Read Les Terroristes by Maj Sjöwall Per Wahlöö Online


Steven Mackintosh stars as dogged, dyspeptic detective Martin Beck, with Neil Pearson as his friend and colleague Lennart Kollberg, in this BBC Radio 4 dramatization of "The Terrorists."The Martin Beck books are widely acknowledged as some of the most influential detective novels ever written. Coauthored by Swedish husband and wife team Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo between 1Steven Mackintosh stars as dogged, dyspeptic detective Martin Beck, with Neil Pearson as his friend and colleague Lennart Kollberg, in this BBC Radio 4 dramatization of "The Terrorists."The Martin Beck books are widely acknowledged as some of the most influential detective novels ever written. Coauthored by Swedish husband and wife team Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo between 1965 and 1975, the ten-book series set a gold standard for all subsequent Scandinavian crime fiction.Long before Kurt Wallander or Harry Hole, Beck was the original flawed policeman, working with a motley collection of colleagues to uncover the cruelty and injustice lurking beneath the surface of Sweden s seemingly liberal, democratic society.In "The Terrorists," adapted from the final book in the series, Martin Beck leads a team trying to prevent a terrorist attack on a controversial American senator paying an official visit to Sweden. Meanwhile, an eighteen-year-old woman is accused of a bank robbery she never meant to commit."...

Title : Les Terroristes
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 25175692
Format Type : e-Book
Number of Pages : 482 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Les Terroristes Reviews

  • Algernon
    2018-09-22 22:00

    rating for the series as a whole, now that I'm finished with the last installment, Over the years, more than one person had wondered what it was that made Martin Beck such a good policeman. A legitimate question, given the enduring popularity of this series of ten police procedural novels written 50 years ago and still considered among the best in the field. For the authors, it is a rhetorical question, aboundantly answered in the actions of their lead character: "... a systematic mind, common sense, and conscientiousness", in that order. Many popular writers have tried to explain their own interest in Beck, and each of the ten novels is introduced by one of these big guns in the field. I usually avoid introductions, trying to make my own mind about what I am reading before I check out what others critics think, but in this present case, I believe Dennis Lehane is much more articulate than I could ever hope to be, so I will let him present Martin Beck to you: As this novel - the tenth in the series - is Martin Beck's swan song, it's worth noting that in the annals of realistic fictional policemen, Beck stands a full head above most. He carries plenty of psychic scars and admits to a depressive personality, but he's not gloom laden to the point of masochistic self-pity that so often masquerades as a hard-boiled hero's tragic worldview. Beck is a dogged worker bee entering his later middle-aged years with a healthy romantic life and no illusions about his place in the larger scheme of things. However exceptional, he is a civil servant. A great cop, yes, but in Sjowall and Wahloo's vision, a great cop is little more than a great functionary in a hopelessly flawed system. Beck's talents include "his good memory, his obstinacy, which was occasionally mule-like ... his capacity for logical thought ... and finding the time for everything that had anything to do with a case, even if this meant following up small details that later turned out to be of no significance"This is what makes a great cop - not the gun, not outsized emotion, not a need to tilt at windmills and otherwise rage against machines. That's the writer's job. The cop's job is to persevere, to examine the evidence, collate the data, push the papers, and work the case to its end. With an apology for the long quote, put here more for my own later reference, I will next remark on the writer's job, what Lehane calls "tilting at windmills". Over the ten book journey, I have remarked on the increasing acerbity of the social polemic promoted by Sjowall and Wahloo. The murder cases under investigation start with an anonymous victim of a deranged serial killer in "Roseanna", and slowly evolve into a condemnation of society in its entirety, in particular of the incompetent bureaucracy that controls the centralized police force. Martin Beck is apolitical, a functionary doing his job, but even for himself it becomes impossible to ignore the larger significance of the murders cases that land on his desk. For his colleague and best friend Kollberg, the pressure to conform to a rotten system proved too much, so he throws in the towel and quits. Martin is resigned to the loss of his friend, but this way out is not an option for him, too aware that it is the responsiblity of a good person to continue to do his job to the best of his ability: He's a nice man. I like his wife, too. And I think he did the right thing. He saw that the police as an organization devoted itself to terrorizing mainly two categories of people, socialists and people who couldn't make it in our class society. He acted according to his conscience and convinctions. It comes as no surprise to readers who followed the series in publication order, that the last book is dominated by the social issues to an unprecedented level. Given that Wahloo knew he was dying of cancer, it is probably not surprising that he turned the final chapter into a fiery anti-establishment manifesto. With his life partner Maj Sjowall, they close 'The Story of Crime' with the whole government put on trial for murders against 'the people'. I think lots of people know perfectly well they're being cheated and betrayed, but most people are too scared or too comfortable to say anything. It doesn't help to protest or complain, either, because the people in power don't pay any attention. They don't care about anything except their own importance, they don't care about ordinary people. There are several kinds of terrorists in this last novel, and analyzing their methods and their ideology is probably going to spoil the outcome of the investigation, so tread carefully from this point on.------------The novel starts with three unrelated events: a young woman is accused of robbing a bank, a producer of pornographic movies is assassinated in the house of his mistress, and a president of a Latin American country is blown to pieces by a hidden bomb on an official visit, despite comprehensive protective measures. Beck, as head of the Crime section of Stockholm's police is involved in the first two, and is later assigned as coordinator for security measures surrounding the visit of a powerful American senator to Sweden. Given the absence of old time friend Kollberg, Beck has to rely to a greater degree on Gunvald Larsson, despite their mutual dislike.The trend of blaming the system and the incompetent of ill-intended oligarchy was started several books back in the series, but it reaches its peak here, as the role are reversed and the criminals are cast in a positive light and their actions are seen as justified rebellion in the face of gross injustice. The victims or targets are cast as guilty as charged of crimes against humanity. (view spoiler)[ the young unwed mother is pushed over the edge by a combination of incompetence and indifference as her boyfriend is arrested in the US for draft dodging and her visit to a bank to ask for a loan is turned into a tragic comedy of errors; the pornographer gets his just deserts for the corruption of young girls with drugs and empty promises; the American Senator is the epitome of militaristic adventurism and war crimes; the head of government pays the price of the whole systematic plunder of resources and accumulation of wealth and power at the top of the social pyramid.(hide spoiler)]Pro bono lawyer Braxen captures the essence of the futile efforts of the individual against the system: A long lifetime's struggle against various authorities, and especially those who have more power than others, has taught me that one can seldom get anyone to listen, and even more seldom convince them that you're right. From the same Braxen, in case the point was not clear enough: What sort of people are they you get for murder and other horrors? Like the last one - some poor working slob who tried to hit back at the capitalist bastard who had destroyed his life. Such blatant embrace of socialist politics might have been a turn-off, a disconnect, in the hands of less skillfull writers. But Sjowall and Wahloo are working together like a fine tuned piano, tugging at the heart strings with their tale of woe of the simple men and women, carefully escalating the tension of the chase and depicting the slow accumulation of clues with consummate art. Without humour and a touch of love this tale would be grim and depressing, but sometimes the same humour is of such a dark shade that the laughter is coming hand in hand with fury: You mean he thought your abbreviation for 'clod squad' stood for 'commando section.' ? It's even harder to laugh when you know that several years after the book was published, life overtook fiction and (view spoiler)[ the prime minister of Sweden was assassinated in a bizare incident while his secret service detail was absent from duty(hide spoiler)]. Regarding the unequal struggle between the oligarchy and the disenfranchised citizens, I can't help but notice that Sjowall and Wahloo's arguments, situated unapologetically at the extreme left of the political spectrum, are nevertheless echoed today in the indifference of the major players to the demonstrations and grass roots movements of their electorate: protests against globalization, mass surveillance, money in politics, too big to fall banks and widespread corruption come and go under the imperturbable gaze of the elite, while secret pacts are negotiated to give them and their corporations even more control over our lives. Recently - no; for as long as I can remember, large and powerful nations within the capitalist bloc have been ruled by people who according to accepted legal norms are simply criminals, who from lust for power and financial gain have led their people into an abyss of egoism, self-indulgence and a view of life based entirely on materialism and ruthlessness toward their fellow human beings.reiterates the attorney Braxton while Rhea, the late blooming new love in Martin Beck's life, exclaims: What a goddamn awful world we live in. , even as she continues with her small efforts to make life better for her small circle of friends and neighbours. I think of her, and the only hope I see for the future is in these individual gestures of kindness and integrity that always start from the bottom up.A lot of nostalgia and reminiscing about the past infuses this last novel in the series. I share in the sadness of necessary goodbyes to Beck and his idiosyncratic colleagues from the Stockholm Serious Crime Unit, many of them making cameo appearances in this last investigation: Lennart Kollberg, Fredrik Melander, Benny Skacke, Gunnvald Larsson, Einar Ronn, Asa Torrell, Per Mansson, and all the other memorable people that give a human face to the cold equations of murder.The influence of the work of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo is unquestioned on both sides of the Atlantic, and is often judged as the golden standard against which other police procedurals are today judged. The authors claim that they planned it from the start to tell their story in ten books, but my last quote reflects on the continuity, both of the criminal endeavours and of the efforts of good men and women to fight against them and against the root causes of evil. - "Do you remember ten years ago?"- "When we were hunting for Folke Bengtsson and the police had just been nationalized? Yes, I do, and I guess that is a time to remember. But everything that happened afterwards? No, goddammit."- "Do you think that was when it all began?" - "No, I don't. And what's worse, I don't think this is where it's going to end." ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Lyn
    2018-10-06 19:53

    The Martin Beck saga ends with Sjowall and Wahloo’s 1975 novel The Terrorists.Swedish police inspector Martin Beck’s career began to be chronicled by the talented pair of writers in the 1965 novel Roseanna. The Terrorists was not complete when Per Wahloo died in 1975 and Maj Sjowall finished the last few chapters alone.Quirky and with a personality all its own, this follows a meandering path between loosely connected sub-plots with the main plot following Beck and his team assigned to protect a visiting American senator from a group of international terrorists. Filled with interesting characters and a unique narrative structure this very early Nordic Noir entry may have prefigured the class of novels now more commonly known in this genre. Still, the writing is distinctive and has a charm and attraction that makes it stand out. This reminded me of 1960s films like Bullit and Dirty Harry, and I could almost hear a Lalo Schifrin score.

  • Brad
    2018-10-02 16:49

    Written in 1975 by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, The Terrorists A Martin Beck Police Mystery is about us right now.It is about the homegrown terrorists we make through our capitalist greed, our ever increasing inequality, our casting aside of those who don't fit into our neat ideas of a "normal" society. It is about the ideological terrorists who fight for a cause that isn't ours with whatever tools are at their disposal, tearing apart flesh and bone with bombs, blasting holes into skulls with bullets projected from sniper rifles, using their bodies as delivery systems for death -- all to make a point they feel can't be made any other way.It is about the terrorists who own us and rule us and manipulate us using the apparatus of government, unjust laws, and armed security forces to keep us in line.It is about the armies that we send out to kill and maim and destroy in our names. It is about how we move through our world surrounded by terrorists, maybe even being these terrorists ourselves, and how we can keep some modicum of what we like to imagine is our "humanity" in the face of it all. Leonard Kollberg and Martin Beck, Gunn Kollberg and Rhea Olsson manage to keep some of that humanity. I think Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö wished a portion of it upon us all.

  • AC
    2018-09-26 16:46

    Sjöwall and Wahlöö were lovers. And they wrote books together. Apparently, during their collaboration, they always worked by writing alternate chapters -- and then corrected each other's chapters. Wahlöö developed cancer and died in 1975, in Malmö, at the age of 48. The Terrorists was the final book of a projected 10 book series. Sjöwall has said that this volume was written almost entirely by Wahlöö, as he was dying -- in a race to the finish line. It is one of the better ones of this outstanding series.The books, of course, should be read in sequence, starting with Roseanna.This series was one of the first Scandi police procedurals -- and it is very effective. Moreover, by the end, one has come to know a series of very interesting characters. The books have interesting plots, and the plots are character driven in a way that most crime novels are not. They are not thrillers -- they are analytical.

  • Michael
    2018-09-30 17:00

    I have not read from this classic series from the 70’s that pioneers what we now call Nordic Noir. I have been collecting them over the years for just the right mood to take the plunge with Stockholm police inspector Martin Beck. A crazy impulse led me to check out the library audiobook version of this last one of the series of ten. I didn’t suffer from getting a mature version of Beck, who has a largely administrative post with the homicide branch. The crime he faces here is a potential one. He is tasked with assuring that the treats of a terrorist attack surrounding a state visit from a powerful American senator do not come to pass. He has to work around a lot of political drones and ambitious idiots in the various sectors of the police and state security forces. But he plays the personalities and marshals the talents of competent old friends with the mastery of a symphony conductor with aplomb. The high-stakes gambles he is forced to employ makes for huge stresses, but he rises to the occasion. He is not a true noir hero with a lot of baggage in personal demons and jaded outlook. He retains a more playful mind and warm heart and uses his cynicism about the crass motives of most humans as a source of insight. His adversaries include a meticulous Danish mastermind and two Japanese technocrats known for blowing up their targets around the world with clever placement of their munitions (e.g. on a gas line under the streets). Before the advent of cell phone snooping and vast computer databases, counterterrorism efforts are severely handicapped. This was fun and thrilling. I can now be comfortable going back to the beginning of the series to see how Beck develops in his personality and talents. It is sad that this series came to an abrupt end with the death of Sjöwall's writing partner Per Wahlöö in 1975. For an articulate and engaging introduction to the series and overview of their impact see Harry Roolart's review of the first, Roseanna.

  • Tfitoby
    2018-10-09 19:53

    I really needed to finally finish this series. The intended sense of despair and despondency of society going straight to hell that slowly grows from Roseanna through ten books in ten years until this point where people have finally decided to make a stand against the leaders who have brought this upon us was starting to make me feel like not bothering.As Sjowall was dying of cancer during the writing of this entry the plot takes an even more melancholy tone, the idealism of the political protesters that regularly appear as background characters in this series becomes almost as much misguided aggression as that of the constantly condemned police force. Here are some writers wondering whether all of their protests were worth it, at the same time when their protagonists - Beck et al - are wondering whether their personal sacrifices in becoming policemen were worth it.Beck has been tasked with protecting an American senator visiting Sweden after a terrorist threat is raised. It's smartly done on both sides of the law, the writing provides great tension and intrigue as well as the copious amounts of societal criticism that occasionally comes across as a grouchy old sod writing to their local newspaper. At this stage it's very much like spending time with old colleagues that you've grown to respect and care for, comfortable and relaxed. The painstaking procedural style action of the first few books has given way to a more conventional thriller plot except in true Beck style things deliberately end with a whimper and not a bang. It's been a highly enjoyable ride but somehow I expected more. I recently compared the series of books to the TV show The Wire, each book focussing on a different aspect of society to paint a grand picture of what's wrong, and I thought that show ended a little disappointingly too now I think about it.

  • Nancy Oakes
    2018-10-02 22:00

    The Terrorists is the tenth and final book in Sjöwall and Wahlöö's series featuring Martin Beck. In this installment, an unpopular American senator has planned a visit to Sweden, and Beck is chosen as head of the security team for the duration. The biggest worry is terrorist activity, and as Gunvald Larsson finds out while observing in a Latin American country, the terrorists do not play nice. While Beck is busy with trying to keep the would-be assassins from killing the Senator, he is also investigating a case dealing with pornography, drugs, and murder. Although the main focus of this novels is the measures put into place to prevent the death of the senator from a group who kill, get out and go on to their next job, the authors also reveal that there are other forms of terrorism that exist beyond the political -- and that they exist in every society.Excellent book, especially the scene when Larsson is in Latin America, but consistently good throughout. My only problem was this nit-picky thing: in the Vintage/Black Lizard edition of Cop Killer, Martin Beck's friend and fellow detective inspector had the last name of "Allwright," where in The Terrorists, his name was changed to "Content." I know exactly what happened and that each translator does things differently to try to fully convey the nuances of a language, but at the same time, it should be more consistent in a series of editions. I spent a few minutes puzzled, but it dawned on me that the name change was in the translation.Now that this series is over and my Vintage/Black Lizard Crime editions are all neatly shelved together, it's sort of a bittersweet kind of moment. I'm rather sad that I've finished all of the books, but the getting there was great. These authors have put together an outstanding set of novels that no readers of crime fiction should miss, even if you do not agree with the authors' political statements. The series was launched when Wahlöö sold only a minimal amount of copies of a book of his own political philosophy, and the two authors came to the realization that although no one was paying to read what Wahloo wrote, they would pay to read crime fiction. Thus began the Martin Beck series, collectively known as "The Story of a Crime." Actually, they managed to get their various points across quite effectively, and there are some truths to what they say. On the other hand, as Dennis Lehane points out in the introduction to this particular edition, "One wonders how Sjöwall and Wahlöö managed to live there through the writing of the ten Martin Beck novels, so negative is their depiction of not just the failed welfare state but the physical landscape as well ...The courts don't work, the schools produce little but rot, and the ruling class skims the cream off the top and turns its back as the poor fight over the coffee grounds."They've also commented on the state of the police force since it was nationalized, the treatment of the elderly, and a host of other issues that they felt arose as a result of what they saw as the failure of the Swedish welfare state to take care of its people, setting aside the interests of regular citizens for the interests of those most actively involved in capitalism.But politics aside, Sjöwall and Wahlöö gave us Martin Beck, the detective who started out on a patrol beat and became good at his job on the way up, and all of his co-workers, friends and associates whose lives we've followed throughout all of the books. And there are many humorous moments throughout the series as well -- the Keystone cop-like antics of some of the patrolmen, the inept Stig Malm, Beck's boss whose job includes a great deal of toadying to his superiors, and there are many standing examples of Sjöwall and Perlöö's wry humor that run throughout all of the novels. But the best part of these books lie in the authors' ability to create believable plots, to come up with ever-developing characters who often become frustrated to the point where they want to chuck it all but inevitably show up the next day for work (if they go home to sleep at all), and then they throw all of that in with their political opinions, and still manage to create a crime fiction series that stays on task, never getting excessive. The bottom line is that Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö began these books as their personal mission, but the series stayed consistently excellent, and it has entertained and will continue to satisfy millions of crime fiction enthusiasts around the world.

  • charta
    2018-10-08 17:38

    La stazione di metropolitana di Midsommarkransen con un bellissimo mosaico che ne riproduceva l'appellativo, attigua a Vattenledningsvagen e da cui ogni giorno mi muovevo, Sergels Torg, il Pendeltag - anche se allora non si chiamava così, il sole che d'estate sorge alle tre del mattino e l'imbrunire verso le due del pomeriggio, case e ville costruite sulle tante isolette dell'acrcipelago stoccolmese: un libro su una città che amo per se stessa e per i tanti ricordi che vi sono legati.Molto diverso il quadro che ne viene tracciato rispetto a ciò che ho visto e vissuto. Svedesi ignoranti, brutali e rozzi. Profondamente maschilisti. L'arte del rutto e della flatulenza coltivate in massimo grado. E' stato scritto agni inizi degli anni Settanta del secolo scorso e questo credo abbia inciso parecchio.Molta satira politica, forse troppa, che rende l'opera un po' datata e talvolta indigesta, ciò nonostante i personaggi siano interessanti.

  • Skip
    2018-10-16 15:59

    Set in 1975, the primary plot follows the assassinations of high-profile political leaders around the world by an impenetrable organization of highly trained killers. Martin Beck reluctantly accepts the job of managing an inter-agency group to protect a visiting U.S. warmonging senator. There are two other plots, all of which are well orchestrated: a wealthy pornographer has been murdered in his mistresses' apartment and a young homeless, somewhat addled waif of a girl has been charged with bank robbery, trying to protect her young baby. All three plots involve the irony of protecting the undeserving against monsters equally horrible, and continue the authors' sociological portrayal of Sweden in this era. Good policework by Beck and his team, especially in trapping the assassination squad, is the hallmark of this finale to a 10-book series. Don't skip the introduction by Dennis Lehane.

  • Dave Riley
    2018-10-13 21:34

    Superb and a fitting ending the the Wahloo/Sjowall series of Martin Beck novels. Published after Wahloo's death from cancer in 1975 -- this novel is sharper than the earlier ones in its critique of Swedish society. It also templates the 1986 assassination of the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme. That may be ironic -- but then that future conjuncture fostered Mankell's Wallander into existence.Swedish crime fiction rocks!Of all the crime fiction I've read these ten by Wahloo/Sjowall are the the closest to perfectly composed and pitched.Gems every one of them.

  • Maria João Fernandes
    2018-10-19 16:46

    Apesar de o último livro da série do Martin Beck ter sido publicado, pela primeira vez, em 1974, é tão inteligente e atual como os nove que o antecedem. O tema principal é o terrorismo, tal como o título indica, mas a história vai muito além disso, sendo as personagens e as suas ideias o mais importante.O enredo divide-se em três partes distintas.Primeira parte: uma jovem mulher é acusada de roubar um banco e Martin Beck é chamado como testemunha de defesa no seu julgamento.Segunda parte: um homem é assassinado e o responsável caminha calmamente, para longe do lugar do crime, à luz do sol da manhã, deixando para trás a arma do crime.Terceira parte: um importante senador americano visita Estocolmo e a força policial toma medidas de segurança especiais. Martin Beck é escolhido para liderar a equipa principal responsável.Ao longo dos dez livros, Maj Söjwall e Per Wahlöö fazem uma critica à Suécia, através de uma caracterização minuciosa da força policial. Da perspetiva de Martin Beck e a sua equipa, os autores revelam as consequências das decisões políticas para o cidadão comum. Acima de tudo, o casal sueco não teve medo de expor a forma como seu país é governado, mantendo presente a realidade, numa narrativa de ficção estimulante, perspicaz, complexa e, acima de tudo, repleta de significados sobre a vida e o ser humano.

  • Bettie☯
    2018-10-02 20:59

    The last one...Sat DramaThis could be the best of them all, and sadly, the end. Just goes to prove that a series needn't deteriorate into dross. *looks pointedly at Cornwell's Scarpetta*3* Roseanna (Martin Beck #1)3* The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (Martin Beck #2)3* The Man on the Balcony (Martin Beck, #3)3* The Laughing Policeman (Martin Beck #4)3* The Fire Engine That Disappeared (Martin Beck #5)#6 MISSING! Oh Noes!!3* The Abominable Man (Martin Beck #7)3* The Locked Room (Martin Beck #8)2* Cop Killer (Martin Beck #9) 4* The Terrorists

  • Thomas Strömquist
    2018-09-27 17:45

    I know that many hold the final book of the Sjöwall/Wahlöö 'Beck'-series in the highest regard, but for me, the book was (in light of the preceding 9(!)) a bit of an anti-climax. No, I don't think that Maj Sjöwall writing a much larger part of this due to the illness and subsequent demise of her life- and author-partner Per was the reason for the book dropping a notch. I do think that Per's illness did. Please note that nothing about the final offering does not shame the series at all, but, alas, it does not crown the achievement either. Any reader of the others will surely, however, want to read this last part.

  • M.J. Johnson
    2018-10-02 22:59

    This is the final story in the Martin Beck series and it doesn't disappoint. I'm not an habitual reader of police procedurals, and discovered these stories completely by chance. The series remains good from first to last and doesn't run out of any of its energy. Its interesting cast of disparate characters avoids cliche and develops in a satisfying way, with each book providing a highly enjoyable reading experience. Naturally, I liked some of the stories more than others, but all ten are consistently good. The whole series gets a resounding five stars from this very satisfied reader. Excellent. Will read again and probably quite soon!

  • Jake
    2018-09-22 15:40

    "The Terrorists" is the final book in Sjowall and Wahloo's Martin Beck series. It is a valedictory and a summing up, as well as being one of the two best procedurals in the series (the other is "The Laughing Policeman", book 4). The story takes place firmly in the mid-1970s- gone is any vestige of the idealism of the 1960s. Not that much of that 60s spirit reached Martin Beck, who was generally apolitical in his earlier career, and too depressed by his failing marriage to take much part in the free love. Happily, while 1970s Sweden seems to be collapsing in a series of catastrophes around him, Martin experiences a late-in-life awakening, finding both love and some satisfaction in his work. That leaves the reader with a surprisingly feeling of optimism, despite the events of the book.Those events are uniformly bloody and sad. Two cases intertwine: in the first, a young, naive girl accidentally robs a bank (she had thought "The People's Bank" actually gave loans to the people, and when she went in to ask for some cash, they thought she was robbing the place and had her arrested.) She is freed, but left on her own, with no money and a young child to take care of. Meanwhile, a pornographer who had tried to exploit her is murdered. Martin Beck is assigned the case, while at the same time trying to protect a conservative American Senator from being assassinated during his visit to Sweden. The book begins with Det. Larsson in South America, observing preparations for a similar state visit- it goes horribly awry and the head of visiting Prime Minister ends up in his lap, separated from its body by a large explosion.Events move very quickly: Beck solves the murder of the pornographer- it turns out he had seduced his gardener's daughter into a life of drugs and dissolution, and in revenge, the gardener had murdered him. Beck's team fails to catch the terrorists as they enter the country, but he is able to stop their assassination by having the State Television stations display the motorcade on a 15 minute tape delay, which causes their explosion to miss. This, however, does not stop Rebecca Lind, the young naif from the bank robbery, from shooting the Swedish prime minister in the head, in revenge for her ill-treatment by the state. She is arrested, tried, and convicted, but not before giving a short speech that fully encapsulates the authors views on modern society:It's terrible to live in a world where people just tell lies to each other. How can someone who's a scoundrel and traitor be allowed to make decisions for a whole country? Because that's what he was. A rotten traitor. Not that I think that whoever takes his place will be any better- I'm not that stupid. But I'd like to show them, all of them who sit there governing and deciding, that they can't go on cheating people forever.A few months after she is jailed, she commits suicide. The remaining terrorists are captured (one is killed). The book ends with a famous scene. Martin Beck, with his beloved new girlfriend, are over at his friend Kollberg's place. Kollberg has resigned from the force in the previous book in disgust at the way the police are forced to protect the owners of property at the expense of the people. They are playing a boardgame- perhaps Scrabble, and the book ends with Kollberg's first move: ""Then I say 'X'- 'X' as in Marx." This is taken by many as the closest the authors come to making an actual policy recommendation, but to a longtime reader of the series, it seems like a red-herring. Sjowall and Wahloo are fundamentally humanists, not Communists- they distrust all large institutions, including big businesses and state controlled police forces. Their main character, Martin Beck, has never shown any interest in politics, but throughout the series he has shown the deepest sense of compassion for the victims of the crimes he solves, and a deep sense of camaraderie with his fellow officers. He is stolidly middle class in his aspirations and morality, and one gets the sense that the authors believe that if everyone would just act more like him, the world would be a much less horrible place.

  • Ben Thurley
    2018-10-17 19:33

    A fitting end to the excellent Martin Beck series, The Terrorists perfectly blends human-scale story-telling, suspense and action, and social commentary.Gunvald Larsson, for whom readers now have a measure of respect and sympathy, takes centre stage as he travels overseas to learn about security measures to help Sweden prepare for a state visit by a controversial US Senator. The outcome of the trip is both grisly and grimly comic and introduces us to the terrorist group ULAG who will become the novel's main threat.Other threads, too, are woven. The personal becomes the political when a naive single mother is charged with robbing a bank and is defended by the comically shambolic and humane Theobald Braxén. And a director of pornographic movies is murdered in Malmo.The action and drama is superbly stoked, and the authors' anti-capitalist sentiments are as explicitly on display as at any other time, but this never overwhelms the narrative and I am a little in awe at how deftly we are drawn to the human emotions and consequences at the heart of these stories: the father who loses a daughter to exploitation and abuse; the mother who has no assurance of a future for her and her daughter. I particularly liked the way that characters who have been, at best, distrustful of one another in the past – particularly Beck, the plodding Einar Rönn, and Gunvald Larsson – have come to a measure of appreciation and understanding of one another over the long haul of police-work together.There's a warm melancholy in the novel's final companionable meal between old friends as Lennart Kollberg reflects that Martin Beck has "the wrong job. At the wrong time. In the wrong part of the world. In the wrong system." Followed by a playful authorial touch as Kollberg picks a final word to illustrate his choice of the letter "X" in the word game he and his wife Gun, Beck and Rhea Neilsen, are playing. The word is, of course, "Marx".

  • Sun
    2018-10-02 21:37

    It's quite sad to read the last of the Martin Beck series and to farewell the weary policeman and his idiosyncratic crew. Did Sjowall and Wahloo foresee the role terrorism would play in today's world? Or did they just recognise that terrorism would overshadow other crimes and would become increasingly important as a threat to modern society?The novel begins as Martin Beck is called as a witness for the legal defence of Rebecka Lund, an 18 year old single mother charged with robbing a bank. The prosecutor is the gung-ho Bulldozer Olsson (featured first in The Locked Room, but even he takes a backseat to the comical defense attorney Theobald Braxen. Meanwhile, Gunvald Larsson is sent overseas to learn about security measures for state visits. That all goes horribly wrong, of course, ruining his new, tailor-made suit in the process. Back in Sweden, a director of pornographic movies is killed in Malmo and Per Mansson investigates. All of these are somehow tied to the preparations for a state visit by an unpopular US senator to Stockholm. Martin Beck is put in charge and must prevent harm to the senator from the unseen terrorists of Heydt and Kaitan and Kamakazi. The anti-capitalist sentiment is not subtle but makes sense given Sjowall and Wahloo's surreal plot and extreme twists. A very enjoyable tale with unforgettable characters and a clever stroke of heightened suspense near the end.

  • Mariano Hortal
    2018-10-16 20:47

    Publicado en tenido que pasar casi 250 novelas de la excelente colección de novela negra de RBA en su Serie Negra para poder tener publicada, en su totalidad, las diez novelas que componen la serie del comisario Martin Beck; perpetradas por el comprometido matrimonio sueco Maj Sjöwall y Per Wahlöö, posiblemente nos encontremos ante una de las series más influyentes en el género europeo, no sólo para los nórdicos, punto de obligada referencia para entender la marea nórdica actual, sino para toda Europa.En mi caso personal, la primera novela que leí fue la excelsa “El policía que ríe” (1968), novela que se caracterizaba por un argumento original que generaba una trama excitante en la línea más clásica de los grandes del género; a partir de ahí, comencé con “Roseanne” (1965) y se fueron publicando en estricto orden cronológico, que seguí a rajatabla, hasta este año 2013 donde hemos visto la publicación de la última: “Los terroristas” (1975).Vista en retrospectiva, hasta los dos últimos libros que comentaré más adelante, hay que reconocer que la serie resulta muy consistente en cuanto a calidad e interés por diferentes aspectos y, además, curiosamente, hay muchas variaciones en cuanto a la forma de planificar y realizar los libros. Para los neófitos en los autores suecos, intentaré explicar un poco la evolución de los libros.La SerieEn “Roseanne” (1965) asistíamos a la presentación de Martin Beck, el taciturno investigador y protagonista principal de la serie, y también a algunos de sus secundarios que se convertirán poco a poco en un elemento principal de la serie. El caso (el asesinato de una mujer en el fondo de un canal) entra dentro de la más firme tradición de novelas de investigador puro y duro. Empiezan a comprobarse las buenas maneras del matrimonio con una trama muy bien llevada.“El hombre que se esfumó” (1966) y “El hombre del balcón” (1967) suponen una transición inevitable y enriquecedora que nos llevará progresivamente a su obra maestra “El policía que ríe” (1968); experimentan con la narración cambiando los puntos de vista, añadiendo incluso el del asesino; aunque el protagonista principal es Martin Beck (que es dibujado a la perfección en sus relaciones personales), el resto de personajes ganan tal importancia que se vuelven prácticamente “corales” en la tradición del gran McBain y su comisaría del distrito 87. También se caracterizan por ser muy ingeniosos en la resolución de los casos, tramas hiladas con maestría y, desde luego, mucho sentido del humor.“El coche de bomberos que desapareció” (1969), quinto libro de la serie, se convierte en la consolidación de lo que habían avanzado. En tradición con sus anteriores entregas, se trata de una novela coral clásica, donde la trama está muy bien hilada, el pulso narrativo está llevado con maestría, tiene humor… en fin, otra muy buena muestra de literatura policíaca que, además, tiene una resolución muy creativa.“Asesinato en el Savoy” (1970) es un giro radical en el estilo de los suecos, la novela se convierte en un pretexto claro para la crítica evidente (no sutil como en las anteriores) de una sociedad sueca desgastada por el crimen. Una clara muestra de novela social donde los escritores cargaron contra el capitalismo, las grandes empresas que lo controlan todo confabuladas con un estado corrupto. Todo ello redunda en una trama que es bastante más floja que la de las anteriores y sin ese punto de genialidad. Aún así, está estupendamente escrita, con descripciones muy gráficas pero al mismo tiempo cargadas de detalles y que resultan entretenidas. Una obra, aún así, por encima de la media“El abominable hombre de Säffle” (1971). Tras la novela de transición anterior donde parecían haber perdido un poquito la chispa, aquí los volvemos a recuperar en plena forma, creando una trama excelente sobre la corrupción y la brutalidad policial de la sociedad sueca de la época de los setenta. Novela cargada de grises y que hacen llevar a Beck y a sus compañeros a tomar posiciones ante una situación difícil, llegando a plantear dilemas de todo tipo, tanto éticos como de funcionamiento del propio cuerpo de policía y la sociedad. “La habitación cerrada” (1972). Supone la revisitación del clásico de las novelas policíacas en su vertiente más detectivesca. Una obra teñida nuevamente de la vertiente más amoral de una sociedad en descomposición. Muy densa, con una progresiva descoralización que fructificará definitivamente en la novena novela de la serie que comentaré más adelante.Los dos últimos libros“El asesino de policías” (1974) se convierte en la novela que cierra un círculo, Beck vuelve a sus inicios, el caso de Roseanne, con el mismo acusado Folke Bengtsson y un caso de similares características en la misma zona en que se produjo el primero.A pesar de la amargura de Martin, hay resquicios de una belleza que contrasta severamente con la crisis de la sociedad de bienestar.“De pronto pensó en un par de frases inconexas de la quejumbrosa cantinela general acerca de las cada vez peores condiciones que reinaban en el país. Suecia es un país espantoso, pero sin duda es espantosamente hermoso. Alguien lo había dicho o escrito, pero no recordaba quién.”Crisis que se ejemplifica sobre todo en el cuerpo policial: “-No, yo sé lo que usted piensa –gritó-. Piensa que yo le he hecho algo a Sigbrit. Pero no le he hecho nada. ¿No puede entender eso? Malditos maderos, sois todos iguales, aquí y en todas partes. Los policías sois ratas de cloaca y para lo único que servís es para subir a bordo a pillar alcohol y cigarrillos a cambio de dejarnos en paz.”Y en el propio Estado: “Estado de Derecho. La expresión estaba desde hacía tiempo tan corrompida que muchos suecos no osaban pronunciarla y otros se echaban a reír cuando alguien la mencionaba en serio. Ciertamente, existía una ley, pero la evolución de los últimos años había demostrado que esa ley podía subvertirse a conveniencia por las autoridades y el régimen. Los que estaban en el medio eran de costumbre los ciudadanos.”El final es una vuelta de los personajes y la recuperación de la trama a una ligera coralidad sin perder de vista el papel de Beck, un Beck crepuscular pero no tan amargado sino rehaciendo una vida que no entendió en un principio.No es su mejor novela pero, indudablemente, es una buena novela policíaca.“Los terroristas” (1975), la última novela comienza con una nota de humor, ya que la perspectiva cambia al gigantón Gunvald Larsson: “Es cierto que tiene tendencia a ser un poco bruto y grosero y se comporta de modo demasiado despótico. Pero no se puede negar que es uno de nuestros mejores inspectores criminales, a pesar de que le cuesta obedecer órdenes y atenerse a las normas.”En su progresivo viraje hacia la crítica social y al supuesto Estado de Bienestar, en esta última entrega se centran en la justicia: “En gran medida tenía razón. Los miembros del jurado eran elegidos entre la escoria de los partidos políticos, a menudo tenían una censurable relación de amiguismo con el fiscal o se dejaban dominar por jueces de carácter resuelto, que, básicamente, los despreciaban. En su mayoría no se atrevían a contradecir a las autoridades judiciales y a menudo no eran sino representantes de la mayoría silenciosa de la nación, quien ponía todo su empeño en conseguir el orden a base de leyes sumarias y no mucho más.”De lo micro, pasarán a lo macro, las autoridades del país son fuertemente censuradas, como podemos ver en la conversación de la pobre Rebecka Lind con Beck: “Sólo me habrían enviado a unos asistentes sociales y luego me habrían quitado a Camilla. Yo no creo que se pueda confiar en las autoridades de este país. No les preocupa la gente común, los que no son ni famosos ni ricos, y lo que ellos llaman ayuda no es ayuda de verdad. Simplemente te engañan.”Lo mejor del crepuscular Beck es que, a pesar de no estar de acuerdo con lo que vive, no entra en una espiral de autodestrucción como en otras novelas del género sino que más bien, reconstruye su vida hasta llegar una felicidad mayor de la que poseía antes; es un buen tipo, los autores están muy de acuerdo, y lo podemos comprobar en palabras de Rhea, su amante:“-Tú eres un tío estupendo Martin. Pero tienes un trabajo de mierda. ¿A qué clase de personas metes en la cárcel por asesinato y otros horrores? ¿Cómo hace poco? ¡Un currante marginado que trataba de vengarse del cerdo capitalista que había arruinado su vida! ¿Cuántos años le van a caer?”Y cómo no, su gran amigo Kollberg en esa conversación final: “-Lo que haces mal, Martin, es trabajar donde trabajas. Es un mal trabajo. En una mala época. En una mala parte del mundo. En un mal sistema.”Posiblemente esta última novela, la más voluminosa, sea el ideal al que trataban de aspirar y que reunía sus aspiraciones para construir una novela negra. En mi opinión no es la mejor, la trama está más diluida y menos elaborada; sin embargo es un digno colofón a una serie excelente y que tiene en sus primeras novelas, sobre todo hasta “El policía que ríe” y “El coche de bomberos que desapareció” sus momentos más sublimes.Comentario personal/críticoComo dice Liza Marklund en el prólogo de “El asesino de policías” : “La pareja Sjöwall-Wahlöö estableció un nuevo estándar para la narrativa político-criminal, conjugando una alta calidad literaria con hábiles intrigas dramáticas, así como añadiendo un compromiso social que proporcionó un especial ardor a sus páginas. La combinación de su gran éxito creo que radica en la combinación de estos tres factores, y el tercero es quizás el más importante”Totalmente de acuerdo en lo que comenta Marklund, la pareja sueca aspiraba a que sus novelas se convirtieran en una forma de denunciar las injusticias sociales y fueron transformándolas, partiendo de la base de novela negra norteamericana, en este tipo de novela de denuncia sin olvidar, claro, está, la trama policíaca. Quizá añadiría dos detalles más: los personajes, gracias a la coralidad que manejaron, todos ellos evolucionaron y es imposible olvidarse ahora de los entrañables Beck, Koellberg, Larsson, Melander o Rönn, verdaderos protagonistas de todas las historias; el segundo detalle es el sorprendente buen humor, con escenas dignas de los hermanos Marx que no puedo negar que me sacaron carcajadas.Creo que he relatado con exactitud las virtudes de estos clásicos de la novela policíaca europea y mundial. Si alguno no los ha empezado a leer, es un momento excelente para disfrutarlos. Son grandes, muy grandes. Los echaré mucho de menos. Han sido muchos años y muchas sensaciones.

  • Sara
    2018-09-30 14:46

    Mycket intressant serie. Att följa Sverige och utvecklingen eller snarare avsaknaden av utveckling. Visa saker går framåt men det mesta är ungefär samma. Mycket läsvärda. Glad att jag inte sett ngn film eller serie innan jag lyssnade på böckerna.

  • Leslie
    2018-10-01 16:03

    Very good final entry in the Martin Beck series. I wish there were a few more of these to read!

  • Rafa Sánchez
    2018-10-08 14:33

    Entrega final de la serie Martin Beck y una magnífica novela policíaca. En este caso la trama evoluciona en un clímax similar al de Chacal (F. Forsyth) con la que tiene muchos paralelismos, la diferencia está en que los personajes de Sjowall-Wahloo son de carne y hueso, perfectamente reconocibles, antihéroes abrumados por las contradicciones entre su vida y su trabajo, en una sociedad despiadada y enloquecida, donde nadie dice la verdad fuera del ámbito privado y criminales que son unos pobres inadaptados dentro de esta sociedad. A lo largo de la serie, me ha llamado mucho la atención la descripción descarnada del Estado del Bienestar sueco, uno de los más avanzados del mundo ya en los años 60 y 70. La idea que tienen los autores de esta construcción política es francamente deprimente, el gobierno tiene una permanente voluntad de engañar a sus ciudadanos porque el montaje de la burocrática administración pública tiene el único propósito, a sus ojos, de hacer creer a los ciudadanos que el gobierno se preocupa realmente por ellos y que las políticas disparatadas de protección social son las más avanzadas, cuando son solo alienantes. Cuando alguien desprotegido cae en manos de la burocracia estatal, es destruido como persona y en muchas ocasiones se ve empujado al crimen, hay varias novelas de la serie con este desencadenante... Menos mal que los protagonistas se lo toman todo con bastante buen humor, es lo que les salva de la desesperación además de encontrar gratificaciones en su vida privada. La serie Martin Beck es obligada lectura para los amantes del género, es precursora de otras novelas, todo un hallazgo para el lector porque demuestra que ya en los años 60 se escribía muy bien y desde entonces algunos no han hecho más que repetir sus tramas. Lo que no es habitual ahora es el buen humor que tienen, ¡con algunos gags tipo Keystone Cops...!

  • Procyon Lotor
    2018-10-15 17:00

    Critica sociale a Bengodi nei bifidi '70. Ultimo giallo di Sj�wall & Wahl�� col commissario Beck, senza l'usuale senso d'addio in quanto la serie s'interruppe per la morte di un autore. Si ironizza molto, si ideologizza assai - al punto che se non si conosce bene la Svezia (io: unico romagnolo assieme al parroco di San Pietro in Vincoli e ad un vegetariano ciclista astemio di Mondaino, a non aver mai avuto una relazione con una svedese) non si riesce a capire se certi personaggi siano boutade viventi o plausibili. Una seria minaccia terroristica obbliga i solitamente squinternati poliziotti svedesi a un minimo d'efficenza operativa (di fatto oltre a Beck e un pugno d'altri, il resto non passerebbe le selezioni di qualsiasi organizzazione decente, cos� pure i governanti, altro pacco regalo di mediocri, tanto che non si riesce a capire come contro un accozzaglia di simili cialtroni deficienti, la sinistra svedese - ovviamente locupletata di qualit� contrarie - non abbia preso il potere in dieci giorni netti: forse c'era in Svezia nei '70 una spectre di geni a regolare il tutto con occulta efficienza mafiosa), nel mentre vanno seguiti anche i casi consueti da risolvere. Tre gialli in un libro, la verve di certi personaggi e la robustezza di alcune parti fanno perdonare la relativa scombinatezza dell'insieme. Svezia dimmerda comunque, dove la vita � sopportabile solo se si ha vicino una donna speciale o l'ipotesi dell'emigrazione in Danimarca.. Colonna sonora: Enrico Rava quintet - Tribe.

  • Marisa
    2018-09-28 19:33

    I read all 10 books in this wonderful series, one after the other. What a joy to read. A police procedural set in 1960's Sweden, this has become the basis of modern police fiction. Martin Beck is not your typical 'cop'. He's miserable, has an ulcer, is unhappily married, with kids who don't understand him. The detective mysteries he's engaged in are varied and interesting - and (gasp) are not always solved with Beck in the lead -a real tribute to teamwork and the well-defined characters who are his colleagues. The authors also provide some incisive social commentary into Swedish society. Only 10 books in the series, and by the time its all read, one wishes there could have been many more.

  • Iblena
    2018-10-08 16:52

    El isnpector Martin Beck se despide con una novela coral en la que están presentes la mayoría de los personajes que forman parte de ese universo creado por los autores: Gunvald Larsson, Einar Ronh, Lennart Kolbert, Fredrik Melander entre otros…una trama que involucra la resolución de mas de un caso y en la que como siempre esta presente el humor negro y la crítica social, esta vez dirigida sobre todo al sistema judicial y al estamento político sueco. Beck se despide de sus lectores tranquilo y sereno: ha sabido adaptarse a los cambios y sin verse afectado por el declive de un sistema en decadencia ¡¡Adios Martin Beck!!

  • Jane
    2018-10-21 20:02

    I laughed out loud several times during this, the last of Martin Beck novels. Perhaps it is because I have come to know the personalities and quirks of the men who make up the homicide division, including their pompous managers and higher-ups. One refreshing element in these novels is the depiction of tense confrontational scenes filled with bravery, luck, error and confusion. Often, even talented detectives miss clues and in turn are maddened by bumbling cops who simply aren't up to the task.

  • Jim
    2018-10-06 20:43

    The last of the superb Martin Beck novels, about a methodical police detective in Stockholm. Every one of the books has been wonderful, and Beck has come to be a beloved figure in my collection of crime fiction. This one deals primarily with the threatened assassination of an American politician on a visit to Sweden, but as always, the deeply felt concerns of the authors about social and political matters is at the heart of their story.

  • Kent Monken
    2018-09-27 17:47

    This is the tenth in a great series years before Steig Larson. it's a lot like the Swedish Ed McBain. You grow to know and sympathize with Beck one of the all time great detectives. Read all ten starting with Rosanna. I loved the series. I recommend this book to anyone who loves police procedural novels. Great characters and interesting plots. It's a very small world and we're doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

  • Guillermo
    2018-09-28 18:33

    Y leí en 3 meses todos los libros de Martin Beck, que droga útil para poner la mente en blanco que son los policiales.Aquí hay una parte de sátira sobre el sistema judicial, muchas críticas a la decadencia de toda la sociedad, y un caso lleno de violencia y tensión como no habían escrito ni una vez.Toda la policía sueca intenta detener un atentado terrorista preparado por especialistas sin piedad, casi robóticos. Gustav Larsson se lleva los honores.

  • Ken Fredette
    2018-09-24 15:36

    What a good way to end a series. Solving all their mysteries. Having a good woman to be with in your old age. It can't get much better.

  • Spuddie
    2018-09-23 15:40

    The final book in this notable Swedish series, since co-author Per Wahloo died just a few weeks after the books was published. Martin Beck, now the head of the National Murder Squad, has been conscripted, along with a few other higher-ranking police officers, to plan security for an upcoming visit from a well-known US Senator. An international terrorist group has recently been attacking diplomats and heads of state as they visit foreign lands and Beck and his cohort must try to learn from the failures of others.I'm not sure whether this was intended as a last book or not, but it does wrap things up quite well for Beck and some of the other secondary characters we've gotten to know over the course of the series. The books are a little dated (the first was written in 1965 and this one in 1976) as far as technology and police procedure and the like, but really the series is sort of timeless because it's mostly about people and that's what it focuses on.