The Locked Room: A Martin Beck Police Mystery (8) (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
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The stunning eighth installment in the Martin Beck mystery series by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö is a masterful take on a classic locked room mystery.
A young blonde in sunglasses robs a bank and kills a hapless citizen. Across town, a corpse with a bullet shot through its heart is found in a locked room–with no gun at the scene. The crimes seem disparate, but to Martin Beck they are two pieces of the same puzzle, and solving it becomes the one way he can escape the pains of his failed marriage and the lingering effects of a near-fatal bullet wound. Exploring the ramifications of egotism and intellect, luck and accident, this tour de force of detection bears the unmistakable substance and gravity of real life.
realized she might have to put off her project until next week. No harm in that, though she wasn't too keen on exposing herself to such mental stress. She got there earlier than she'd planned and halted on the shady side of the street, observing the big window opposite her. Its shiny glass reflected the sunshine, and the heavy traffic partially blocked her view. But one thing she noticed. The curtains were drawn. Pretending to be window shopping, she walked slowly up and down the pavement, and
reply to this was a rather crooked smile. Jacobsson wasn't smiling at all. He said: 'What are you driving at, really?' 'I don't want to go inside.' 'But you've been inside already. And when all's said and done it isn't all that serious, is it? This town's full of people who've been inside. I meet them every day. A couple of months' rest, that never hurts.' Mauritzon had a strong feeling it was no brief holiday that he was facing. He surveyed his fateful groceries and thought how if he really
jam jars. 'You realize what that means?' Bulldozer Olsson said inquisitorially. 'Yes,' said Gunvald Larsson. 'That he's circumstantially linked to a jar of whortleberry jam.' 'Right!' said Bulldozer, cheerfully surprised. 'In fact, we've proof against him. Proof that'll even hold up in court. But that wasn't what I was thinking.' 'What were you thinking?' 'That it shows Mauritzon's been telling the truth and will therefore probably go on telling us whatever he knows.' 'Sure - about
the opaque glass. Martin Beck was used to the routine of swiftly summing up the people he met in the course of his duties, a kind of 'preliminary description', to use the official term. The woman who opened the door seemed at most to be thirty-five, but something told him she was actually a few years older. She was not very tall, only five foot two or so, he guessed. Though of compact build, she gave the impression of being lithe and shapely rather than plump or clumsy. Her features were
making statements he couldn't substantiate. Therefore Svärd had been shot with an automatic. All the rest was just as incomprehensible as before. Svärd didn't seem to have committed suicide and no one else could have shot him. Martin Beck went on with his work. He began with the banks, since experience had taught him this always took a lot of time. Though it's true bank secrecy in Sweden isn't what it should be, there were still hundreds of financial institutions to check. And with interest