The second book in the hugely acclaimed Martin Beck series: the novels that shaped the future of Scandinavian crime fiction and influenced writers from Stieg Larrson to Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell and Lars Kepplar.
A Swedish journalist has vanished without a trace in Budapest. When Detective Inspector Martin Beck arrives in the city to investigate, he is drawn to an Eastern European underworld in search of a man nobody knows. With the aid of the coolly efficient local police, he reveals a web of crime, stretching back across Europe – a discovery that will put his own life at risk.
‘The decalogue about the Swedish Chief Inspector Martin Beck created by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo during the 1960s and 1970s are indeed classic police fiction. They changed the genre. Whoever is writing crime fiction after these novels in inspired by them in one way or another.’ Henning Mankell
‘If you haven’t read Sjowall/Wahloo, start now.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Their mysteries don’t just read well; they reread even better. Witness, wife, petty cop or crook – they’re all real characters even if they get just a few sentences. The plots hold, because they’re ingenious but never inhuman.’ New York Times
About the author
Per Wahlöö was born in Göteborg, the son of Waldemar and Karin (Svensson) Wahlöö. After graduating from the University of Lund in 1946, he worked as a journalist, covering criminal and social issues for a number of newspapers and magazines. In the 1950s Wahlöö was engaged in radical political causes, activities that resulted in his deportation from Franco's Spain in 1957. After returning to Sweden, he wrote a number of television and radio plays, and was managing editor of several magazines, before becoming a full-time writer.
Maj Sjowall is also a poet. She lives in Sweden.