Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Man On The Balcony, by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö

(pb; 1967: third book in the Martin Beck Police Mysteries. Translated from the Swedish by Alan Blair.)

From the back cover:

"In the once peaceful parks of Stockholm, a killer is stalking young girls and disposing of their bodies. The city is on edge, and an undercurrent of fear has gripped its residents. Martin Beck, now a superintendant, has two possible witnesses: a silent, stone-cold mugger and a mute three-year-old boy. The police force works night and day, but their efforts have offered little insight into the whereabouts of the killer. Then a distant memory resurfaces in Beck's mind, and he finally may have the break he needs."


This is an especially vicious, high-profile case for Beck and his crew: a child rapist-murder is on the loose, accruing victims at an increasingly acelerated rate. Of course, the media is having a field day reporting the crimes, and the public is demanding that the rapist-murderer get caught, pronto.

There are few revelations in this disquieting, hard to put down read, but Balcony doesn't need any revelations. Balcony is solid, logical, character-rich and -expansive, its action and pseudo-twists revolving around many of its core/series characters.

Another excellent entry in the Martin Beck Mysteries.

Followed by The Laughing Policeman.

A film version of The Man On The Balcony was released in Sweden on November 26, 1993.

Gösta Ekman reprised his role of Martin Beck. Kjell Bergqvist reprised his role of Lennart Kollberg. Rolf Lassgård reprised his role of Gunvald Larsson. Jonas Falk reprised his role of Stig Åke Malm. Ing-Marie Carlsson reprised her role of Gun Kollberg. Bernt Ström reprised his role of Einar Rönn. Niklas Hjulström reprised his role of Skacke.

Daniel Alfredson directed the film from a script he co-authored with Jonas Cornell (based on Rainer Berg's treatment-story).

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