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Murder at the Savoy (Vintage Crime/Black…

Murder at the Savoy (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) (original 1970; edition 2009)

by Maj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö

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7971611,505 (3.66)16
Title:Murder at the Savoy (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
Authors:Maj Sjöwall
Other authors:Per Wahlöö
Info:Vintage (2009), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:ebooks, Your library

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Murder at the Savoy by Maj Sjöwall (1970)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
The murder victim this time is a thoroughly unpleasant capitalist who only barely stops short of wearing a top hat and filling his swimming pool with dollar bills, giving Sjöwall and Wahlöö the chance to push their political agenda a step further. Although the police work of solving the crime remains the most important driver of the story and there are all sorts of interesting details to take in (not least the perceptive look at the operation of a luxury hotel that obviously reflects Sjöwall's background as the daughter of a hotel manager), what this book is really about is not "who did it?" but "why?" - they are digging into the social forces that alienate people from the mainstream and provoke them into desperate acts. ( )
  thorold | Nov 3, 2015 |
The introduction to this volume (by Michael Carlson) is one of the better ones in this edition – finally someone who does not deem it necessary to a follow a mention of the authors’ Marxist leanings with a disclaimer that they are not preaching party politics.

Unlike communism or socialism, Marxism is not a political movement but a philosophy and an analysis of the workings of capitalist society (which both communism and socialism claim to build on – notice that there is a difference); in fact Marxism is probably to this day the most nuanced and incisive analytical tool in existence if one tries to comprehend the forces driving economy and society. And this is important for Murder at the Savoy, because while earlier novels in the series always had a strong element of social realism, it is here that Sjöwall/Wahlöö first attempt to tackle Swedish society as a whole rather than just certain localized aspects of it.

Depicting the whole of contemporary society as based on injustice, driven by corruption and held together by exploitation is of course quite ambitious for a police procedural, and while Murder at the Savoy is still clearly and unambiguously a crime novel, the authors just as clearly were not satisfied with the scope that following standard genre conventions offered them. And I would argue that it’s precisely an underlying Marxist analysis of Swedish society that allows Sjöwall und Wahlöö to open up their perspective here, providing a foundation that grounds their criticism and lends it impetus beyond the range of a crime fiction plot.

Which does not mean that the authors are neglecting that aspect of the novel – just like the previous installments in the series, Murder at the Savoy is an excellent police procedural, combining a compelling mystery with realistic descriptions of police work and plausible character portraits. Interestingly, at the same time as the series begins to present a broader perspective on Swedish society at the time, it also spends increasingly more time filling out the smaller details in the lives of its protagonists, painting small pictures inside the big one. In fact, it might even be the most admirable feature of this series how it manages to strike an almost perfect balance between prodesse and delectare – indeed, there are few works in any genre that mix instruction and delight as well as Maj Sjöwall’s and Per Wahlöö’s series.
  Larou | Jan 7, 2015 |
The introduction to this audio book (and the Kindle version) was written by Michael Carlson, book reviewer and film critic. In it he talks about what ground breakers Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö were, how they paved the way not only for today's Scandinavian writers but how they changed the conventions and direction of crime fiction forever, particularly that of the police procedural.

The thing that strikes you about MURDER AT THE SAVOY is how much detail there is, whether it is description of the main players, police procedures, settings, and interview transcripts.

In the introduction Carlson alerts you to look out for reflection of the authors' socialist views as well as how Sweden's economy is being manipulated by industrialists and magnates. Martin Beck is told to tread carefully in this case because Viktor Palmgren is so powerful, influential with members of the government. There is pressure on Beck and his team to not only catch the murderer quickly but also to avoid releasing any details that might reflect badly on the Swedish government.

In the long run, when the murderer is charged Beck feels that while justice appears to have been served the real criminals have remained free. ( )
  smik | Jan 11, 2012 |
Another installment from the Martin Beck series and this one I found equally gripping. The murder of a wealthy businessman proves tricky to solve one hot summer in Malmo. ( )
  tixylix | Nov 24, 2011 |
Un giallo classico, ben scritto . Interessante la descrizione della societa' svedese della fine anni 60 ( )
  mara4m | Jun 8, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maj Sjöwallprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wahlöö, PerAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Arnald, JanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Binder, Hedwig M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bruna, DickCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahl, ArnePréfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Engen, BodilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ipsen, HenningTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knoepsel, AmyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knoespal, KenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maass, Hans-JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mackintosh, StevenReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, BjarneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polet, CoraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ritanoro, RiittaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suyling, KarelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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With a New Introduction by Arne Dahl When Viktor Palmgren, a powerful Swedish industrialist is shot during his after-dinner speech in the luxurious Hotel Savoy, it sends a shiver down the spine of the international money markets and puts the tiny town of Malmo on edge. However, no one in the restaurant, not even the victim before his death, was able to identify the gunman, and local police were sheepishly baffled. Beck takes over the scene and finds a web of vice so despicable that it's hard to imagine who "wouldn't "want Palmgren dead, but that doesn't stop him and his team of dedicated detectives from tackling one of their most intriguing cases yet.… (more)

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