Algernon's Reviews > Roseanna

Roseanna by Maj Sjöwall
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Jun 19, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011
Read in June, 2011

I found out about this book through a recommendation for something similar the Henning Mankell, and it is revealing that Mankell is the one who writes the foreword of this true classic of police procedural novels.
Indeed, Kurt Wallander and Martin Beck seem cut from the same cloth, 40 years apart: middle aged, slightly depressive, with broken marriages, stubborn and unrelenting in the pursuit of justice. I'm not talking about any plagiarizing, each series stands on its own merits and has distinctive touches. More likely Mankell recognizes the influence it had on him as a young reader and the enduring quality of the themes presented in Roseanna.
One of the reasons I think this story has endured is its realism and no frills writing style - a cold enumeration of facts and great dialogue that suggest rather than declame the human hearts behind the investigation. The authors have avoided both the Agatha Christie style of intellectual detective exercises and the American flashier detectives with their racing cars and blazing guns. What we have here is "the banality of evil" , not the evil masterminds or the gang lords but the persons living next door to us. And the resolution will come not from the armchair deductions puffing a pipe or from a shootout, but the from the slow accumulation of facts and a lot of gumshoe.
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