Friday, December 31, 2010

The Fire Engine That Disappeared, by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö

(hb; 1970: fifth book in the Martin Beck Police Mysteries. Translated from the Swedish by Joan Tate.)

From the inside flap:

"The cunning incendiary device that blew the roof off a Stockholm apartment house one cold winter night not only interrupted the small, peaceful orgy underway inside, it nearly took the lives of the building's eleven occupants. And if one of police commissioner Martin Beck's colleagues hadn't been on the scene, the explosion would have led to a major catastrophe -- since, for reasons nobody could satisfactorily explain -- the fire department didn't arrive until too late.

"How could a regulation-sized ladder tuck vanish in the center of Stockholm? What, if anything, did the explosion have to do with the peculiar death earlier that day of a 46-year-old bachelor whose cryptic suicide note consisted of only two words: 'Martin Beck'?"


The Fire Engine That Disappeared is plot-tight, wry and thrilling as its series predecessors, with continued, almost quirky, focus on its Beck and his team of investigators' lives as they piece together, through luck and hard work, what happened the night a local man committed suicide and a fire truck vanished.

Worth owning, this.

Followed by Murder At The Savoy.

The video film was released on July 2, 1993 in Sweden. Hajo Gies directed the film, from a script by Rainer Berg and Beate Langmaack.

Gösta Ekman played Martin Beck. Kjell Bergqvist played Lennart Kollberg. Rolf Lassgård played Gunvald Larsson. Ing-Marie Carlsson played Gun Kollberg. Bernt Ström played Einar Rönn. Niklas Hjulström played Skacke. Birger Österberg played Kvant. P.G. Hylén played Kristiansson.

Torgny Anderberg played Evald Hammar. Rolf Jenner played Max Karlsson. An uncredited Anita Ekström played Inga Beck.

An uncredited Maj Sjöwall, who co-authored the film's source novel, played "Woman Next To Beck on Plane".

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