Steven Mackintosh stars as Martin Beck, with Neil Pearson as Lennart Kollberg, in this BBC Radio 4 dramatization of Roseanna, translated by Lois Roth and dramatized by Jennifer Howarth. In Roseanna, adapted from the first book in the series, the body of an attractive young woman is dredged from the Gota Canal. Beck and his team have to narrow down the list of suspects from eighty-five cruise passengers in an investigation that ends with a risky and frightening sting. The Martin Beck books are widely acknowledged as some of the most influential detective novels ever created. Written by Swedish husband and wife team Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, the series set a gold standard for all subsequent Scandinavian crime fiction. Before Kurt Wallander or Harry Hole, Beck was the original flawed policeman, working alongside his colleagues to uncover the cruelty and injustice lurking beneath the surface of Swedens seemingly liberal, democratic society.
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On a July afternoon, the body of a young woman is dredged from Sweden's beautiful Lake Vattern. Three months later, all that Police Inspector Martin Beck knows is that her name is Roseanna, that she came from Lincoln, Nebraska, and that she could have been strangled by any one of eighty-five people. With its authentically rendered settings and vividly realized characters, and its command over the intricately woven details of police detection, Roseanna is a masterpiece of suspense and sadness.Review:
According to Per Wahloo, the ten books he wrote with his wife, Maj Sjowall, about Inspector Martin Beck were intended to be a left-wing assault on the sacred cows of Swedish society. They are also, however, entertaining tales of mystery that allow non-Swedes to slip under the skin of another culture while having a frighteningly good time. In this first book of the series, the body of a young woman is discovered as a dredger digs a canal. There seems to be little chance of Beck identifying the woman, let alone discovering who killed her. But by combining time-honored methods of police procedure with a few local twists, Beck manages to do just that.
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