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Cop Killer (Martin Beck #9)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  1,220 ratings  ·  84 reviews
The shocking ninth novel in the Martin Beck mystery series by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö finds Beck investigating parallel cases that have shocked a small rural community.

In a country town, a woman is brutally murdered and left buried in a swamp. There are two main suspects: her closest neighbor and her ex-husband. Meanwhile, on a quiet suburban street a midnight shootout
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Published August 19th 2009 by Blackstone Audio, Inc. (first published 1974)
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Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö wrote their Martin Beck series in the sixties and seventies. They wrote ten novels in ten years. They wrote about a time without computers and modern gadgets, but apart from those conveniences themselves, the books could have been written yesterday.

These books are about everything that continues to be wrong in our societies. They are about carceration, misplaced conceptions of justice and the omnipresence of injustice. They are about the militarization of police forces

I started book nine (out of ten) in the series with some trepidation, hoping nothing terminal will happen to Martin Beck or one of his colleagues. (view spoiler). For more than half of the novel I was then baffled about the title, as the ongoing investigation was about the disappearance, possibly murder, of a divorced single woman from a small village near Malmo, and none of the Criminal Bureau members
Nancy Oakes
My first thought: oh no, there's only one more book left!

It's been about a year now since the events of The Locked Room. Martin Beck's life has gained some stability since he met Rhea Nielsen, the landlady of the victim in the previous novel. Now he's called to the small rural town of Anderslöv, where a young woman, Sigbrit Mård, has gone missing. Described as a "highly normal" person, Sigbrit isn't the type to just up and wander off into another life, so the police suspect foul play. The two m
I can't help noting the similarity in titles between this book and the first of the Ed McBain books that I read earlier this month. McBain's book was Cop Hater. Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo stated that McBain's work was an inspiration and model for their Martin Beck series, so was this title an homage to McBain?

Whether it was or not, Sjowall/Wahloo's writing style continues to owe much to that established by McBain in his police procedurals. The writing is spare and straightforward, although the
The story begins with a young woman, Sigbrit Mård, picked up and murdered on the outskirts of a small town by someone she knows. Martin Beck arrives in Anderslöv to help with the disappearance, with suspicion pointing to her ex-husband, a violent, sea-faring drunk, and Folke Bengtsson, a paroled sex-murderer from an earlier novel. The book is a bit slow though, with the second plot emerging mid-way involving a shooting that is arguably police-triggered and a countrywide search for the accomplice ...more
Jim Coughenour
I'm in the position of looking at that box of candy, when only one piece is left. Cop Killer was number nine, a bit slower than the last few, but at this point Martin Beck & company are like an old group of friends whom I'm just happy to hang out with. As is their habit, Sjöwall and Wahlöö throw in plenty of wry laughs along the way.

Maria João Fernandes
"This isn't a Sherlock Holmes movie."

O nono livro da série do Inspetor Martin Beck teve o mesmo impacto em mim que os oito que o antecederam. A qualidade nas obras do casal de escritores suecos mantém-se no nível mais elevado e, apesar de terem sido escritas na década de setenta não perderam a relevância e os temas abordados continuam atuais.

"The best part of Murder was that it got you out of the city now and then."

O cenário é a cidade de Mälmo. Uma mulher desaparece e Martin Beck é chamado para
The 9th in Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö's series of police procedural novels featuring Stockholm homicide detective Martin Beck is faster paced than some of the previous entries, which is not to diminish those prior books in any way. This one revolves around the disappearance of a woman in southern Sweden, the likelihood that the killer is a man Beck knows from a previous case (depicted in the first Beck novel, ROSEANNA), and Beck's increasing realization that there's more going on than the open-s ...more
Roderick Hart
This is the ninth book in the Martin Beck series. As before, the authors use the book to criticise Sweden from a Marxist perspective, including the inadequacies of its welfare state model as they perceived it in 1973. They are also concerned that the Swedish police have gradually become more military in the way they operate and their hostile view of much of the public.

Apart from many incidental comments throughout the book, two examples of this stand out. The first is a botched operation involvi
1 1/2 stars.

Personally, I'm scratching my head over all of the great reviews for this book. I admit that it starts off fairly well with the murder of a divorced woman who's body is hidden in the woods and the subsequent search for her killer. Unfortunately, about half way through the book the authors suddenly start up an, apparently, completely different story about two youths involved in a shoot-out with police and the search for one of the survivors of that incident.

It is at this point that th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Excellent. As good as any in the series. The politics in ##8 & 9 gets a little heavy handed and ham handed and, worse, is 1970's dated. But while the authors take that stuff seriously, the characters don't, and so it doesn't impede much.
Ben Thurley
Cop Killer represents Sjöwall and Wahlöö not quite at the top at the top of their game, but still a good read.

The story begins with a crisp and disturbing immediacy, as a young woman, Sigbrit Mård, is picked up and murdered on the outskirts of a small country town by someone known to her. When Martin Beck arrives in Anderslöv to help with the case, it quickly becomes apparent that the two main suspects are her ex-husband, a violent drunk, and Folke Bengtsson –the now paroled sex-murderer from t
Although this ninth is only the penultimate volume of Maj Sjöwall’s and Per Wahlöö’s consistently excellent series of police procedurals, it feels like a summing up of what has gone before, of things coming to a head and to an end. The most obvious cause of that is probably that Cop Killer harkens back to the first two novels by bringing back the murderers featured in them (which is why it is a good to not read Cop Killer before Roseanna and The Man Who Went Up In Smoke, unless you really don’t ...more
Up to the ninth "chapter" of the ten-part series (oh no, only one to go!) Set in 1974, and reintroduces a couple of characters from earlier books. Slow and thoughtful with some dry humour and lots of comment on, mainly, Swedish society, and quite a lot of incidents which just happen rather than being planned. The title is a bit misleading - a policeman does die, but the cause is unexpected and it's not the main story of the book, which is about a missing woman (we know exactly what has happened ...more
Rog Harrison
"This is actually written by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. I first came across this series over thirty years ago and I think I have read this one twice before. I don't often see their books in the library these days so I was really pleased to see this one. In fact I am seriously thinking of buying all ten books in the series as I am sure I will want to re-read them all several times.

As this book is set in southern Sweden for a lot of the time rather than Stockholm some of the regular cast of chara
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dave Riley
Is this the best of the 10 written by Sjöwall and Wahloo? Ironic, more bitter and cynical than its predecessors (it is the second last novel published), more than any other it is sharply critical of Swedish society of the mid 70s. If there is a Martin Beck world view, and Martin is no ideologue, this is it. Separated from Stockholm and working a case in Skane there's more opportunity for reflection and for the plot to explore a wry satirical look at the way modern journalism and state power bend ...more
A naked woman was dredged up from the bottom of Sweden's beautiful Lake Vattern one July day. Where had she come from? How had she got there? And why? . . . a rash of brutal muggings and child sex-murders with the elusive mugger perhaps the only person in Stockholm to have seen the murderer . . . the search for a hard-drinking well-known Swedish journalist in Budapest, who has vanished without a trace . . . eight people were shot to death in a Stockholm bus, with one of the dead being an ambitio ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Cop Killer, by Maj Sjöwall, Per WahlööA. Narrated by Tom Wiener, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

Blackstone Audio has been producing these books now over the last year. Unfortunately, while they have usually been in order, this one isn’t. So, with 7 and 8 as yet unread, this is book 9 in the series. It’s interesting, knowing that these books were coming to an end, and maybe it’s only a retrospective observation, but it seems to me the authors were bringing this series t
The first time I heard of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo books, I was recently reading a list of vintage crime novels. Their series, Martin Beck police mysteries(10 of them) were all listed there. Being unfamiliar with them I kept their names in the back of my mind noting the titles of their police procedurals, a genre I am especially fond of having read all of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct books (which I consider to be the best of the genre). These books, all published by 1975, are how good books in t ...more
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

Han tenido que pasar casi 250 novelas de la excelente colección de novela negra de RBA en su Serie Negra para poder tener publicada, en su totalidad, las diez novelas que componen la serie del comisario Martin Beck; perpetradas por el comprometido matrimonio sueco Maj Sjöwall y Per Wahlöö, posiblemente nos encontremos ante una de las series más influyentes en el género europeo, no sólo para los nórdicos, punto de obligada referencia para enten
When a woman is reported missing in the small town of Anderslöv, Martin Beck, Chief of Sweden's National Homicide Squad is summoned. There's no indication the woman is even dead, but for the fact that convicted sex killer Folke Bengtsson is her closest neighbour. While in Skåne, Martin Beck and Lennart Kollberg are aided by sanguine and oddly-named local policeman Herrgott Allwright. But their investigation is interrupted by a shootout between three duty officers and two teens in nearby Malmö. C ...more
With a number of characters returning from past novels and some climactic decisions at the end of the book, this really felt like the series was coming to an end. I am very curious to see how The Terrorists goes. Sjowall and Wahloo use the same device of tying up two apparently different strands with one nice coincidence as we saw in The Locked Room, which is a bit disappointing from the authors who won praise for novels about nothing happening for days or weeks or even months (e.g. Roseanna). B ...more
The title should be in scare quotes as there is no cop-killer - rather, a cop who dies of a bee sting while jumping for cover. This is the penultimate of the Beck mysteries and the style has matured, with slightly less of the occasionally irritating sociological didacticism of some of the earlier novels, though we still learn some useful facts about 70s Sweden (highest suicide rate in Europe, for example). The book's theme is mainly that of the militarisation of the police in Sweden, and how arm ...more
Excellent story and pacing by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, in fact one of my first novels by this dynamic duo. I'm already looking at putting more of their books in my queue. A murder mystery involving a young woman leads Martin Beck and his colleague into finding the killer(s) in this suspense filled adventure ( so to speak ). However, it was a little odd that the author injected another story 2/3 into the novel, but neverless an excellent novel.
I have all the Martin Beck series on my Kindle and they are great. They've also been serialised on Radio 4 recently, so are getting a re-boot. The stories are fascinating, the characters perplexing and there is a really different tone from modern writing. I just love the Swedish backdrop, it seems to add layers to the mystery! Recommended - start from the beginning and work your way through.
Se nota que a Martin Beck, ya le queda poco para su retiro: a tras queda el policía de aspecto triste, gris e hipocondríaco…en El asesino de policías el lector se topa con un Beck nostálgico, relajado y enamorado, que sabe reir e incluso se muestra empático hasta el punto de dar consejos a un sospechoso. Aunque la trama policial se resuelve de forma anecdótica, el fuerte de la misma son las críticas al estado de bienestar que, que pasado 41 años de su publicación siguen presentes en la sociedad ...more
This is a ten book series of police procedural novels set in and around Stockholm. The books are a few years old. but does crime really age? I would recommend that you begin reading the series at book one as the characters do progress in their lives.

I thought this was the best thus far in my progression through.
America today would do well to heed the letter of Lennart Kollberg, even though it was directed at Sweden, 40 years ago. Another excellent installment in the Story of a Crime series. Only one left and I want to see if I can make it last, but I bet I can't.
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  • Der Tote vom Strand. (Inspector Van Veeteren #8)
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  • Firewall (Wallander, #8)
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Maj Sjöwall is a Swedish author and translator. She is best known for the collaborative work with her partner Per Wahlöö on a series of ten novels about the exploits of Martin Beck, a police detective in Stockholm. In 1971, the fourth of these books, The Laughing Policeman (a translation of Den skrattande polisen, originally published in 1968) won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America ...more
More about Maj Sjöwall...

Other Books in the Series

Martin Beck (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Roseanna (Martin Beck #1)
  • The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (Martin Beck #2)
  • The Man on the Balcony (Martin Beck, #3)
  • The Laughing Policeman (Martin Beck #4)
  • The Fire Engine That Disappeared  (Martin Beck #5)
  • Murder at the Savoy (Martin Beck #6)
  • The Abominable Man (Martin Beck #7)
  • The Locked Room (Martin Beck #8)
  • The Terrorists (Martin Beck #10)
  • The Martin Beck Series: Books 1-4
Roseanna (Martin Beck #1) The Laughing Policeman (Martin Beck #4) The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (Martin Beck #2) The Man on the Balcony (Martin Beck, #3) The Locked Room (Martin Beck #8)

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