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The Steel Spring

(Inspector Jensen #2)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Chief Inspector Jensen is a policeman in an unnamed European country where the government has criminalized being drunk, where newspapers are designed for reassurance, and where the city centers have been demolished to devote more space to gleaming new highways.
Recovering in a hospital room abroad after a liver transplant, Jensen receives a note instructing him to return
Paperback, 188 pages
Published 1970 by Joseph (first published 1968)
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  228 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
THE STEEL SPRING. (1968; trans. 2002). Per Wahloo. ****1/2.
Per Wahloo and his wife, Maj Sjowall, were Swedish writers who, together wrote the police procedurals featuring police commissioner Martin Beck. These were extremely popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The fourth novel in the series, “The Laughing Policeman,” won the Edgar Award for best novel in 1971. If you are looking for the precursors to the current lineup of Scandinavian writers of crime fiction, look no further. They were e
Vladimir Ivanov
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Наверное, самая мрачная антиутопия Валё. Печальный, но закономерный финал развития общества, описанного в первой книге дилогии. В стране, где всем на всё наплевать и никто ничего не контролирует, для краха цивилизации не нужны никакие злодеи - достаточно одной ненамеренной ошибки управления, и возникает нарастающий каскад, казалось бы, не связанных между собой проблем - политические волнения, аресты, похищения, эпидемии, расстрелы...

Комиссар Йенсен, конечно, в финале докопается до сути случившег
Brent Legault
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The first two-thirds of this novel were masterful and understated. Wahloo's end-of-the-world (or rather end-of-a-country) scenario was realistic and even laconically artistic, but most importantly, not at all melodramatic or hyperbolic or silly. Unfortunately, the final third of the book comes to a standstill of rather dull and unnecessary exposition. Imagine if Cormac McCarthy had explained everything to us in The Road. Or if Wittgenstein's Mistress would have had a "revealing" epilogue.

Now I
Massimo Carcano
Per Wahloo è un grande della letteratura gialla, probabilmente il papà di tutti quei fenomeni scandinavi che si aggirano oggi per le nostre librerie, però a volte anche i grandi sbagliano. Ecco, questo è uno di quei casi. Trama debole debole e assolutamente surreale, commissario inesistente, poco pathos e finale ridicolo. Capita!
Odd structure, lots (and lots) of talking. I've read the whole Martin Beck series several times over so the dystopian elements would have caught me off guard if I hadn't read a previous review here.
A weird dystopian warning of a novel, about the error of trying to control your population.
Richard Toscan
Oct 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
The Steel Spring is a heavy-handed lesson in why you can't write from a theme as opposed to a story. Per Wahloo was an avowed Marxist and has attempted a Marxist critique of a future Sweden (though the country is unnamed in the novel), based on the not unreasonable concept that the liberal Social Democrats have combined with the trade unions to exploit the workers for capitalist benefit. The result is a dystopian society prefiguring what has now become the sandbox of YA novels and Hollywood film ...more
Comprato solo per il titolo (se c'è una epidemia nel titolo o nella trama difficilmente resisto, indipendentemente dal tipo di epidemia), senza prima indagare su chi fosse l'autore o se il volume in questione facesse parte o meno di una serie.
Solitamente tendo a prendere gli autori nordici con le pinze, dopo varie letture inzio a trovarli poco attraenti, ma il titolo, come già detto, ha fatto da specchietto.
Fortunatamente è solo il secondo di una serie di due titoli - il primo è Delitto al trent
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was the last novel that Per Wahloo wrote on his own. (see Fantastic Fiction) All the later ones, the last six in the ten title Martin Beck series, were written in partnership with Maj Sjowal. THE STEEL SPRING is the only one of his stand-alone novels that I have read so far, although I have some more on my radar.

Although crimes have obviously been committed, the plot is not really crime fiction, but rather is dystopian, emerging from his Marxist-based vision of where Swedish society is head
When I saw The Steel Spring in a bookshop and noticed that it was written by a co-author of the Martin Beck crime series, I snapped it up.

Set in an unnamed country, the novel centres on Inspector Jensen, a patient who is about to go abroad for a transplant operation. His last official act before leaving is to issue warrants for the arrest of a number of doctors, including his own.

When Jensen recovers, he is contacted by some government figures who advise him that there is something mysterious g
Il commissario Jensen è umano quanto un ciocco di legno,parla a monosillabi, non sembra avere alcuna reazione od opinione personale riguardo a quanto accade nella sua città, la frase più ricorrente "Jensen rimase in silenzio". Per il resto la storia almeno inizialmente lasciava ben sperare, dopo si perde sempre più in disquisizioni puramente a carattere politico trascurando però l'aspetto narrativo, andando poi a scadere in un finale banale ed evidentemente forzato, dato che quel che si deduce è ...more
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
A short book with a precise detective who reminds me a little of the tv series Monk, a detective who suffers from OCD. An interesting take on what would happen to a society where everything is 'perfect'. Scary in that I can see elements of that today's society. No one means harm, no one thinks bad thoughts. And yet ...
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was extremely creepy, a good balance between post-apocalyptic tale and detective novel. Because the author has been dead for more than 3 decades, some of the political topics mentioned are very dated. But it is still a well-written thriller and the author is a master at building up tension while revealing just enough to keep us hooked.
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Продолжение "Гибели 31 отдела". Просится к экранизации.

Страна в хаосе, все коммуникации оборваны, политики сбежали. Говорят, что свирепствует эпидемия, но достоверно никому ничего не известно. Интрига!
Rog Harrison
Jun 06, 2013 rated it liked it
This was first published in 1968 and like "Murder on the thirty-first floor" features Inspector Jensen. Like the previous book this is more like science fiction than detective fiction though Jensen is a really dogged detective. This is a grim story though there is hope at the end.
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Descrizioni Troppo lunghe. Pensavo fosse un genere di libro Totalmente differente. Tutto sommato è stato scorrevole.
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Had a promising beginning but never really went anywhere.
Jason Aufdemberg
Jul 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Interesting book.
Genine Franklin-Clark

I read all books by one or both of these authors years ago and loved every one.
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was different to what I had expected when told it had a policeman as a main character. I enjoyed and read it quickly.
non ho la fissa degli scandinavi ma L'epidemia fa il suo porchissimo dovere a metà tra zombie e Orwell
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
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Oct 10, 2016
Keith Taylor
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Nov 21, 2014
rated it did not like it
Oct 21, 2015
Tara Levin
rated it it was ok
Dec 25, 2016
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Sep 13, 2015
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Mar 13, 2013
rated it it was ok
Jan 11, 2013
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Aug 19, 2014
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Per Fredrik Wahlöö (5 August 1926 - 22 June 1975) was a Swedish author. He is perhaps best known for the collaborative work with his partner Maj Sjöwall on a series of ten novels about the exploits of Martin Beck, a police detective in Stockholm, published between 1965 and 1975. In 1971, The Laughing Policeman (a translation of Den skrattande polisen, originally published in 1968) won an Edgar Awa ...more

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Inspector Jensen (2 books)
  • Murder on the Thirty-first Floor (Inspector Jensen #1)