George V. Reilly

Review: The Locked Room

The Locked Room
Title: The Locked Room
Author: Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Vintage
Copyright: 1973
Pages: 279
Keywords: mystery
Reading period: 8–12 April, 2016

In The Locked Room, Martin Beck, recovering from being shot, in­ves­ti­gates the death of a man, who has been found shot in a locked room with no gun. Meanwhile, some of his former colleagues, now serving on a special task force, are trying to deal with an epidemic of bank robberies. The latter is a comedy of errors, with the police con­sis­tent­ly messing up.

The authors are severely critical of the growth of Swedish police powers in the decade before this book was written. They also write harshly of the fraying of the social compact in the Swedish welfare system, which leaves the poor elderly to die alone, surviving on cat food. Only Beck comes off well in this book.

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