Greg's Reviews > Roseanna

Roseanna by Maj Sjöwall
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really liked it
bookshelves: mystery

This is sort of like a police procedural version of John La Carre's Smiley novels. They aren't jargon littered like Le Carre's novels but the hero, Martin Beck, is sort of a non-traditional hero of the same ilk of George Smiley. Beck is a depressed middle-aged man, his only real quirk is that he likes building model boats, he doesn't like being around groups of people, coffee makes him feel sick, he's resigned to having to deal with his family who he doesn't seem to have enough energy to really like or dislike. He's a good detective but he goes about his job as if it's something of a chore that he likes doing but can't get excited at all about. I have a soft spot for people who go through life feeling resigned and depressed but are actually really good at what they do, for example my favorite fighter comes across that way in almost every picture you see of him where he isn't eating ice cream. As my friend Tony describes him he looks depressed about the idea that he's going to have to go and beat someone up, but he's going to go do it and get it over with so he can go back to listening to depressing Russian religious music and training so he can go beat up another person for money.

Anyway, besides the wonderfully depressed main character this book is great for it's darkness and pacing. It's also great because unlike most American novels of the same genre the characters aren't all semi-annoying stereotypes, or if they are they are Swedish stereotypes that I know nothing about. There is also a refreshing lack of quirkiness and machismo. I have little else to say. This might fit for my next crime / mystery series to read while I slowly read the last remaining Parker novels.
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Reading Progress

May 12, 2011 – Started Reading
May 12, 2011 – Shelved
May 12, 2011 – Shelved as: mystery
May 13, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by karen (new)

karen i was here first!


message 2: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard G depressed characters right up my alley. maybe that would be a good ra read of the whatever, mass merchandise size preferred and not the new larger kind if indeed that is what they are called.


Greg Unfortunately this series is only available in the trade paperback size, I don't think they are worth the fifteen dollars a piece. Mass-markets can sometimes be found in used bookstores, but I haven't seen them too often.


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