Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Don't watch much in the way of crime fiction on the telly but I do read a fair bit of it. I know I should watch it and I might invest in the Killing Series 1 on DVD to see what all the fuss is about (though I've probably heard more about the main characters bloody pullover than any actual "crime").
And like just about everyone else at the moment I'm getting into a lot of Scandanavian crime novels.
I enjoy (or am still enjoying to be precise) the Stig Larsson books and I really enjoyed the first book by Jo Nesbo. Camilla Lackberg's "Ice Princess"was an enjoyable read as well.
I've read a lot, though not all, of the Wallander books by  Henning Mankell and have enjoyed those. I did find the first couple a bit "dry" but couldn't make up my mind if it was the way Mankell wrote or if the translator had been a bit too literal. There appeared to be very little in the way of descriptive "flourish" in his books. Rather everything was described quite coldly and clinically.

Anyhoo.. A new series of books has been brought to my attention. The Martin Beck books by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö.
A Swedish Detective who like 99.99% of all fictitous detectives has not only murders to deal with but personal "issues".
If the first book in the series, "Roseanna", is anything to go by I think they'll be pretty good. Written in 1965 it's probably a bit "slow" for some peoples tastes. Certainly there's nothing in the way of car chases, shoot outs and they don't have "24 hours to save the president/world/whatever".
Rather; what there is, right at the beginning, is the discovery of a body in strange circumstances. There then follows a long description of the painstaking routine that has to be undertaken to identify the victim, establish motive and then track down a killer.
That maybe sounds a bit boring but it's the way this routine is described and the effect it has on the main characters that make it both plausile and enjoyable. If you like UK crime fiction I'd say that this is between Morse and Rebus (but probably gravitating closer to Morse).
Only another nine books in the series to look forward to. It'll be interesting to see how some of the minor characters develop as well.

Good thing about Scandanavian crime books is that I've a pretty large collection of Scandanavian jazz to listen to while I read it.
My next book I'm reading is set in Tzarist Russia. God alone knows what I'll listen to with that - Oscar Peterson in Moscow??

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