Roseanna

Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

Widely recognised as the greatest masterpieces of crime fiction ever written, these are the original detective stories that pioneered the detective genre and inspired writers from Agatha Christie to Henning Mankell and Graham Greene to Jonathan Franzen. Translated into 35 languages, they have sold over 10 million copies around the world.

Written in the 1960s, they are the work of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo – a husband and wife team from Sweden. The ten novels follow the fortunes of the detective Martin Beck, whose enigmatic, taciturn character has inspired countless other policemen in crime fiction. The novels can be read separately, but do follow a chronological order, so the reader can become familiar with the characters and develop a loyalty to the series. Each book will have a new introduction in order to help bring these books to a new audience.

‘Roseanna’ begins on a July afternoon, the body of a young woman is dredged from Sweden’s beautiful Lake Vattern. Three months later, all that Police Inspector Martin Beck knows is that her name is Roseanna, that she came from Lincoln, Nebraska, and that she could have been strangled by any one of eighty-five people.

With its authentically rendered settings and vividly realized characters, and its command over the intricately woven details of police detection, ‘Roseanna’ is a masterpiece of suspense and sadness.

Reviews of Roseanna

  • ‘The writing is elegant and surprisingly humorous – if you haven’t come across Beck before, you’re in for a treat.’ Guardian

    ‘I have never read a finer police story.’ Los Angeles Times

    ‘The decalogue about the Swedish Chief Inspector Martin Beck created by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo during the 1960s and 1970s are indeed classic police fiction. They changed the genre. Whoever is writing crime fiction after these novels inspired by them in one way or another.’ Henning Mankell

    ‘If you haven’t read Sjowall/Wahloo, start now.’ Sunday Telegraph

    ‘Their mysteries don’t just read well; they reread even better. Witness, wife, petty cop or crook – they’re all real characters even if they get just a few sentences. The plots hold, because they’re ingenious but never inhuman.’ New York Times

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