cover image Cop Killer

Cop Killer

Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, read by Tom Weiner, Blackstone Audio, unabridged, seven CDs, 8 hrs., $76 ISBN 978-1-4233-8091-7

Anyone presuming that America and England have a lock on police procedurals or that Stieg Larsson set the standard for Scandinavian thrillers would do well to check out this reissue of Sjöwall and Wahlöö's cases of Insp. Martin Beck of Sweden's National Murder Squad. The ninth in a series of 10 finds the humane Beck investigating two cases: the disappearance of a woman, presumed dead, and a shoot-out between the police and teenage boys. Tom Weiner sets the proper pace in covering the authors' typically well-constructed, lively story, but he's also very careful to complement the authenticity and dimension of their character portrayals, specifically that of Beck. Weiner adds a sadness and some edgy impatience to the inspector's world-weariness, as well as a palpable longing for the woman waiting at home in Stockholm. But he makes smart audio choices for all of the characters, from the excessively jovial local lawman to the glum main suspect, a convicted killer whose capture formed the basis for Beck's first recorded case, Roseanne. A Vintage paperback. (July)