The Man on the Balcony

Someone is assaulting and killing young girls in the parks of Stockholm. With only a brutal mugger and a three year-old boy for witnesses, the investigation is stalling. It’s only a tiny detail surfacing in Beck’s mind that puts the murder squad on the trail of the killer, but will they get him before he strikes again?

The Man on the Balcony is the third in the Martin Beck series by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, dramatised by BBC Radio 4.

The Martin Beck series, written over a period of ten years 1965-1975, gives an interesting insight into Sweden of the mid-1960s. It was to later influence writers like Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo.

In an ambitious project, BBC Radio 4 are dramatizing the entire Martin Beck series.

The next book in the series, The Laughing Policeman, Martin Beck (now a Detective Superintendant) and the murder squad investigate a mass shooting on a bus in a suburb that ends with nine dead, including one of Martin Beck’s team.

Unusual for the BBC these dramatisations are being kept on-line for a year, not seven days. Though does beg the question why not keep indefinitely?

In parallel BBC Radio 4 has a series Foreign Bodies looking at European Detective Fiction, only they could not have chosen a worst presenter than the ghastly Mark Lawson if they had tried. True to form, this series is only being kept on-line for seven days.

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