Inspector Martin Beck, 8 (not 9)

January 2, 2012

A 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 early stages of psychological recovery from his near-fatal rooftop encounter with the killer of The Abominable Man (#7). These events, injury and recovery, are already safely tucked away by the time Beck appears in Cop Killer. So read the books in order if you want to make sense of Beck’s return.

Now to the The Locked Room … unlike many of the other plots in this series, I had to spend nearly the entire book with a dead body and no clear idea of how, or even if, a crime could have been committed. Of course, once I learned how it was done, I slapped my forehead. So “obvious”.

Sometimes it seems that the raison d’etre for this series is to lampoon the incompetence of Swedish police (who, despite their inability to keep the streets safe, are incredibly savvy when it comes to finessing the political system). Even prosecuting attorneys come in for their share of ridicule here.

But what we care about, of course, is the recovery of Martin Beck from his gunshot wound. Is he healthy again? Is he sane? Can he ever be happy? Physical health turns out to be the least of his problems. Although he is incapable of reaching this conclusion for himself (at least, not before his nose is rubbed in it), the love and companionship of a good woman are what he needs.

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One Response to “Inspector Martin Beck, 8 (not 9)”

  1. […] final chapter in the series, The Terrorists, ties up a lot of loose […]

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