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Per Wahloo Books In Order

Publication Order of Martin Beck Books

Roseanna (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Man on the Balcony (1967) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Laughing Policeman (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Fire Engine That Disappeared (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder at the Savoy (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Abominable Man (1972) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Locked Room (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cop Killer (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Terrorists (1976) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Necessary Action (1962) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Assignment (1963) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder on the Thirty-First Floor (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Generals (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Steel Spring (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Per Wahloo is a Swedish author known for his crime fiction novels. Born in 1926 in Kungsbacka Municipality in Halland, he is sometimes known as Peter Wahloo in English. He debuted as a novelist with his first novel, The Lorry, being published in 1962. The book is also known by the title A Necessary Action. He is the son of writer and journalist Waldemar and had one brother.

Per Wahloo’s last novel was The Terrorists, which was released one year after he passed away in 1975 from an unsuccessful pancreatic operation done to try and address his cancer in Malmo, Sweden at the age of 48 (the book was published in 1976). The book was authored with the help of Maj Sjowall, his common-law partner and fellow Marxist for thirteen years. He is buried in the central cemetery’s memorial garden at Malmo Sankt Pauli.

Maj Sjowall wrote the detective/crime fiction Martin Beck series with him and includes a total of ten novels. In 1971, they won the Edgar Award for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America for their book, The Laughing Policeman, which features the police detective working in Stockholm. Many of their Beck books have been filmed. There was a television series that ran in Sweden from 1997 to 2015 that brought the character of Detective Inspector Beck to life starring Peter Haber as Beck. This series was shown in England with English subtitles as well when the BBC purchased it and aired the series in 2015.

Before he was a writer and after finishing school, Per was a crime reporter from 1947 and onwards. Wahloo started in the field and worked in 1949 as a permanent employee of the Evening Post. However, he embraced freelance work in the fifties and was very busy writing film articles and theater reviews for different papers before going to Stockholm to live.

He spent some time traveling all around the world before going back to Sweden and getting back to crime journalism. He was largely done with journalism around 1964, but went on to work for a journal called Tidsignal (Time Signal in English) for five years and served on the editorial board for the journal. His leftist tendency came to influence and define his early novels, which largely focused on power and the right. One example of this is the 1962 novel A Necessary Action and his Dictatorship series.

He is the author of The Chief, The Wind and Rain, A Necessary Action, The Stell Spring, The Assignment, Murder on the Thirty-First Floor, and The Generals. Wahloo is known for being one part of the couple that invented the genre of Nordic noir. He is also credited as an inspiration for the Norweigan writer Jo Nesbo.

The first book in the Martin Beck Series is titled Roseanna. First published in 1965, this is the first book where readers get to meet the Detective Inspector Martin Beck. Part of the Stockholm Homicide Squad, he works diligently to solve cases and catch those who have committed crimes– mainly, murder.

Beck soon is involved in a new case when a young woman turns up dead in Sweden’s Lake Vattern. The detective is assigned to the case, working on it along with the small local police force. However, initially, they have nothing to go on and don’t even know who the woman is, let alone the killer.

Eventually, they find out who the woman is: Roseanna. A free spirit who liked to travel and enjoy life and sex, her life was cut tragically short in a beautiful setting when she was relentlessly strangled to death. Now operating with a cause of death, all that they know is that she was on board a cruise with eighty people.

A little more than three months in, Beck has no idea who the killer is, but the thing that has made him so successful in his career is the fact that Martin Beck obsesses over his cases. It has ruined his marriage– or perhaps his marriage was never destined to last as he married his wife and she slowly became less and less happy. Even though they have two children together, Beck is much more engaged with the cases he covers than his family– that much is certain. Beck creates model ships to pass the time and work through cases.

When the murder turns out to be a rape as well, the case gets personal. Beck aligns with local detective Ahlberg, and they pore over the details of the case together. They communicate frequently, going over the information that they have and trying to figure out how they can get more leads. When they get the help of Detective Kafka from Nebraska, who interviews individuals who were familiar with the victim, the case slowly starts to gain traction.

Beck is a detective that goes with the info he has and his gut too. But as the pieces start to come together, does the killer know that they are on to him– and can they get to him before he finds them first? Read this exciting debut novel in the Martin Beck series to find out!

The Man Who Went Up in Smoke was published in 1996 and is the second book to feature the now-famous Detective Inspector. When Beck is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a prominent Swedish journalist a full two years since his Roseanna case.

Beck’s not on vacation for more than a day and a night before he is rung up and given the case. Alf Matsson disappeared without warning, and the detective inspector must travel to Budapest to try and find the journalist– alive or dead. But Budapest is full of more danger than he may have even realized.

When Beck stumbles into a totally different racket on his journey to find the journalist, he may be risking his life as the dangerous characters of the Hungarian underworld start to be alerted to his presence. The journalist left behind his luggage and key, so it seems like it was a kidnapping of some kind after all.

As the detective tries to retrace the steps of the missing journalist and getting little help from the police, it’s up to Beck to dodge smuggling racket members and find this man once and for all. Read this exciting crime fiction novel to see if Matsson can be found and if Beck can make it out of the country alive!

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