- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Fourth Estate (6 Jan. 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 (250 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Roseanna (The Martin Beck series) Paperback – 6 Jan 2011
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‘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
The first in the celebrated Martin Beck series --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
The series should be read in order. Next up is: The Man Who Went up in Smoke.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Saw the Beck Series on BBC4 and thought to try the books. Great read. Written in the 1960s - A nordic noir original.Published 1 month ago by Philip
Entertaining read that shows the highs and lows of detective work. Although, I never got the sense that the culprit was actually the "bad guy", I would've liked to have gotten a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rolaa
I love these Nordic Noir Crime Thrillers.
Realistically written in a way that has very believable character's and gripping story lines.
The ten novels written by husband and wife team Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö during the period of 1965-75 are now considered seminal and seen as a precursor for much... Read morePublished 4 months ago by MRS V L HALL
This book is a good read. Although the reader knows the outcome from fairly early on in the book, it is intriguing as to how it gets there.Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
The quality of the investigation may bre accurate. However I found it slow and laborious in parts and lacked any suspense.Published 6 months ago by Ben Casper