"A book, too, can be a star, "explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.' " from Madeleine L'Engle's Newbery acceptance speech for A Wrinkle in Time.
She had no resources for solitude. (describing Mary in Persuasion)
In the next books I kept pushing at my own limitations and at the limits of science fiction. That is what the practice of an art is, you keep looking for the outside edge. When you find it, you make a whole, solid, real, and beautiful thing; anything less is incomplete. 'A Citizen of Mondath' essay, The Language of The Night, Ursula K. Le Guin
Olivia was a cartographer of imaginary places. - Haunting Olivia, short story, by Karen Russell.
"You've managed to make an enemy of Bufkin the monkey. Once he decided he needed to destroy you, you were basically doomed". - Mirror on the Wall "I've never heard of such a creature. What are his powers?" - Baba Yaga "He reads. He reads everything." - Mirror on the Wall - from Fables: Witches, by Bill Willingham
The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo is the fourth book in the Martin Beck mystery series, and the first one I've read. I read it because Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise wrote this review back in January on one of the books in the series. Edited to add****I also read a review at An Adventure in Reading featuring the book The Man on the Balcony, #3 in the series, in January. I realized I had seen references to this series for years, and decided it was time to pay it a visit and try one. I was thrilled that the one that is considered the classic of the series, The Laughing Policman, my library had a copy of.
I don't know how I've missed this series! I really enjoyed The Laughing Policeman. Written by husband and wife team of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, who wrote a total of 10 books in the series, this was Sweden's first police procedural series. The mystery is set in 1968. The Laughing Policeman opens with the discovery of a crashed double-decker bus, which contains 9 people on board - 8 are dead, one is dying. They are victim's of Sweden's first mass-killing.
When they discover one of the victims is one of their own detectives, the case takes on a personal note for the investigating team of detectives. The fascinating thing about this book is we get to see inside the criminal investigating team and how they organize themselves to investigate this seemingly clueless crime. I enjoyed watching the thoughts as the case progresses, as they search for the clue that will lead them to the killer, who is still out there in the city, in Stockholm. Who killed these 8 - and when the 9th victim dies, 9 victims? Why? Why was Stenstrom, who wasn't known for riding the bus, on the bus in the first place?
The Laughing Policeman is the best kind of police procedural, where each piece of the puzzle is given to us, and we race with the police - well, plod slowly but surely, as the investigation takes well over a month before the break finally comes - to discover who, and why. The ending is one of those bittersweet ones where everything is resolved, but with the sense of chances missed, that if only Stenstrom had done this thing instead of that, then he would still be alive. Even though we never meet him, we get to know him through the eyes of his long-time girlfriend and his colleagues.
Martin Beck is the main person we see the book unfold through. He is quiet, with a stomach ailment that creeps through the book as the only sign, other than his sleeping on the sofa so as to not disturb his wife, of the toll his job is taking on him. He likes his work, most of his colleagues, and his quiet determination is what guides the team, although the assignment of work is equally distributed by others in the team too. It's more of a partnership in the squad, which is interesting given how modern police procedurals focus on hierarchy now. I like both, it is refreshing to see the different personalities fit on this squad.
Very, very good. This is one of the best police procedurals I have read in a long time. I enjoyed getting to know Martin and his squad, and am definitely going to seek out the other nine books in this series. Highly recommended. 5/5
'book junkie', a writer and poet. Am often seen making lists of books to buy, or to get from the library; I have lists everywhere. My ultimate dream house has shelves everywhere for books. I have a dear family who puts up with my love of books, and 2 cats who lie on my books when I read them.
Some of my favourite things. Tea, Arsenal (mug), ginger cookies in the jar, and books.
Three of my favourite things
Reading, Fringe, and a warm day.
Once Upon a Time 7
March 21 - June 21, 2013
Once Upon a Time 7 Books Read list
4. The Goblin Market - Christina Rosetti
3. First Rider's Call - Kristen Britain
2. Amulet the Stonekeeper Vol 1 - Kazu Kibuichi
1. Of Blood and Honey - Stina Leicht
Women of Genre Challenge 2013
12 books - 12 months - 12 women authors not read before
Women of Genre Challenge Reading list
4. The Quantum Rose - Catherine Asaro
3. Of Blood and Honey - Stina Leicht
2. The Vampire Tapestry - Suzy McKee Charnas
1. Catseye - Andre Norton - Jan
The Dystopia Challenge 2013
Dystopia Challenge - books read
2. The Reapers are the Angels - Aiden Bell
1. One Second After - William R. Forstchen
How horrible it would be to live in a world without chocolate......Chocolate runs through my life like a comfort blanket; a teddy bear you can eat......I simply love chocolate. I adore it. I want it. - Nigel Slater in Nigel Slater's Real Food
Never underestimate the power of a word to change the world. - my own quote.
Susan's Personal Classics Reading Challenge
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
Voltaire - Letters on England
Sir Thomas Wyatt - poems
Barchester Towers - Anthony Trollope
Where Late the Birds Sang - Kate Wilhelm - DONE Feb 2012
The Mill on the Floss - George Eliot
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Gathering - Anne Enright
Oh Pioneers - Willa Cather
The Famished Road - Ben Okri
Hrolf Krakis Saga - Poul Anderson
Foundation - Isaac Asimov
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell - DONE
Bleak House - Charles Dickens
The Diary of Samuel Pepys
Ulysses - James Joyce
Buffy is still the best! I have got to get this t-shirt.....