The Martin Beck series (2) - The Man Who Went Up in Smoke

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9780007232840: The Martin Beck series (2) - The Man Who Went Up in Smoke

Perennial relaunch the classic Martin Beck detective series from the 1960s – the novels that have inspired all crime fiction written ever since.

Widely recognised as the greatest masterpieces of crime fiction ever written, these are the original detective stories that pioneered the detective genre.

Written in the 1960s, they are the work of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo – a husband and wife team from Sweden. The ten novels follow the fortunes of the detective Martin Beck, whose enigmatic, taciturn character has inspired countless other policemen in crime fiction. The novels can be read separately, but do follow a chronological order, so the reader can become familiar with the characters and develop a loyalty to the series. Each book will have a new introduction in order to help bring these books to a new audience.

‘The Man who went up in Smoke’ starts as Martin Beck has just begun his holiday: an August spent with his family on a small island off the coast of Sweden. But when a neighbour gets a phone call, Beck finds himself packed off to Budapest, where a boorish journalist has vanished without a trace. Instead of passing leisurely sun-filled days with his children, Beck must troll about in the Eastern Europe underworld for a man nobody knows, with the aid of the coolly efficient local police, who do business while soaking at the public baths – and at the risk of vanishing along with his quarry.

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Review:

‘The decalogue about the Swedish Chief Inspector Martin Beck created by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo during the 1960s and 1970s are indeed classic police fiction. They changed the genre. Whoever is writing crime fiction after these novels in inspired by them in one way or another.’ Henning Mankell

‘If you haven’t read Sjowall/Wahloo, start now.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Their mysteries don’t just read well; they reread even better. Witness, wife, petty cop or crook – they’re all real characters even if they get just a few sentences. The plots hold, because they’re ingenious but never inhuman.’ New York Times

About the Author:

Per Wahlöö was born in Göteborg, the son of Waldemar and Karin (Svensson) Wahlöö. After graduating from the University of Lund in 1946, he worked as a journalist, covering criminal and social issues for a number of newspapers and magazines. In the 1950s Wahlöö was engaged in radical political causes, activities that resulted in his deportation from Franco's Spain in 1957. After returning to Sweden, he wrote a number of television and radio plays, and was managing editor of several magazines, before becoming a full-time writer.
Maj Sjowall is also a poet. She lives in Sweden.

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Per Wahlà à , Maj Sjà wall
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