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The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (The Martin Beck series, Book 2) par [Sjöwall, Maj, Wahlöö, Per]
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The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (The Martin Beck series, Book 2) Format Kindle

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Longueur : 210 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
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Description du produit


The room was small and shabby. There were no curtains and the view outside consisted of a gray fire wall, a few rusty armatures and a faded advertisement for margarine. The centre pane of glass in the left half of the window was gone and had been replaced by a roughly cut piece of cardboard. The wallpaper was floral, but so discolored by soot and seeing moisture that the pattern was scarcely visible. Here and there it had come away from the crumbling plaster, and in several places there had been attempts to repair it with adhesive strips and wrapping paper.There were a heating stove, six pieces of furniture and a picture in the room. In front of the stove stood a cardboard box of sashes and a dented aluminum coffee pot. The end of the bed faced the stove and the bedclothes consisted of a thick layer of old newspapers, a ragged quilt and a striped pillow. The picture was of a naked blonde standing beside a marble balustrade, and it was hanging to the right of the stove so that the person laying in the bed could see it before he fell asleep and immediately when he work up. Someone appeared to have enlarged the woman's nipples and genitals with a pencil.In the other part of the room, nearest to the window, stood a round table and two wooden chairs, of which one had lost its back. On the table were three empty vermouth bottles, a soft-drink bottle and two coffee cups, among other things. The ash tray has been turned upside down and among the cigarette butts, bottle tops and dead matches lay a few dirty sugar lumps, a small penknife with its blades open, and a piece of sausage. A third coffee cup had fallen to the floor and had broken. Face down on the worn linoleum, between the table and the bed, lay a dead body.In all probability this was the same person who had improved upon the picture and tired to med the wallpaper with strips of adhesive and wrapping paper. It was a man and he was lying with his legs close together, his elbows pressed against his ribs and his hands drawn up toward his head, as if in an effort to protect himself. The man was wearing a woolen vest and frayed trousers. On his feet were ragged woolen socks. A large sideboard had been tipped over him, obscuring his head and half the top part of his body. The third woolen socks. A large sideboard had been tipped over him, obscuring his head and half the tope part of his body. The third wooden chair had been thrown down beside the corpse. Its seat was bloodstained and on the top of the back handprints were clearly visible. The floor was covered with pieces of glass. Some of them had come from the glass doors of the sideboard, others from had come from the glass doors of the sideboard, others form a half-shattered wine bottle which had been thrown onto a heap of dirty underclothes by the wall. What was felt of the bottle was covered with a think skin of dried blood. Someone had drawn a white circle around it.Of its kind, the picture was almost perfect, taken by the best wide-angle lens the police possessed and in an artificial light that gave an etched sharpness to every detail.Martin Beck put down the photograph and magnifying glass, got up and went across the window. Outside it was full Swedish summer. And more than that. It was hot. On the grass of Kristineberg Park a couple of girls were sunbathing in bikinis. They were lying flat on their backs with their legs apart and their arms stretched outward away from their bodies. They were young and thin, or slim as they say, and they could do this with a certain grace. When he focused sharply, he even recognized them as two office girls from his own department. So it was already past twelve. In the morning they put on their bathing suits, cotton dresses and sandals and went to work. In the lunch hour they tool off their dresses and went out and lay in the park. Practical.Dejectedly, he recalled that soon he would have to leave all this and move over to the south police headquarters in the rowdy neighborhood around Vastberga AlleBehind him he heard someone fling open the door and come into the room. He did not need to turn around to know who it was. Stenstrom. Stenstrom was still the youngest in the department and after him there would presumably be a whole generation of detectives who did not knock on doors."How's it going?" he said."Not so well," said Stenstrom When I was there fifteen minutes ago he was still flatly denying everything."Martin Beck turned around, went back to his desk and once again looked at the photo of the scene of the crime. On the ceiling above the newspaper mattress, the ragged quilt and the striped pillow, there was an old patch of dampness. It looked like a sea horse. He wondered if the man on the floor had had that much imagination."It doesn't matter," said Stenstrom officiously. "We'll get him on the technical evidence."Martin Beck made no reply. Instead he pointed ad the thick report Stenstrom had put down on his desk and said, "What's that?"Martin Beck took the photograph and went up one flight of stairs, opened a door and found himself with Kollberg and Melander.It was much warned in there than in his room, presumably because the windows were closed and the curtains drawn. Kollberg and the suspect were sitting opposite each other at the table, quite still. Melander, a tall man, was standing by the window, his pipe in his mouth and his arms folded. He was looking steadily at the suspect. On a chair by the door sat a police guard in uniform trousers and a light-blue shirt. He was balancing his cap on his right knee. No one said anything and the only moving thing was the reel of the tape recorder. Martin Beck situated himself to one side and just behind Kollberg and jointed in the general silence. A wasp could be heard bouncing against the window behind curtains. Kollberg had taken off his jacket and unbuttoned his shirt, but even so, his shirt was soaked with sweat between his plump shoulder blades. The wet patch slowly changed shape and spread downward in a line along his spine.The man on the other side of the table was small, with thinning hair. He was slovenly dressed and the fingers gripping the arms of his chair were uncared-for, with bitten, dirty nails. His face was thin and sickly, with weak evasive lines around his mouth. His chin was trembling slightly and his eyes seemed cloudy and watery. The man hunched up and two tears fell down his cheeks."Uh-huh," said Kollberg gloomily. "You hit him on the head with the bottle, them, until it broke?"The man nodded."Then you went on hitting him with the chair as he lay on the floor. How many times?""Don't know. Not many. Quite a lot through.""I can imagine. And then you tipped the sideboard over him and left the room. What did the third one of you do in the meantime? This Ragnar Larsson? Didn't he try to interfere; I mean, stop you?'"No, he didn't to anything. He just let it go on.""Don't start lying again now.""He was asleep. He'd passed out.""Try to speak a little louder, all right?""He was lying on the bed, asleep. He didn't notice anything.""No, not until he came to and then he went to the police.Well, so far it's clear. But there's one thing I still don't really understood. Why did it turn out this way? You'd never even seen each other before you met in that beer hall.""He called me a damned nazi.""Every policeman gets called a damaged nazi several times a week. Hundreds of people have called me a nazi and Gestapo man and even worse things, but I've never killed anyone for it.""He sat there and said it over and over again, damned nazi, damned nazi, damned nazi. . . It was the only thing he said And he sang.'"Sang?""Yes, to get my goat. Annoy me. About Hitler.""Uh-huh. Well, had given him any cause to talk like that?""I'd told him my old lady was German. That was before.""Before you began drinking?""Yes. Then he just said it didn't matter what kind of mother a guy had.""And when he was about to go out into the kitchen, you took the bottle and hit him from behind?""Yes""Did he fall?""He sort of fell to his knees. And began bleeding. And then he said, 'You bloody little nazi runt, you, now you're in for it.' ""And so you went on hitting him?""I was . . . afraid. He was bigger than me and. . . you don't know what it feels like. . . everything just goes round and round and goes red . . . I didn't seem to know what I was doing."The man's shoulders were shaking violently."That's enough," said Kollberg, switching off the tape recorder. "Give him something to eat and ask the doctor if the can have a sedative."The policeman by the door rose, put his cap on and led the murdered out, holding him loosely by the arm."Bye for now. See you tomorrow," said Kollbergy absently.At the same time he was writing mechanically on the paper in front of him, "Confessed in tears.""Quite a character," he said."Five previous convictions for assault," said Melander. "In spite of his denying it every time. I remember him very well.""Said the walking card file," Kollberg commented.He rose heavily and started at martin Beck."What are you doing here?' he said. "Go take your holiday and let us look after the criminal ways of the lower classes. Where are you going, but the way? To the islands?"Martin Beck nodded."Smart," said Kollberg. "I went to Rumania first and got firend-in Mamaia. Then I come home and get boiled. Great.And you don't have any telephone out there?""No.""Excellent. I'm going to take a shower now anyhow. Come on. Run along now."Martin Beck thought it over. The suggestion had its advantages. Among other things, he would get away a day earlier. He shrugged his shoulders."I'm leaving. Bye, boys. See you in a month."Most people's holidays were already over and Stockholm's August-hot streets had begun to fill with people who ha spent a few rainy July weeks in tents and trailers and country boardinghouse. During the last few days, the subway had once again become crowded, but it was not the middle of the working day and Martin Beck was almost along in the car. He sat looking at the dusty greenery outside and was glad that his eagerly awaited holiday had at last begun.His family had already been out in the archipelago for a month. This summer they had had the good fortune to rent a cottage from a distant relative of his wife's a cottage situated all by itself on a little island in the central part of the archipelago. The relative had gone abroad and the cottage was theirs until the children went back to school.Martin Beck let himself into his empty flat, went straight into the kitchen and took a beer out the refrigerator. He took a few gulps standing by the sink, then carried the bottle with him into the bedroom. He undressed and walked out onto the balcony in nothing but his shorts. He sat fro a while in the sun, his feet on the balcony rail as he finished off the beer. The heat out there was almost intolerable and when the bottle was empty, he got up and went back into the relative cool of the flat.He looked at his watch. The boat would be leaving in two hours. The island was located in an area of the archipelago where transportation to and from the city was still maintained by one of the few remaining old streamers. This, thought martin Beck, was just about the best part of their summer holiday find.He went out into the kitchen and put the empty bottle down on the pantry floor. The pantry had already been cleared of everything that might spoil, but for safety's sake he looked around to see if he had forgotten anything before he shut the pantry door. Then he pulled the refrigerator plug out of the wall, put the ice trays in the sink and looked around the kitchen before shutting the door and going into the bedroom to pack.Most of what he needed for himself he had already take out to the island on the weekend he had already spent there. His wife had given him a list of things which she and the children wanted brought out, and by the time he had included everything, he had two bags full. As he also had to pick up a carton of food from the supermarket, he decided to take a taxi to the boat.There was plenty of room on board and when Martin Back had put his bags down, he went up on deck and sat down.The heat was trembling over the cit and it was almost dead clam. The foliage in Karl XII Square had lost its freshness and the flags on the Grand Hotel were drooping. Martin Beck looked at his watch and waited impatiently for the men down there to pull in the gangplank.When he felt first vibrations from the engine, he got up and walked to the stern. The boat backed away from the quay and he leaned over the railing, watching the propellers whipping up the water into a whitish-green foam. The steam whistle sounded hoarsely, and as the boat began to turn toward Salts-jon, its hull shuddering, Martin Beck stood by the railing and turned his face toward the cool breeze. He suddenly felt free and untroubled; for a brief moment he seemed to relive the feeling he had had as a boy on the first day of the summer holidays.He had dinner in the dining saloon, then went out and sat on deck again. Before approaching the jetty where he was to land, the boat passed his island, and he saw the cottage and some gaily colored garden chairs and his wife down on the shore. She was colored garden chairs and his wife down on the shore. She was crouching at the water's edge, and the guessed she was scrubbing potatoes. She rose and waved, but he was not certain she could see him at such a distance with the afternoon sun in her eyes.

Revue de presse

“Sjöwall and Wahlöö write unsparingly and unswervingly. . . . Fast moving storytelling. . . . Their plots are second to none.” —Val McDermid, from the introduction "Enormously satisfying. . . . Terse, tense and eminently readable." —Chicago Tribune“Ingenious. . . . Their mysteries don't just read well; they reread even better. . . . The writing is lean, with mournful undertones.”—The New York Times“The husband-wife combination forms a superb story-telling team.”—El Paso Times

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 709 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 210 pages
  • Editeur : Harper Perennial (3 avril 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B002RI919E
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
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  • Lecteur d’écran : Pris en charge
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
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No I will not write reviews to order. You have ruined my reading experience by insisting on a review when I want to look through books already loaded. I BEGIN TO THINK IT IS TIME TO BUY BOOKS ELSEWHERE.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.3 étoiles sur 5 65 commentaires
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The taught Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, and Jo Nesbo how to write crime fiction 9 novembre 2015
Par Mal Warwick - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Some mystery novelists trace the origins of their craft to any one of several nineteenth century writers: Edgar Allen Poe, Willkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others. But there appears to be a consensus among contemporary writers—at least among those who are partial to police procedurals—that the leading source of inspiration among modern authors was the Swedish husband-and-wife team of Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö.

Writing in the 1960s and 70s, Sjöwall and Wahlöö produced a series of ten novels featuring Inspector Martin Beck of the Swedish National Police. Unlike the contrived and stylized drawing-room mysteries of Agatha Christie and her many imitators, the Swedish duo never appeared to be in the business of entertainment alone, though their work is unquestionably entertaining: they used their genre as a mirror on society with all its flaws, much as Henning Mankell (in Sweden) and Jo Nesbö (in Norway) have done so ably in later decades. And Martin Beck, like Mankell’s Kurt Wallander and Nesbö’s Harry Hole after them, is a deeply flawed human being. Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö were the originators of Scandinavian noir.

The Man Who Went Up In Smoke is Sjöwall and Wahlöö’s second Martin Beck novel. I found it to be a much more accomplished effort than the first book in the series, Roseanna, in which the authors went to extraordinary lengths to communicate the tedium and wasted effort of police work and succeeded in becoming boring at times in the process. Set largely in Budapest, where Martin Beck has been sent to track down a Swedish reporter who disappeared there, The Man Who Went Up In Smoke is a complex, fast-moving, and suspenseful tale that will keep a reader guessing until the end (as it did Martin Beck).
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Ruda-pest in Budapest - a master class in crime writing 14 mars 2017
Par Blue in Washington - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The ten or so crime novels written by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahoo are like a continuing master class for mystery writers. Somewhere between noir and cozy, they feature a central detective (Martin Beck, in most cases), but they are often ensemble productions, with a number of interesting colleagues working and interacting on the cases. What I especially like about these novels is that often start with some kind of contradictory or illogical situation---a true mystery--that is gradually peeled back by Beck and company. There is real pleasure in observing the process.

"The Man Who Went Up In Smoke" is the second book by Sjowall and Wahoo and starts as a missing person case that requires Martin Beck to travel to Soviet-period Budapest. The on-site investigation takes Beck on a real tour of the Hungarian capital, which was in very different physical condition at the time (still heavily damaged from WWII and the 1956 uprising), but quite recognizable to anyone who has been there recently. Beck's ponderings and wanderings are intriguing. His interactions with the locals are full of quiet menace and ambiguity.

This is a terrific read.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Go ahead, have another piece of cake. 16 juillet 2015
Par A. Steven Toby - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is the second of the murder mysteries from Sweden with main character police official Martin Beck. In my reviews of two others of this series, I've pointed out that in addition to superbly complex plots and excellent characterization of the police officials working on the case, the series has a theme, the loss of innocence in the Sweden of the 1960's. However, this being only the second book, that theme is not yet apparent. The phrase "police procedural" is thrown around by the author of the Foreword, but suffice it to say the story is authentic to its time and place.
Mr. Beck starts out on his vacation and the authors permit him a short idyll on an island in the Stockholm Archipelago without a telephone where water has to be delivered regularly. It lasts barely more than a day. The water delivery person informs him he needs to make a phone call, and when it turns out the call is to the Foreign Office, and they want him to investigate the apparent disappearance of a journalist on assignment in Hungary, he doesn't have what it takes to refuse. At first this seems odd to the reader but gradually we come to realize he really can't refuse -- he's only mid career and he's dedicated to his job even when he says he hates it (like many people).
Those unfamiliar with Sweden of the time (or Europe) need to know that the action takes place in 1967. The Cold War was on, and Hungary was behind the "Iron Curtain" that had "descended across Europe" in Winston Churchill's famous speech. While Americans were restricted from travelling among the Soviet satellite states, Sweden was proudly "unaligned", although it risked almost as much as the US did from Soviet expansion, and therefore Swedes could travel freely to the Eastern Bloc to take advantage of the milder weather there as well as bargain prices for practically everything. In fact, as recently from the time of the action as 1956, Soviet tanks had rumbled into Hungary and put down a rebellion; many of the survivors of the rebels left, found asylum in the United States, and settled in my birthplace, New Brunswick, NJ. So, I am well aware of how good Hungarian food is!
Martin Beck gets on a plane and flies to Budapest, checks into his hotel, and has dinner -- he's discovered Hungarian food right on Day One. The city is strung out along the Danube and his hotel is on the waterfront. It's a beautiful historic city and the weather is sunny and nice. The geographical details are described as if the authors had been there; yet Beck is not diverted from his investigation. He proceeds to follow the tracks of his quarry and is unable to find any clues. It's about halfway through the book that I figured out there was no evidence the journalist was ever actually in Budapest and imagined he might still be in Stockholm. Beck is attacked by a man he'd interviewed while looking for the missing man and the Hungarian police decide he's really on the level and start helping. It is revealed that the missing man has been trading in drugs.
Reading this, we conclude there was a drug deal gone bad and the missing man has been killed and the body hidden. But, the ending is quite different, more satisfying than that. The exotic flavor of Sixties Budapest makes the book much less "Swedish" than the others in the series, but one of the most fun to read anyway. With less of a serious theme and more of a complex plot, but maintaining the characterization of Beck and his colleagues on the Swedish force, as well as introducing his contact in Budapest, Inspector Szluka, it's a lively, relatively light read.
However, like the multi-layered cakes Hungarians make, it's rich in fat and calories. You can get your teeth into it.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Rediscovering the Martin Beck mysteries 8 septembre 2010
Par Rick Skwiot - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
It had been decades since I'd read a Martin Beck roman policier from the Swedish team of Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö - so long that I can't remember which ones I might have read. But on a friend's recommendation I went back to Beck in a 1969 mystery "The Man Who Went Up In Smoke." While reputedly not their best effort, it was good enough for me to want to read more.

In it Detective Beck interrupts his summer vacation to travel from Stockholm to Budapest to investigate the seeming disappearance there of a Swedish journalist. While the plot is not that intriguing, the policemen are -- Swedes and Hungarians alike. They share a stocism, a sardonic Weltanschauung, and unresolved marital problems. As a result, they come off as human beings at work instead of formulaic heroic crime-fighters.

As when Beck's colleague Kollberg is receiving an oral report on the apprehension of two suspects from an unimaginative provinical Swedish cop, Backlund, who states that they "`were taken to police Patrolmen Kristiansson and Kvant. Both men were under the influence of alcohol.'"

"`Kristiansson and Kvant?'"

"Backlund gave Kolberg a look of reproach and went on..."

Subtle humor, Swedish humor perhaps, which peppers the gritty novel at unexpected moments.

But most alluring is the Cold War-era view of Europe, the deliberate pacing, and the crisp prose as translated by Joan Tate. The result is soothing, reminding me of Simenon's Maigret novels. Like Maigret, Beck drinks a lot. Also like Maigret, he has a long-suffering wife -- though Beck's does not suffer silently as does Madame Maigret.

From 1965 to 1975 Sjöwall and Wahlöö published 10 Martin Beck mysteries, the most noted being "The Laughing Policeman," made into a 1973 movie, set in San Francisco in lieu of the novel's Stockholm, with Walter Matthau and Bruce Dern.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is a wonderful book 31 décembre 2012
Par BLS Carmel - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I have been recently introduced to Sjowall and Wahloo and the Martin Beck Series. It is marvelous. Great character development of flawed characters. A real sense of the police team working methodically and hard, rather than brilliantly. Each makes his own contribution. Lots of disappointments. Love the relationships. The humor is terrific.
I liked this one in particular. The Man Who Went Up in Smoke is about a Swedish magazine writer who disappears in Hungary. Martin Beck is sent to investigate and is neither equipped with intros to the Hungarian police nor with speaking Hungarian. Nevertheless, he arrives, meets collaborators and various Hungarians and proceeds to solve what happened to the writer.
It is fabulously plotted, and I loved the surprise ending. I saw all the clues but did not put it together myself.
The Hungarian policeman who gets involved is special and quite humorous. All over a wonderful book. Very nice translation.
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