Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Locked Room, by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö

(hb; 1972, 1973: eighth book in the Martin Beck Police Mysteries. Translated from the Swedish by Paul Britten Austin.)


Fifteen months after the events of The Abominable Man, Martin Beck and his team encounter two strange cases.

Their first case involves Karl Edvin Svärd, an elderly man whose moldering corpse is found in a triple-locked room with a bullet lodged in his chest - initially thought to be an odd suicide, it now seems to be more than that.

Their second case involves a bank robbery (and subsequent murder) that appears to been have committed by memorable woman (who may've been a man in disguise). This robbery, and Svärd's murder, which may or may not be linked, both foreshadow equally notable crimes, in a season where Vietnam War protests and a depressed economy are birthing an upswing in crime, especially bank robberies.

The Locked Room is as excellent, twist-pretzeled and personable as the other Martin Beck Mysteries.

Worth owning, this.

Followed by Cop Killer.

The film version of The Locked Room was released in the Netherlands on September 2, 1993.

Jan Decleir played Martin Beck. Els Dottermans played Monita. Warre Borgmans played "Winter / Waterman". Jakob Beks played Fisher. Geert de Jong played Roza Moreels. Josse De Pauw played Gilles. Sien Eggers, billed as Stien Eggers, played Ella.

Jacob Bijl directed and scripted the film.

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