Wednesday, March 30, 2011

**Gary Russell's Nikkatsu. published on the Microstory A Week site

A new story is up on the Microstory A Week site.

Gary Russell penned this week's story, Nikkatsu., a gentle, Asian fairy tale.

Be sure to check this short story out, maybe even comment on it, if you're so inclined. =)

Am always on the lookout for new writers for the Microstory site, so if you have a story that fits these guidelines feel free to send your work - am also open to series, also, as long the individual pieces work as stand-alone works, as well.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Terrorists, by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö

(pb; 1975, 1976: tenth/final book in the Martin Beck Police Mysteries. Translated from the Swedish by Joan Tate.)

From the back cover:

"First Detective Inspector Martin Beck of the Stockholm National Police is in charge of security for a visiting U.S. senator whom a group of international terrorists is determined to assassinate. At the same time he becomes involved with the murder of a millionaire porno filmmaker and the misadventures of a young Swedish girl caught in the toils of bureaucratic red tape. As the terrorists move closer to their goal. . . Beck himself is faced with what appears to be imminent death."

Review:

One year after the investigations of Cop Killer, Martin Beck is faced with an unfamiliar task: protecting a visiting, highly unpopular American Senator from being assassinated, as well as investigate the murder of a pornographer.

Like the rest of the books in the Martin Beck Mysteries, The Terrorists deftly balances multiple, returning characters - including Åsa Torrell (first seen in The Laughing Policeman) - and multiple storylines that may or may not be connected.

Sjöwall and Wahlöö's balancing act also extends to the pacing of The Terrorists, as well as the plot-twisty moods of it: edge-o'-your-seat suspense, familiar-character warmth, Keystone Kop-esque quirkiness, gripping action, and tight writing-plotting.

The Martin Beck Mysteries are worth owning. This police procedural series is easily one of my all-time favorite series - mystery and otherwise - and I'm sad to have finished reading them.



The resulting direct-to-video film, Stockholm Marathon, was released in Sweden on July 1, 1994.

Gösta Ekman reprised his role of Martin Beck. Kjell Bergqvist reprised his role of Lennart Kollberg. Rolf Lassgård reprised his role of Gunvald Larsson. Niklas Hjulström reprised his role of Benny Skacke. Jonas Falk reprised his role of Stig Malm.

Corinna Harfouch played Monica Lundin. Mats Huddén played Hellström. Thomas Anders played Ypsilon. Kjell Lennartsson played Walter Petrus. Anna Godenius played Mrs. Petrus.

An uncredited Maj Sjöwall, who also co-wrote the novel and the screenplay, played the uncredited role of "Woman with starting pistol".

Peter Keglevic directed the film, from a screenplay by the aforementioned Maj Sjöwall, Rainer Berg and Beate Langmaack.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

**Sam Baker's My Father's Bones published on the Microstory A Week site

A new story is up on the Microstory A Week site.

Sam Baker penned this week's story, My Father's Bones, a mood-effective piece that briefly charts the latter stages of grief and its expectations.

Be sure to check this short story out, maybe even comment on it, if you're so inclined. =)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

**Nick Nicholson's Havana published on the Microstory A Week site

A new story is up on the Microstory A Week site.

Nick Nicholson penned this week's story, Havana, the fourth part of his multi-character, loosely-linked eight-part series that traverses various themes and continents.

Be sure to check this 200-word story out, maybe even comment on it, if you're so inclined. =)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Cop Killer, by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö

(hb; 1974, 1975: ninth book in the Martin Beck Police Mysteries. Translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal.)

Review:

Warning: possible series spoilers in this review.

The year: 1973.

Martin Beck, now a happy boyfriend to Rhea Nielsen (first seen in The Locked Room), has been assigned to investigate the disappearance of a thirty-something divorcée, Sigbrid Mård, in a border town (Domme).

Beck's boss (the ineffectual Malm) gives Beck this case because its main suspect is familiar to many cops in Beck's Stockholm unit - Folke Bengtsson.

It's been nine years since Beck and his men arrested Bengtsson for the murder of Roseanna McGraw, and it looks like Bengtsson, who spent seven and a half years in prison, may have kidnapped - probably killed - Sigbrit Mård.

With the help of Herrgott Allwright, an easy-going local cop, Åke Gunnarson (now working under the name Åke Boman, and last seen in The Fire Engine That Disappeared), and his home-based Stockholm unit, Beck begins the tedious process of sussing out who made the divorcée disappear.

Authors Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö inject, as they often do, a second storyline into this work: a cop has been shot, and another inadvertantly killed, by two suspects, one of whom escaped.

Malm (Beck's PR-obsessed, pompous boss) heads up a task force to find these killers, a task force that includes Lennart Kollberg (Beck's best friend and fellow cop), who's having a crisis of conscience about his job.

All the dynamics that make this police procedural series rock - timely politics, involving/evolving characters and situations, lean yet warm writing, and underlying philosophical/morality issues -- are present in this work, imbuing this Martin Beck entry not only with charm and smarts, but series-changing events.

Worth owning, this, as is the whole series.

Followed by The Terrorists.



The resulting direct-to-video film, The Police Murderer, was released in Sweden on January 12, 1994.

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 Malm.

Tomas Norström played Herrgott Nöjd (the film equivalent of Herrgott Allwright?). Johan Widerberg played Kaspar. Anica Dobra played Kia. Heinz Hoenig played Captain Mård. Agneta Ekmanner played Greta Hjelm. Stig Engström played Kaj Sundström. Anne-Li Norberg played Sigbrit Mård. Pia Green played Cecilia Sundström.

An uncredited Maj Sjöwall, who also co-wrote the novel and the screenplay, made a cameo in the film, though the IMDB link doesn't name her role.

Peter Keglevic directed the film, from a screenplay by the aforementioned Maj Sjöwall, Rainer Berg and Beate Langmaack.

<em>The Day of the Locust</em> by Nathanael West

(pb; 1939) From the back cover " The Day of the Locust is a novel about Hollywood and its corrupting touch, about the American d...