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The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjöwall

The Laughing Policeman (1968)

by Maj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö, Per Wahlöö, Per Wahlöö

Other authors: Per Wahlöö

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Martin Beck (4)

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English (40)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All (49)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Set on Stockholm in the 1960s, a Vietnam protest March as background, it ends up as a multiple murder of people on a bus, resonating today ( )
  jon1lambert | Jun 17, 2017 |
Enjoyable mystery with a decidedly European feel. The names are a bit distracting to an English ear but the characterizations are strong enough to help overcome this; the period details also pique ones historical curiosity.
( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
It really is amazing that such enlightened countries as those comprising Scandinavia produce so many excellent crime and mystery writers. The husband and wife team of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo can be added to the list that includes Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell and others. In fact, Sjowall and Wahloo could be said to head the list since many modern writers credit them with inventing Nordic noir.

Late on a rainy and cold November night in Stockholm a man walking his dog discovers a horrific scene. A double decker bus has gone off the road and crashed through a fence. Everyone inside is dead but not from the crash; they were all murdered with a machine gun. One of the people on the bus is a police detective. Detective Ake Stenstrom had pulled his gun but had not had a chance to use it. The police pull out all the stops to find the killer but the investigation languishes. No-one, not Stenstrom's superior, not his girlfriend, not his co-workers know what Stenstrom was doing on the bus. If they could just find that out they might be closer to finding the killer.

This book was written in 1968 (and it won the Edgar in 1971) but it really doesn't seem dated if you ignore the fact that no-one uses mobile telephones and nothing is on computer. Instead there are detectives who ferret out information by interviewing people and following clues and using their memory about previous crimes. Great stuff. ( )
  gypsysmom | Dec 9, 2016 |
"The Laughing Policeman" was published in 1970, written by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. It is the 4th in the Martin Beck series. A quick read, only 220 pages. The story is about the police investigation of mass murder on a Stockholm bus. A rainy night, a passenger boards, takes a seat in the upper level, assembles his automatic weapon, and kills about 8 people.

The story unfolds gradually, the police run into a lot of dead ends. A motive remains unclear, but then.....I had a lot of trouble with all the unfamiliar Swedish names and I got lost trying to follow links with certain key passengers. Also, I thought the translation was fair at best. It seemed too literal to me but then I assume a Nesbo book, also written in a Scandanavian tongue but 40 years later, would likely be better in this regard.

This was later made into a Walter Matthau movie several years later but set in San Francisco. Neither the book nor the movie are easy to come by these days, and may not be worth the effort. ( )
  maneekuhi | Sep 26, 2016 |
I found this one a little far fetched...but still enjoyable.
Re-read 2016. A bus is abandoned with eight dead bodies, and one injured survivor. A policeman is one of the dead. Martin Beck tries to find out why he would even be on the bus in the first place, which leads to him unravelling the case. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (80 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maj Sjöwallprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wahlöö, Permain authorall editionsconfirmed
Wahlöö, Permain authorall editionsconfirmed
Wahlöö, Permain authorall editionsconfirmed
Wahlöö, Persecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abella, ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arıt, AydınTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berf, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blair, AlanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blair, AlanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Čemerinskogo, GennadijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deutsch, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ding, ShijiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Font i Mateu, LaiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franzen, JonathanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goos, MarluceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoff, TrulsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jalonen, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jørgensen, Grete JuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kosenko, NikolajaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larsstuvold, RuneForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lexell, MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, BjarneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olszańska, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowe, MaryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schultz, EckehardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiner, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zatti, RenatoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Z̆ilina, MiloslavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On the evening of the thirteenth of November it was pouring in Stockholm.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679742239, Paperback)

In this classic police procedural, the ever-dyspeptic Martin Beck has nothing to be amused about, even though it's Christmastime. Åke Stenstrom, a young detective in Beck's squad, has just been killed in an unprecedented mass murder aboard a Stockholm city bus. Was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or did he push a murderer too far in his efforts to make a name for himself on the force? Realizing that Stenstrom's presence on the bus was no mere coincidence, his compatriots retrace his steps and chase years-old clues to a crime long thought unsolvable. Along with Roseanna, this is one of the best of Sjöwall and Wahlöö's ten Martin Beck mysteries.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The incredible fourth novel in the Martin Beck mystery series finds Beck heading a major manhunt in pursuit of a mass murderer.

» see all 7 descriptions

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