Inspector Martin Beck, 9 (not 8)

November 21, 2011

The ominously titled Cop Killer takes us far from Stockholm’s dirt and depravity to Sweden’s rural southern tip: Anderslov police station in the Trelleborg police district. A local woman has gone missing, but when the police discover that her next-door neighbor turns out to be a convicted sex criminal and her ex-husband a bitter unemployed violent drunk, murder seems like a distinct possibility. Time to call in Martin Beck, the chief of National Homicide.

Unfortunately for Beck, evidence of either man’s involvement proves hard to come by, and when two policemen are shot dead during a late night traffic stop, pressure mounts on Beck and his team to pin the woman’s murder on whoever is most convenient so that they can assist the mini-army that is being assembled to hunt down the suspected cop killer. Fortunately, as was the case in book #7, Gunvald Larsson’s enthusiasm for insubordination saves the day.

A prominent theme in books #7 and #8 is the way that politically well-connected incompetents (represented by Beck’s boss, Superintendent Malm of the National Police) turn to highly orchestrated displays of overwhelming police force as a substitute for competent police work. Gunvald Larsson, a thinking man of action, however turns out to be worth a hundred bimbos in blue.


2 Responses to “Inspector Martin Beck, 9 (not 8)”

  1. Alan said

    I screwed up. Cop Killer turns out to be #9 in the series.

  2. […] disclaimer: I read and reported on Cop Killer (#9) before I read The Locked Room (#8). When Beck appears in the latter book, he is still in the very […]

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