman is dredged up from Lake Vattern in Sweden, Detective Inspector Martin Beck is called in to find the killer. The girl could have been raped or strangled by any of about 80 possible suspects, and so the painstaking process begins.

Initailly I had a few dificulties with the stlye of the writing and the absolute precision, like for example, people entering rooms at three minutes to five or car journeys that take five minutes 40 seconds. However, I did get used to it and came to quite enjoy the report-like accuracy with which the novel is written.

The real frustrations of police investigation was apparent and the book included details of weeks where nothing much happened, which was actually quite refreshing and gave the novel a feeling of authenticity.

Police procedure might have moved on drastically since the sixties, what with computers, email and the like, but strangely 'Roseanna' doesn't seem to have dated that badly.

Don't expect flowery language or much description. The only detail in the book is that which is absolutley necessary! Saying that, there were some very nice touches...a detective that shows something of his frailty was unusual and well written.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Westley on 8 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
"Roseanna" introduces Martin Beck, an overworked but brilliant Swedish policeman. When the body of a young woman is found in a nearby lake, Beck is called in to assist. The case proves frustrating, and months pass before any progress is made. Fortunately, Beck is persistent and sticks with the case, even as it begins to haunt his life. Originally released in 1967, the plot doesn't rely on high-tech police techniques - just good old-fashioned story-telling.
Married authors Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo crafted this fine novel, as well as subsequent entries in the Martin Beck series. The style of writing is sometimes dry and always factual, which adds a great deal of realism to the story. At times, the translation is somewhat awkward, particularly in the dialogue, but it doesn't detract much from the overall impact of the book. Crime Masterworks has re-released the series, and as always they've done a beautiful job. Recommended for fans of police/detective stories - I intend to read more entries in the series.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on 28 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A forceful and brilliant start to this classic series of 'police procedurals'. This is highly enjoyable storytelling, with the procedural aspect very much to the fore. Fans of Henning Mankell's Inspector Wallender series should check this out - it's the inspirational Ur text. If anything, the story of the husband-and-wife team of Swedish Marxists who wrote the series is even more fascinating, and there's plenty of material on them at the back of the book. For me, this was THE find of 2006.

The series should be read in order. Next up is: The Man Who Went up in Smoke.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sad Classics Teacher on 26 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
A few months ago, I showed a film about King Arthur to some Y10 boys. Several of them complained that the story was "totally copied" from The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I tried in vain to explain (a) that King Arthur came first, and (b) that there are some ideas which remain fundamental to human life, and to certain types of story, but they were having none of it.

From reading reviews on here, it seems that people are suffering from the same syndrome when reading these books, and I thought it would be a good idea to discuss some of the points raised.

Some reviews have taken issue with the fact that these books are "historical" fiction or "nostalgia". The point is that they were written between 1965 and 1975, and are contemporary with when they are written. So, yes, they are period pieces, which reflect life and attitudes in Sweden at that time but, no, you don't have to familiar with the era or culture to appreciate them. They portray the world of 40 years ago, but they have not dated in terms of human nature and actions at all.
It is agreed that in many ways these police procedurals by Jowall and Wahloo set the standard for Scandinavian crime fiction - they are the giants upon whose shoulders Mankell, Larsson, Nesbo, and others have stood. So when you read them, you will see elements which are familiar if you have read more recent writers first. For me, that means that I don't particularly want to read the modern ones again, because I feel that the Beck series has everything I need. Others won't feel that way, obviously, but people should not be hostile to this series just because it's not modern.

Some reviews have complained that these books are too short.
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