Featuring police detective, Martin Beck, on the hunt for the killer of a young woman named Roseanna who has been found dead in a canal after being raped and murdered. Time elapses with no leads and the case goes cold until, via Interpol, she is identified as an American tourist who had been a passenger on a boat trip. A sting operation ensues using a female police officer as bait to trap the killer.
This book deserves its kudos as an original at the forefront of Scandi-noir and I appreciate the authors’ inclusion of social commentary. It is notable however how slow and plodding this novel feels, partly due, I expect, to the tendency of contemporary fiction to be so dazzlingly fast-paced and partly due to the vagaries of the low-tech era from which it sprang. Despite this lack of pace feeling wearisome at times I was completely engaged and never thought of giving up. The climax was so rapid-fire by comparison it just zipped by and almost at once, it was the end of the book. Would I read another? Because of heritage and prestige yes. But it didn’t foster in me the excitement I feel reading more contemporary works of its kind.