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The Fire Engine That Disappeared (The Martin Beck series, Book 5) by [Sjöwall, Maj, Wahlöö, Per]
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The Fire Engine That Disappeared (The Martin Beck series, Book 5) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews
Book 5 of 10 in The Martin Beck Series (10 Book Series)

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Length: 288 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

‘Superbly well done. It stars the gloomy head of homicide, Martin Beck, and is stunning right up to the last paragraph. The authors are ready for the great Simenon.’ New York Magazine

‘The tale proceeds at a fast clip, inventive and tantalizing as the pieces of the puzzle alternately fit together and fly apart…“The Fire Engine that Disappeared” is downright fascinating.’ Publishers Weekly

'A gripping read, brilliantly plotted and with frequent moments of hilarity or tenderness.' The Guardian

Praise for Sjöwall and Wahlöö:

‘Plots are interesting as well as realistic, the various homicide men are admirably characterised, and the amused, sarcastic comments on modern Sweden are a delight.’ Sunday Times

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

‘One of the most authentic, gripping and profound collections of police procedurals ever accomplished.’ Michael Connelly

Review

‘Superbly well done. It stars the gloomy head of homicide, Martin Beck, and is stunning right up to the last paragraph. The authors are ready for the great Simenon.’ New York Magazine

‘The tale proceeds at a fast clip, inventive and tantalizing as the pieces of the puzzle alternately fit together and fly apart…“The Fire Engine that Disappeared” is downright fascinating.’ Publishers Weekly

'A gripping read, brilliantly plotted and with frequent moments of hilarity or tenderness.' The Guardian

Praise for Sjowall & Wahloo:

‘Plots are interesting as well as realistic, the various homicide men are admirably characterised, and the amused, sarcastic comments on modern Sweden are a delight.’ Sunday Times

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

‘One of the most authentic, gripping and profound collections of police procedurals ever accomplished.’nMichael Connelly


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1061 KB
  • Print Length: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (20 Aug. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9EZ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #90,453 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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By R de Bulat TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am in the process of reading all of the Martin Beck series of book: there are only 10 and I have one more to go, unfortunately, as the books are addictive, well written and attention grabbling. The story centres around a fire - is it arson and murder or an unfortunate accident. The problem is that there are no clues either way for Beck and the team to get their teeth into. Then again, no-one really cares except Gunvald Larson. Bit by bit, the pieces do fall into place, mainly because there is something nagging about the incident, not least of all a fire engine wasn't there - at a fire that was. And where is the guy at the centre of it all: Sweden, Poland, France, Denmark? As usual, the murder squad team slowly and with the odd bit of good fortune feel their way through a mystery that keeps throwing up more questions than answers until finally, the questions begin to answer themselves. Completely gripping.
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Format: Paperback
Picked this novel up at a Oxfam book shop for only £1.50 and had previously heard Martin Beck plays on the Radio 4 which always held my interest.As for the book,it's well written but I found the story did drag a bit,it's a slow burner for sure,but this can be a good thing as there's no high speed car chases,violent shoot outs and a spiralling death toll unlike some books i've read.The book builds up a crime scene picture piece by piece and in a logical fashion and that's what pulled me in,together with a wide range of characters each with a different personality and what I really enjoyed was the way the story unfolded and kept its conclusion hidden until the final few pages.
There are only ten books in the Martin Beck series,one down only nine more to go!!!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The BBC's dramatisation of the fifth of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo's Martin Beck police procedurals is one of the very best even though Beck finds himself sidelined for much of the drama by Sjowall's favourite character Gunvald Larsson, the blunt, non-nonsense detective who suddenly finds himself an unexpected hero when an explosion at a house being staked out leads to him saving several lives and ending up in hospital. Written off as an accident, much to Larsson's fury, it naturally turns out to be deliberate (something no-one is too happy to discover), leading to an investigation into whether a stolen car ring could have provided enough of a motive for murder - especially since this was a very professional murder designed to have only one victim, something thwarted by a mix-up over addresses that prevented the fire brigade arriving on time.

With the emphasis on Larsson there's naturally a much bigger part this time round for the wonderful Ralph Ineson, whether he's butting heads with his superior Einar Ronn (Russell Boulter), who gets a much larger part this time round since he was Wahloo's favourite character to balance things out, driving everyone up the wall while in hospital or throwing in a wonderfully unsubtle mention of torture in Greece that's interpreted as a pickup line by witness who fancies him something rotten. But rather than the two authors having a busman's holiday with their two favourite supporting characters, it's a well-crafted mystery that finds a surprising amount of room for the further irretrievable breakdown of Beck's marriage, the contrasting marital bliss of colleague Lennart Kollberg (Neil Pearson) and Ronn's own domestic dilemma - a toy fire engine that's somehow disappeared from his tiny flat. An absolute winner that's one of the very best in the series.
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Format: Paperback
There is a bit of inconsistency in the Martin Beck series but this is a brilliant read, the sour comments about Swedish society are spiced with a bit of humour, and the best joke in the 10 volumes involves a Bohemian sculptress's magnum opus. Any fan of Scandinavian noir on TV will enjoy finding out where it all comes from, this edition has the air of a school textbook with a bit too much exposition for my liking, but is nicely presented and the translation is competent.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the fifth of the BBC adaptations of Sjowall and Wahloo's Martin Beck series of books, starring Steven Mackintosh as Beck and Neil Pearson as Kolberg. Whilst on a routine observation, the flat that Gunvald Larsson is watching suddenly explodes. He heroically helps several of the occupants to escape, getting injured himself in the process. Upon his return to duty he is surprised to see the case written off as a suicide. Martin Beck is also unhappy, and something is nagging at him. As they, and the rest of Beck’s team start to probe deeper they uncover a nasty little can of worms.

This is another riveting listen from the BBC in this series. Mackintosh and Pearson are superb as Beck and Kolberg, though this episode belongs to Ralph Ineson as Larsson, as Beck takes a bit of a back seat and the investigation is driven by Larsson. Well produced, great story line, great acting. 5 stars.
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By Blue in Washington TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
True story - just after reading this tight and witty detective story, I was riding in a taxi listening to the drive talk about his attempts to overcome writer's block and finish his autobiography (a kind of Middle European Walter Mitty with a lot of Alan Furst thrown in). I handed him my well-worn copy of "The Fire Engine that Disappeared" with the comment that he could consider it as a writing masters class. It didn't reduce my cab fare, but I'm willing to bet the novel will help him get his own book finished.

In any event, "The Fire Engine..." has been very well reviewed and I can only agree with those who have loved the book over the years. It still feels fresh after 40 years and, my God, the writing is so clear and witty and the characters so strong. There is a typically compelling procedural that follows the initial murder to be investigated. Overall though, it really is the wonderful characters--led by the estimable Martin Beck--who make this book and its fellows so enjoyable.

A fine, quick read that will make you anxious to get a hold of everything in the Martin Beck series.
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