The sixth thrilling installment in the Martin Beck detective series from the 1960s -- the novels that have inspired all crime fiction written ever since. Widely recognised as the greatest masterpieces of crime fiction ever written, these are the original detective stories that pioneered the detective genre. When Viktor Palmgren, a powerful industrialist, is casually shot during an after-dinner speech, the repurcussions -- both on the international money markets and on the residents of the small coastal town of Malmo -- are widespread. Chief Inspector Martin Beck is called in to help catch a killer nobody, not even the victim, was able to identify. He begins a systemic search for the friends, enemies, business associates and call girls who may have wanted Palmgren dead -- but in the process he finds to his dismay that he has nothing but contempt for the victim and sympathy for the murderer! Written in the 1960s, they are the work of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo -- a husband and wife team from Sweden. The ten novels follow the fortunes of the detective Martin Beck, whose enigmatic, taciturn character has inspired countless other policemen in crime fiction.
The novels can be read separately, but do follow a chronological order, so the reader can become familiar with the characters and develop a loyalty to the series. Each book has a new introduction in order to help bring these books to a new audience.
Per Wahloo was born in Goteborg, the son of Waldemar and Karin (Svensson) Wahloo. 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 Wahloo 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 a poet. She lives in Sweden.