This third book in the Martin Beck series is a real look at what Swedish society was like in the 1960's. Here we find all sorts of people coming under the scope of the police. Some of these people report incidents, others commit them. Everything has to be investigated. The authors once again show that police work is not easy - often quite boring and laborious. Yet it is work that has to be done if they expect to get results. Beck and his colleagues are faced with someone who is killing and raping young girls - children really - in the parks of Stockholm. Their investigations bring them up against prostitutes, perverts, and muggers in their efforts to track this man down, yet there are no clues. As the murders continue the whole force is engaged in door-to-door questioning, patrolling the parks, searching everywhere, without results.
The authors go out of their way to demonstrate that police work is not performed by one man: gradually, bit by bit, the jigsaw is built up as various members of the force find pieces that fit the picture. These pieces are - among a number of things - Beck remembering something said, an on-duty policeman overhearing a conversation in a bakery where he has gone to buy cakes, a sudden thought by a patrolman stopping to relieve himself in a park
For me the opening chapter is a real classic. Nothing particularly happens, yet there is the sense that what we are told is of major importance. A very great story about ordinary men and women who serve the community, and have sleepless nights and work long hours. Brilliant!...Continua