Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Masterful entertainment - Swedish style, 21 May 2012
This review is from: Beck - Series 17-20 - 4-DVD Box Set ( Skarpt läge / Flickan i Jordkällaren / Gamen / Advokaten ) ( The Scorpion / Girl In the Basement / The Vulture / The Attorney ) (DVD)
Number 17 in the popular series based on the stories written by Sjöwall and Wahlöö about police detective Martin Beck and his team who work to solve murders and other violent crimes in Stockholm and surroundings. This episode deals with a case of domestic violence that has seemingly escalated to murder as a man is found dead in his former home - which shows signs of a violent fight - and the ex-wife and their two children have gone missing.

The ex-wife is the obvious suspect, but all is not what it seems and it is up to Beck's team to solve the crime before the real killer gets to finish the job.

18:
A little girl is found starved to death in a root cellar and Beck and his team have to solve the case which is affecting everybody involved. Lena is back in town and considering applying for the role available in Beck's team which he is not entirely happy about.
19:
The former Minister for Sports disappears under suspicious circumstances and Beck's boss asks him to look into the case as the minister is a personal friend of hers. It appears that he has a gambling problem and might have been caught up in a dangerous game and Beck and his team work hard to find him - and hopefully before the vultures to whom he owes money.

20:
A Lawyer representing an old couple in court against a multinational company is killed right after announcing that he has found important proof that could potentially settle the case. Beck and his team investigates the case - without Gunvald in the field as he is suspended from active duty i an investigation of the shooting in episode 19.

All in all 26 episodes were produced in this series based on the Martin Beck character and set in contemporary times (the original books, of which I believe there was 10, were written and took place in the 60s and 70s whereas this one was produced and set in 2006, so very much still up-to-date). Each episode can be viewed on its own, but if you want to follow Beck's (admittedly pretty much non-existent) life outside work, it's worth watching from episode 1. I have watched all episodes up to this point and all have lived up to the high standard of acting and storytelling that we have come to expect from the Nordic crime writers.

As mentioned previously, the series is based on the books by Sjöwall and Wahlöö. I believe Jo Nesbo called them "The Godparents of Scandinavian crime fiction" and there is no doubt that they have been hugely influential on the current wave of crime fiction coming out of the Nordic countries. They were amongst the first to create the dour, humourless, antisocial and dyspeptic, but also very believable and real, main detective which we now know so well from other series. Peter Haber gets him down to a T and Mikael Persbrandt complete the casting of the main duo in the role of Beck's brilliant, ambitious, but temperamental and even more anti-social, sidekick Gunvald Larsson. They irritate each other the manner of colleagues that work closely together which of course leads to some very uncomfortable and sometimes rather explosive situations, but also to a lot of subtle humour and knowing winks to the viewers.

The DVDs come with Swedish audio and English, Danish, Finish, Norwegian and Swedish subtitles.

A highly recommended series
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