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The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjöwall

The Laughing Policeman (1968)

by Maj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö

Other authors: Per Wahlöö

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Martin Beck (4)

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1,265466,244 (3.91)68
Recently added byBrittanyGearhart, sangreal, cancione, private library, maneekuhi, siljefus, CandaceVan, pennjann, timaz



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English (37)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All (46)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
"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 |
This was another episode in the Martin Beck series.  Unfortunately, my library does not carry the print versions of this series, so I must continue with the audioseries.  I think I'd like the print version better because a lot seems to get lost in translation with the audio version (someone else's interpretation of the words, etc).  However, I still like the characters and series enough to continue.  In this episode the character development was even stronger because Martin Beck was investigating the death of one of his own police officers.  I also really enjoyed the father/daughter bond developing between Beck and his teenage daughter.  It added some sanity to his dysfunctional family life and I enjoyed reading about it.  Overall, a decent mystery. ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
The fourth entry into the Swedish police procedural series featuring Martin Beck sees nine people gunned down while riding a double-decker bus. Mass murder is not a common occurrence so this is treated as a high profile case but what makes it even more so to the investigative team is that one of the victims was one of their own homicide detectives. As there were no ongoing investigations for him to be working on, the reason he was on the bus in the first place is not readily apparent. Was he having an illicit affair with the nurse he was found next to? Or was there some ulterior motive for his presence? Martin Beck and his team set about trying to discover the killer’s identity and the motive behind such a vicious crime. Tracking their colleague’s last moments might just help them solve the case.

This is the first entry in the series where the socio-political elements that this series is famous for really come to the fore. It starts out with heavy-handed policing of an anti-Vietnam war demonstration where a letter and sodden placards are no match for tear gas bombs, pistols, truncheons and any other element of their arsenal that the police could use for crowd control. The investigation itself meanders to its conclusion through the slow process of eliminating all leads that provide nothing to further their ongoing attempts to solve the case. Jumping on anything that might present a new avenue of approach the team work diligently though not without the odd moment of fun in their interplay. This far in to the series the characters themselves are becoming more rounded and fleshed out and we get to learn more of what drives them and their strengths and weaknesses and I’m looking forward to seeing them develop further in future instalments. ( )
  AHS-Wolfy | Apr 5, 2016 |
This is Book 4 of the 10 mysteries featuring Martin Beck written by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo between 1965 and 1975. Set in Sweden and identifying the changes taking place in Swedish society ,they were the forerunners of police procedural novels and inspired a whole generation of writers.

A mass killing in Stockholm set in the late 60's including a policeman sets up the plot for a team of detectives to solve before the public gets very uneasy. Great story. Thanks to author and Early reviewers. ( )
  tbrennan1 | Feb 20, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (80 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maj Sjöwallprimary authorall editionscalculated
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.

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