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The Terrorists (Martin Beck #10)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,401 ratings  ·  125 reviews
An 18-year-old woman is accused of a bank robbery she never intended to commit. Later, a producer of pornographic films is found murdered at the home of his mistress. Meanwhile, Martin Beck is placed in charge of Swedish security ahead of the visit of a US senator whom a group of international terrorists is determined to assassinate.
Paperback, 324 pages
Published August 12th 1977 (first published 1975)
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Best Swedish Crime
32nd out of 134 books — 37 voters
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Murder Most Cold
89th out of 144 books — 308 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sjöwall and Wahlöö were lovers. And they wrote books together. Apparently, during their collaboration, they always worked by writing alternate chapters -- and then corrected each other's chapters.

Wahlöö developed cancer and died in 1975, in Malmö, at the age of 48. The Terrorists was the final book of a projected 10 book series. Sjöwall has said that this volume was written almost entirely by Wahlöö, as he was dying -- in a race to the finish line. It is one of the better ones of this outstandi
Nov 12, 2012 Brad rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ki hope, amber
Written in 1975 by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, The Terrorists A Martin Beck Police Mystery is about us right now.

It is about the homegrown terrorists we make through our capitalist greed, our ever increasing inequality, our casting aside of those who don't fit into our neat ideas of a "normal" society.

It is about the ideological terrorists who fight for a cause that isn't ours with whatever tools are at their disposal, tearing apart flesh and bone with bombs, blasting holes into skulls with bul
I really needed to finally finish this series. The intended sense of despair and despondency of society going straight to hell that slowly grows from Roseanna through ten books in ten years until this point where people have finally decided to make a stand against the leaders who have brought this upon us was starting to make me feel like not bothering.

As Sjowall was dying of cancer during the writing of this entry the plot takes an even more melancholy tone, the idealism of the political protes
Set in 1975, the primary plot follows the assassinations of high-profile political leaders around the world by an impenetrable organization of highly trained killers. Martin Beck reluctantly accepts the job of managing an inter-agency group to protect a visiting U.S. warmonging senator. There are two other plots, all of which are well orchestrated: a wealthy pornographer has been murdered in his mistresses' apartment and a young homeless, somewhat addled waif of a girl has been charged with bank ...more
Nancy Oakes
The Terrorists is the tenth and final book in Sjöwall and Wahlöö's series featuring Martin Beck. In this installment, an unpopular American senator has planned a visit to Sweden, and Beck is chosen as head of the security team for the duration. The biggest worry is terrorist activity, and as Gunvald Larsson finds out while observing in a Latin American country, the terrorists do not play nice. While Beck is busy with trying to keep the would-be assassins from killing the Senator, he is also inve ...more
Maria João Fernandes
Apesar de o último livro da série do Martin Beck ter sido publicado, pela primeira vez, em 1974, é tão inteligente e atual como os nove que o antecedem. O tema principal é o terrorismo, tal como o título indica, mas a história vai muito além disso, sendo as personagens e as suas ideias o mais importante.

O enredo divide-se em três partes distintas.

Primeira parte: uma jovem mulher é acusada de roubar um banco e Martin Beck é chamado como testemunha de defesa no seu julgamento.

Segunda parte: um hom
Dave Riley
Superb and a fitting ending the the Wahloo/Sjowall series of Martin Beck novels. Published after Wahloo's death from cancer in 1975 -- this novel is sharper than the earlier ones in its critique of Swedish society. It also templates the 1986 assassination of the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme.

That may be ironic -- but then that future conjuncture fostered Mankell's Wallander into existence.

Swedish crime fiction rocks!

Of all the crime fiction I've read these ten by Wahloo/Sjowall are the the
I am in mourning. I've just finished the last of the Martin Beck mysteries. There will be no more regular visits with Beck and his doughty but quirky band of Swedish policemen as they battle to rid their society of the evil that afflicts it.

It seems fitting somehow that this last book featured terrorism as its theme, since terrorism has become such an expected part of our lives in the twenty-first century. This book was published in 1975 but it seems as fresh as today's news. Indeed, all ten of
It's quite sad to read the last of the Martin Beck series and to farewell the weary policeman and his idiosyncratic crew. Did Sjowall and Wahloo foresee the role terrorism would play in today's world? Or did they just recognise that terrorism would overshadow other crimes and would become increasingly important as a threat to modern society?

The novel begins as Martin Beck is called as a witness for the legal defence of Rebecka Lund, an 18 year old single mother charged with robbing a bank. The p
Aug 15, 2013 charta is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
La stazione di metropolitana di Midsommarkransen con un bellissimo mosaico che ne riproduceva l'appellativo, attigua a Vattenledningsvagen e da cui ogni giorno mi muovevo, Sergels Torg, il Pendeltag - anche se allora non si chiamava così, il sole che d'estate sorge alle tre del mattino e l'imbrunire verso le due del pomeriggio, case e ville costruite sulle tante isolette dell'acrcipelago stoccolmese: un libro su una città che amo per se stessa e per i tanti ricordi che vi sono legati.
Molto diver
El isnpector Martin Beck se despide con una novela coral en la que están presentes la mayoría de los personajes que forman parte de ese universo creado por los autores: Gunvald Larsson, Einar Ronh, Lennart Kolbert, Fredrik Melander entre otros…una trama que involucra la resolución de mas de un caso y en la que como siempre esta presente el humor negro y la crítica social, esta vez dirigida sobre todo al sistema judicial y al estamento político sueco. Beck se despide de sus lectores tranquilo y s ...more
Ben Thurley
A fitting end to the excellent Martin Beck series, The Terrorists perfectly blends human-scale story-telling, suspense and action, and social commentary.

Gunvald Larsson, for whom readers now have a measure of respect and sympathy, takes centre stage as he travels overseas to learn about security measures to help Sweden prepare for a state visit by a controversial US Senator. The outcome of the trip is both grisly and grimly comic and introduces us to the terrorist group ULAG who will become the
Procyon Lotor
Critica sociale a Bengodi nei bifidi '70. Ultimo giallo di Sjwall & Wahl col commissario Beck, senza l'usuale senso d'addio in quanto la serie s'interruppe per la morte di un autore. Si ironizza molto, si ideologizza assai - al punto che se non si conosce bene la Svezia (io: unico romagnolo assieme al parroco di San Pietro in Vincoli e ad un vegetariano ciclista astemio di Mondaino, a non aver mai avuto una relazione con una svedese) non si riesce a capire se certi personaggi siano boutade v ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nancy Oakes
posting long after the fact (luckily I reviewed it at my blog), I did a small write up of the entire series at the end of this review that you can find here.

here's the short version of the review:

The Terrorists is the tenth and final book in Sjöwall and Wahlöö's series featuring Martin Beck. In this installment, an unpopular American senator has planned a visit to Sweden, and Beck is chosen as head of the security team for the duration. The biggest worry is terrorist activity, and as Gunvald La
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
I read all 10 books in this wonderful series, one after the other. What a joy to read. A police procedural set in 1960's Sweden, this has become the basis of modern police fiction. Martin Beck is not your typical 'cop'. He's miserable, has an ulcer, is unhappily married, with kids who don't understand him. The detective mysteries he's engaged in are varied and interesting - and (gasp) are not always solved with Beck in the lead -a real tribute to teamwork and the well-defined characters who are ...more
This was the last in the series of Martin Beck novels, written by a married couple of Swedish journalists. They are known for this series, and for the leftist politics that turn up in it. Fortunately, that does not get in the way of their creating believable characters and good mysteries. The series follows the adventures of a quiet but capable Swedish police detective. This, written not long before Wahloo's death, brings together characters from all of the previous books. Sometimes it has the a ...more
I laughed out loud several times during this, the last of Martin Beck novels. Perhaps it is because I have come to know the personalities and quirks of the men who make up the homicide division, including their pompous managers and higher-ups.

One refreshing element in these novels is the depiction of tense confrontational scenes filled with bravery, luck, error and confusion. Often, even talented detectives miss clues and in turn are maddened by bumbling cops who simply aren't up to the task.
Roderick Hart
This is the last in the Martin Beck series and the title gives some indication of the subject. Rather than go over the book as a separate title, this review considers aspects of the series as a whole.

Though the books are classified as police procedurals, the authors knew very little about police procedure since they had no help from the Swedish police at any time. How accurate they are is open to question, though I don’t find it matters much. We are dealing with fiction here.

A fellow writer has
Thought this was one of the better ones. (but, oh dear! I seem to have reached the end! This is the last of the 10 "chapters", and a final outing for Martin Beck). The terrorists of the title are a group who have successfully operated in a wide range of countries with no apparent consistent ideological agenda. We see the group at work and know things about them which the police do not know (and in some cases never find out, although they do work out quite a lot). There are two other stories: the ...more
The last of the superb Martin Beck novels, about a methodical police detective in Stockholm. Every one of the books has been wonderful, and Beck has come to be a beloved figure in my collection of crime fiction. This one deals primarily with the threatened assassination of an American politician on a visit to Sweden, but as always, the deeply felt concerns of the authors about social and political matters is at the heart of their story.
Kent Monken
This is the tenth in a great series years before Steig Larson. it's a lot like the Swedish Ed McBain. You grow to know and sympathize with Beck one of the all time great detectives. Read all ten starting with Rosanna. I loved the series. I recommend this book to anyone who loves police procedural novels. Great characters and interesting plots. It's a very small world and we're doomed to repeat the same mistakes.
If Cop Killer felt like the final volume of Maj Sjöwall’s and Per Wahlöö’s series of police procedurals (I simply refuse to call it the “Martin Beck” series like the covers of my edition do, because that goes blatantly against the spirit of the series), then The Terrorists reads like its epilogue.

The first nine volumes demonstrated how Sweden went from there (a comparatively enlightened state granting great liberties to its citizens) to here (an almost police state whose bureaucracy grinds dow
Pablo Egea
"No a todos les es dado entender los principios, o tal vez más bien la falta de principios, que cimientan la sociedad capitalista. La mayoría ha oído hablar de un fenómeno tal como las elecciones generales, donde los socialdemócratas y otros partidos capitalistas y de derechas, o quizá debería decir los mal llamados partidos, sacan a las personas dinero en grandes cantidades que se utiliza para que la gente, de modo formalmente voluntario, vote a una política que apoya a la actual clase alta, es ...more
Kenneth Fredette
What a good way to end a series. Solving all their mysteries. Having a good woman to be with in your old age. It can't get much better.
Dennis Lehane wrote a wonderful introduction to this title, well worth reading, in which he talks about the chaotic forms of terror described in this story.

Martin Beck, head of the Murder Squad, seems to have risen as high as he can go, and he seems to have managed to get life in some sort of perspective, thanks to Rhea, his lover. But he still doesn't always get it right. A police procedural with a really different approach.

This is a series worth reading, in order, if you have never tackled it
Peter Auber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In this 1976 novel, Stockholm detective Martin Beck and his colleagues solve the murder of a pornograher. (The gardener was irate at the guy for exploiting his 15-year-old daughter.) Meantime, Beck is called from that investigation to thwart an assassination attempt on a visiting U.S. senator's life by international terrorists from ULAG. Maybe ULAG wants to kill the senator because he supported the Vietnam war. Or maybe it's just to cause anarchy. Meanwhile, we learn a lot about Beck's relations ...more
The idea of knowing the face and final movements of terrorists is something that has become all too common in the last few years as the video taped final statements are broadcast after the suicide bombers wreak their terrible havoc.

But back in the 1970s terrorism was a faceless secret activity where people planted bombs with out the intention of either taking their own lives or getting caught. It is this type of terrorist, ruthlessly efficient but a career bomber and political assassin, that the
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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)
  • Cop Killer (Martin Beck #9)
  • 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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