Sunday, April 29, 2012
This is the second book I've read by this husband and wife team (Wahloo died in 1975).
They write a police procedural that proceeds in almost real time and this story covered several months. Events unfold slowly and pedantically, I believe this is meant to emulate a true police investigation but for the reader , or this reader at least, it dragged .
This story starts when a block of flats under surveillance explodes before the surveillance team's eyes. There are three people killed, so was it an accident, suicide or murder.
A murder investigation team from Stockholm investigate, and although these are called 'Martin Beck' novels this police inspector has the lowest profile in the entire book , this was the case in the previous one I read also.
Quite a few of the police involved are utter dolts and there is no leadership in the investigation and really the whole thing is strange. Also its a translation and the language is very stilted, I always find that although translators are clever thay have trouble putting slang across to the reader.
The story meanders all the time, this may have something to do with the fact the the couple took turn about writing the chapters, which is the very comradely thing for them to do as they were both Marxist journalist's. i.e ..........went home to his flat and made himself bacon and bake beans for supper. On Saturday and Sunday he read a book and on Monday went back to the office........I found this rambling infuriating.
One positive regarding the series I've read is that its a very good snapshot as to how things were socially in Sweden in the late 1960's.
I have read that "Cop Hater" is the best of the series and I will read this when I find it but I'm not going to bother with the others.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
A literary "Doctor Strangelove", very funny in parts and abit over the top in others for me but clever and sharp as is all of Vonngut's writing.
A book of its time written right at the start of the 'cold war' when genuine fears abounded about the end of the world through super powers with weapons.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
A very violent and over the top story of drugs and loosers. Winslow has a habit of writing stories where the main characters are totally unlikeable and this detracts from the my overall enjoyment of the story.
The whole thing has the feeling that it was written for a TV episode.
This was an early effort before he went on to write the remarkable "The Power of the Dog".
Supposedly the inspiration for the television detective "Taggart", a tough no nonsense Glaswegian, fighting crime in his cities mean streets.
I admit I just about tossed this in the first 30 pages , it was dull but I persevered and was rewarded with a really good read. Smoldering is how I would describe the story, you know who the killer is from page one, you know its going to end in tears but you have this great trip among all these really interesting characters.
A young girl has been raped and murdered and its a race between the police and the underworld who gets to the killer first.
There is no contriving in the plot, its just a solid procedural , great dialogue, the Scots accented writing might be a bit hard if you aren't use to it , but if you've ever met a 'jock' from Glasgow you'll see how authentic it all is.
Excellent and highly recommended. (1977)